What is an EWG Rating and Why it Matters

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How can you tell if a product you are using is safe for your body? Where do you go to find this information?

We know we are not the only one with these questions. And wanted to help you find solutions. The Environmental Working Group is the place to go if you are curious about what you are putting on your skin.

As you can see from the image below, I have very sensitive skin that is prone to rashing. I have to be extra vigilant in making sure I am not using any products that might harm my skin.

Follow along with me as I explain what an EWG Rating is, and how it will change the way you use skincare.

EWG Rating Explanation: What is EWG?

The Environmental Working Group is an activist group that was created in 1992 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles. Cook, a prominent Lobbyist, wanted to make a place where consumers could become better informed about what products are environmentally healthy and therefore make more educated purchases. 

A team of policy experts, scientists, and even lawyers help to create the online database and mobile applications. While for our purposes here at Avenly Lane we use their Skin Deep information for skincare, beauty, and hair care. They have several other guides including: produce, water, cleaning, and food.

Why does Avenly Lane like the Skin Deep Database?

There are so many different healthy environmental products out there. It is so nice to have a reliable source with its easy to understand rating system. Which makes finding EWG shampoo or EWG sunscreen or EWG makeup a much less daunting project.

The terms “organic” and “natural” are used very haphazardly in the beauty industry. So we wanted to try and find a factual way to understand the ingredients we use.

We like it because it is fast, easy, the most reliable source we have found so far, that gives detailed descriptions of every ingredient. Why they are used, what they do, and just how bad or good they are for your health.

Plus, the database is easy to use and very convenient.

How to use:

If you are interested in finding an EWG score for yourself, it is very simple. Go to their website. Then find the search bar at the top, right-hand side of their homepage. Next, type in the items’ name which you are curious about. And hit enter.

You will then be greeted with one of three things: the exact product you searched for, a list of products from the same brand name, or no results at all. The ratings are made by number – “1” being the worst and “10” the best.

Try using the Skin Deep app to scan barcodes on beauty products or you can search information the same way you would on their website.

If you find yourself without the item you are looking for you can contact the Environmental Working Group to suggest a product. They even encourage it. 

How does the cosmetic database compare to other environmental sites?

There are other websites that check products for their safety. But none that are as inclusive or wide-ranging as the EWG.

Yes, the information can seem scary at first. But as you get more acquainted with their evaluations, it is easier to decipher what are real concerns. They make this simple for their users with graphics and detailed definitions.   

Other websites seem to only report on cosmetics or do not give the full picture. And some are very difficult to understand.

The Environmental Working Group also supports reforming the United States’ outdated laws on cosmetics through their Beauty Made Better campaign. A great cause to get behind.

While the EWG is our favorite database, keep in mind – nothing is perfect. We feel they do their best to cite as many factual sources as possible. But there is some criticism on ALL evaluation groups because it is very difficult to 100% guarantee ingredients are unsafe or safe.

Where can I access the EWG Skin Deep App?

To get into the cosmetics database, EWG information you may either go to their website ewg.org. Or download the EWG app to your phone for even easier access.

Are you ready to change the way you purchase beauty products? Let me know what you think below!

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