DIY Consumer Product Testing – Burt’s Bees – And Coastal Classic Creations Cosmetics!

So in a conspiracy to make me spend money, a lot of my personal care products have run out this week. Being an eco-nerd, I thought, “What a good opportunity to figure out what is more or less toxic using the Environmental Working Group Cosmetic Safety Database!” Brother.

My executive summary of this experience… Burt’s Bees is widely available (Target, Walgreen’s) but is hit-or-miss.

I really loved the Aloe brand of Body Shop facial care – it’s pricey, but is well worth it. Cetaphil, the hypo-allergenic brand of lotion, is also really good. I am wishing I hadn’t switched away from these brands in favor of Burt’s Bees.

I am, however, happy to be rid of my toxic Neutrogena sunscreen and surprisingly toxic deodorant (even though it was aluminum-free!).


Old facial cleanser: 2 Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser 

New facial cleanser: Burt’s Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser (unlisted)

NET GAIN/LOSS IN TOXICITY: unknown. Body Shop’s stuff was probably better.



Old facial lotion: 4 Cetaphil

New facial lotion: 6 Burt’s Bees Radiance Day Lotion

NET GAIN/LOSS IN TOXICITY: +2 (bad!) Stick with the Cetaphil!



Old sunscreen: 6 Neutrogena Ultra-Soft Hydrating Sublock (SPF 45)

New sunscreen: 4 Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen (SPF 30)

NET GAIN/LOSS IN TOXICITY: -2 (good! I’m excited to try Burt’s Bees out!)



Old deodorants: 5 Crystal Clean Deodorant  & Trader Joe’s Unscented Deodorant (unlisted)

New deodorants: 2 Tom’s of Maine Lavender Deodorant Stick  & 0 Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal

NET GAIN/LOSS IN TOXICITY: At least -3. (This is very good.)

Overall, including the shampoo I bought on Saturday, I’ve reduced the toxicity of my bathroom by 25%. 

Now, because I am an eco-nerd, I am thinking about implementing an (oh god) product replacement plan – you know, like the kind I recommend at work to businesses who may retire their inefficient electrical appliances in the coming years. I am going to do more research next time about toxicity and quality.

A couple of years ago, I replaced all my cosmetics with Dr. Hauschka brand- I’m looking to upgrade to the Coastal Classic Creations brand. Check out their concealer, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara. They are all rated 2 or fewer on the Cosmetic Safety Database – in fact, most are rated 0.


1 Comment »

  1. What!?! Neutrogena is my favorite sunscreen. Argh.

    About The Body Shop…I read some bad, bad, bad stuff about them a few years ago. I like to believe that things have gotten better with them (aka, I’m addicted to their body butter). I wish I could find the article now, but I think it was bookmarked on an old work laptop.

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