Ingredient Spotlight: Phthalates

Phthalates, pronounced “thal-ates”, are a group of chemicals with a wide variety of uses in commercial products. They are commonly referred to as “plasticizers” or softeners. Their binding and softening properties make them a low-cost way to increase the utility of a variety of products, from soft plastic toys to mattresses, personal care products (like shampoo and nail polish) to food packaging. These plasticizers can show up in the foods, drinks, and spices we consume even without plastic packaging, as a result of the manufacturing process. In recent years, several members of this class have been associated with adverse reproductive and endocrine health effects, leading to calls for removal from the market entirely. Continue reading

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What’s in Your Deodorant?

Deodorants are the products we depend on daily to prevent body odor. Most commonly used on under-arms and feet, they work to eliminate the bacteria that causes the odor or mask the odor. Alcohol can temporarily kill bacteria. Longer-acting antimicrobials, like triclosan, kill bacteria and slow their regrowth. Fragrances work to mask odors and minerals are added to help absorption and reduce friction on the skin. Continue reading

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Do you prefer using an Antiperspirant or Deodorant?

A basic part of our morning hygiene routine, Americans spend more than 18 billion dollars a year on antiperspirants and deodorants. With their frequent use, deodorant use can contribute to frequent exposure to potential hazards.

Classified and regulated as cosmetics by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, deodorants prevent body odors by killing the bacteria that causes the odor. Antiperspirants are considered an over-the-counter drug that affects the underarm sweat glands and prevents sweating. Some health issues associated with using deodorant and antiperspirants include: Continue reading

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GoodGuide’s Tips for a Safer Spring Cleaning

As soon as the calendar flips to April, the topic of spring cleaning takes over. Deals on products for organizing and cleaning are everywhere. Printable lists to keep you on-track are available from most of your favorite magazines, and favorite products are thoroughly covered by bloggers, media outlets, and social media personalities.

Cleaning your house, top to bottom is a good idea. Especially after keeping the house sealed up during the winter months. But it also means people are using many cleaning products for many days.

Cleaning products are responsible for about 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers.

10 quick tips that will help reduce your exposure to chemicals while cleaning your house this Spring. Continue reading

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What’s In Your Dry Shampoo?

Dry Shampoo claims to absorb oil, mask shine, and leave hair smelling fresh and clean. While this group of products isn’t meant to permanently replace water-based hair washing, dry shampoos make it easy to skip a day or two in your hair washing schedule.

Today’s dry shampoo products are a little more complicated than the baby powder or cornstarch women used long ago. They’ve come along way in form, function, and price. Relying on the same basics, the starchy active ingredients do the work of absorbing excess oils and masking shine. The newest products now include styling ingredients to add texture and volume, aerosol propellants to apply the product, solvents, conditioning agents, fragrance, and drying agents.

Dry Shampoos are most often delivered by aerosol, powder, or foam — Here’s a look at the common ingredients by function:

Absorbing Agents: Rice, potato, or corn starch commonly play a starring role as the absorbing agent, while kaolin clay can absorb and reduce the shine of oil on the hair strands making your hair appear cleaner.

Aerosol Propellants: Liquefied petroleum gas, often a combination of isobutane and propane, is added to propel the ingredients out of the aerosol can in a fine mist.

Conditioning Agents: Conditioning ingredients like lanolin, panthenol, and argan oil are added to lubricate the follicle which helps to detangle, reduce static, and soften your hair.

Fragrance: Fragrances are added to dry shampoos to leave a scent on the hair after use. From essential oils to chemical-based scents, fragrance is a common ingredient.

Solvent and Drying Agents: Liquid alcohol suspends the solids without dissolving them so you can spray them out of the can and onto your hair. Alcohol evaporates quickly, providing a soothing effect for dry, itchy scalps.

Anti-caking Agent: Anti-caking agents are added to prevent the starchy ingredients from clumping together. Magnesium stearate or Magnesium Myristate are common anti-caking ingredients.

Here are the top 5 GoodGuide rated dry shampoos:

Tips to choose a dry shampoo with the least health concerns:

  1. Choose products that list the scent ingredients out, instead of “fragrance”.
  2. Choose products in a non-aerosol can, or one that does not contain liquefied gas ingredients like butane or propane.
  3. If you prefer cosmetic products that aren’t tested on animals, choose a product that carries the Leaping Bunny certification
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GoodGuide’s Good News Round Up – February 2018

In February, the GoodGuide App was included in a few blog posts …

1) Curbly’s Top 9 Ways to Maintain New Years Goals.

Featured as an easy way to help you purchase products that match up with your values. Whether that’s choosing more organic food, less toxic household cleaners, or cruelty-free cosmetics. We love being included in these types of lists!

2) Mind Body Green’s Sustainable Eating Tips.

Highlighted as being able to give consumers quick information on the food you are about to purchase while in the grocery store. We love hearing how consumers use the GoodGuide App to grocery shop smarter.

We love to see how consumers are using our app and product ratings to make better purchases. If you include us in an article or post, send it to us directly or tag us!

A Few Interesting Industry News Bits from February…

Scotland Announces Microbead Ban
The Scottish government announced it will prohibit the sale and distribution of rinse-off personal care products that include microbeads in the formulation, beginning in June 2018. This follows an announcement of a similar ban by the Welsh government in early 2018 and the newly implemented first phase of a microbead restriction by the UK government.

You can read more information and find links to the previous announcements on Chemical Watch. Or see our recent coverage of the US efforts to ban the microbead.


US Grocery Chain Trader Joe’s ‘pursuing phenol-free receipts’
BPA and BPS are two chemicals commonly found in register receipts, according to a recent report by the Ecology Center—a Michigan-based organization that promotes greener practices. Their study found BPA and BPS in 93% of the 208 register receipts they tested, coming from a variety of businesses including retail stores, gas stations, and ATMs.

Soon after the results were published, Trader Joe’s issued a statement that they are pursuing receipt paper that is free of phenol chemicals, including BPA and BPS, and rolling out the replacement paper to all stores as soon as possible.

Read the complete story written by the Los Angeles Times here >>

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What’s In Toothpaste?

Toothpaste is among the most often used personal care product.

Used daily at least, the health concerns for toothpaste come with how we use it. Not meant to be ingested, our mouths are among the most absorbent areas of the body. Health concerns assigned to the ingredients commonly found in toothpaste formulations is something to consider before your next purchase. Continue reading

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