Cosmetic Products Sleuthing

After weeks of international bad news and difficult posts, I’ve decided to write about a  lighter and more fun subject.

For the last few years, I’ve been on the lookout for reasonably priced facial and body products which contain less harmful chemicals, yet work extremely well. (Yes, I’m a demanding consumer.)

My first information source was the EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. It’s American and consumers from other countries may not be able to find all the less chemically-based products it analyses. As well, even if a product is found in your country, it may not contain the same ingredients. Still, it’s a good place to start if you’re looking for information on a certain class of products, or if you’re considering buying a particular brand.

In addition, I look at Beautypedia. Created by Paula Begoun and her team, it gives access to a searchable database of products and, above what the EWG database offers, presents reviews on how they work and rates them based on efficacy. You will also see too Paula’s Choice brand products sold on her site but in spite of this, you can find amazingly helpful information on competing products.

I first encountered Ms. Begoun’s work by reading the book Don’t go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, now in its 9th Edition and offered for sale on her site as well as on Amazon US and Amazon CA. I learned from this book, as well as through her interviews, that more costly cosmetic and beauty products aren’t necessarily the best for your skin (most hold a lot of fragrance for instance) and that you can find similar quality in less known brands, which also often happen to be more reasonably priced.

Some of my great finds include my new favourite skin care brand — CeraVe®. I came across this brand as I was looking at reviews on different sites for a new night cream and kept seeing how cream X did not beat their CeraVe® product, so I got curious. Beautypedia gives the brand high marks all around.

My must haves now include the Hydrating Cleanser (I used the Foaming Facial Cleanser in the summer, but winter is harsh here so I switched), the Eye Repair Cream and the Moisturizing Lotion which I use on my face and body. Again in the summer, the Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM for normal to oily skin was great for my mixed skin, but didn’t cut it in winter.

Sleuthing for good cosmetic products takes enormous amounts of time. I’ve been doing this for many years, and hope to discuss here other of my reasonably priced and healthy great products in the coming months, which may, hopefully, answer one or more of your needs.