EWG: Healthy Living App

For this Wellness Wednesday post, I want to focus on a tool I use to help me identify products that are safe and healthy for my family.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been working in partnership with Skin Deep and Food Scores to provide an app for your mobile device that can scan products, rate their safety, and help you make healthier choices for your family while you’re at the store shopping. You can also search for certain type of product and find one that meets the score you are hoping for. This usually turns into an online order for me, as I can’t always find the products with the best scores at my local stores.

The app uses a 0-10 scale for product safety. 0 being harmless and 10 being the most harmful. The score is an average of allergy concern, cancer concern, and developmental concern. The app even breaks down each ingredient in the product and gives those individual ingredients ratings. This is helpful to me as well. Fragrance, even as essential oils, is considered allergenic, so gets a higher score. If that’s the only item in the ingredients that can be seen as harmful, I am still OK with purchasing the product. Most of our products have the EWG seal of approval or are a 1 or 2. My personal goal is to only purchase products that have a rating of 3 or less.

I have been using Skin Deep’s database for product safety for over a decade. It is very important to me that every product my kids use is the least toxic, most natural product I can use. I hold true to that goal as my kids grow and change. Every year we seem to use or change more products to meet their skin, dietary, and other personal hygiene needs. Hello all natural deodorant, safe acne care, and non-toxic lip gloss. And can I mention how difficult it is to find low scoring men’s shampoo and soap? I spent some time at Target, Whole Foods, and HyVee checking scores until I found something “manly” enough for my boy that was less than a 4. This app made it a lot easier. Just scan and compare.

You may be surprised that many products advertised as all natural are not as safe as they seem. When my kids were babies, I was shocked that the Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo was an 8! They have since changed their formula and the score is much lower. Even Aveeno and Burt’s Bees were not as low scoring as I would have thought. I am not going to say those products are bad products, but they are above my threshold of 3 or less. There are loads of products with the EWG seal of approval though, so keep your eyes open for them. I will share some of my favorite products and their scores in future Wellness Wednesday posts.

What are some of your favorite healthy products? Share in the comments!

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