As you can probably imagine, I get a LOT of questions about skincare ingredients and skincare products. Since I make my own skincare products and have for many years now, I have to admit it’s hard to answer requests for recommendations for what skincare brands someone should use for their skin. It’s also a challenge, because I firmly believe that every person has unique skin, and doesn’t fall neatly into a generic skin type. But that’s another story (you can learn more about that here and learn how to really understand your skin and what it needs).
To be honest, these days I get far more inquiries about whether or not a product is SAFE, and how to know if a product is actually as safe as it claims to be. This is also not a straightforward response, because the terms “safe,” “non-toxic,” “natural,” and even “organic,” aren’t clearly defined or regulated terms. We have to look at the ingredient itself, how much is used and for what function, what other ingredients are in the formulation, how has the ingredient been sourced, and so on.
Since thousands of ingredients are used to make skincare these days, you can imagine it’s no easy task to know everything there is to know about each one. It takes time, money, dedication, research, and a lot of organization–and while I don’t have time to do that type of work in my business, I want to be part of the movement towards safer cosmetics on the global scale. I’m really proud to announce that I serve on the Advisory Board of MADE SAFE, and am partnering with them on their efforts to innovate and investigate ingredients while prioritizing human health.
What is MADE SAFE?
MADE SAFE is a nonprofit organization that makes it possible for consumers to easily find products that are made without known harmful chemicals while also offering brands and retailers a road map to making and selling safer products. MADE SAFE (Made With Safe Ingredients) is America’s first certification to screen out known toxic chemicals in consumer products across store aisles, from baby bottles and bedding to personal care, cleaners, and more.
MADE SAFE is the only comprehensive human health-focused certification that screens products across all non-food categories. In addition to certification, MADE SAFE works with companies to:
- Screen individual ingredients through its Ingredient Diligence service
- Test ingredients using compound analysis
- Explore safer alternatives and green chemistry approaches
- Construct customized restricted substances lists
- Communicate sustainability efforts
- Conduct new research on ingredients
- Educate consumers about ingredients and materials
I chose to partner with MADE SAFE, because they are more than just a database of different cosmetic ingredients, or product safety rankings. There’s nothing wrong with those lists–and I still recommend that people reference them. But rather than just working to scrutinize and rank existing brands, as a formulator and educator myself, I share MADE SAFE founder and executive director, Amy Ziff’s mission to change the way products are made in America and around the world.
What does it mean to be a MADE SAFE Advisory Board Member?
The MADE SAFE seal means that the certified product has been Made with Safe Ingredients, that is to say: ingredients that are not known or suspected to harm human health, animals, aquatic life or any part of the ecosystem. It’s the most rigorous and protective nontoxic certification that applies to a wide array of everyday household items. For the first time, shoppers can easily identify products that are safe to use on their body, with their families and in their homes.
Every MADE SAFE certified product is thoroughly screened and 100% of registered ingredients are vetted by scientists and/or researchers to ensure they’re made without known behavioral toxins, carcinogens, developmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, synthetic flame retardants, heavy metals, neurotoxins, high risk pesticides, reproductive toxins, toxic solvents, or harmful VOCs.
MADE SAFE additionally screens ingredients for bioaccumulation, environmental persistence, general ecosystem harm, as well as for toxicity to aquatic and terrestrial life. When there is doubt they exercise the precautionary principle, erring on the side of caution. The MADE SAFE approach flips the current regulatory model of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ on its head. This 360-degree ecosystem assessment makes MADE SAFE the most rigorous standard in existence. As an advisor to MADE SAFE, I partner with them to support their mission of advocating for consumer products that are safe for both humans and the planet.
What do you think of MADE SAFE’s initiatives?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
*Images 1 and 2 from Shutterstock.