Red Lists from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are Pocket Guides to Toxic Ingredients

Published on March 9th, 2015 | by

Red Lists from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are Pocket Guides to Toxic Ingredients

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a watchdog group with a mission to get harmful chemicals out of our cosmetic products. Their new Red Lists are a set of consumer guides to help you shop smarter.

On their site, they say, “You shouldn’t need a Ph.D in chemistry to choose safe cosmetics and personal care products.” Amen to that. It can be tough to parse cosmetic ingredients lists on the fly. Which chemicals are truly harmful, and which ones only sound like they’re toxic?

The Red Lists are similar to the cosmetic ingredients guide that our sister site Vibrant Wellness Journal released last summer. They’re a set of easy-to-skim, printable guides that fit right into your wallet. Here are a couple of examples, so you can see what they look like (the actual guides are larger, so you can read the ingredients more easily):

Red Lists from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are Pocket Guides to Toxic Ingredients

Of course, what we really need is true chemical reform. Wouldn’t it be awesome to shop for shampoo or conditioner and not have to pull out a pocket guide or use a smartphone app to vet its safety?

Beyond the Red Lists

There’s also one aspect of cosmetics shopping that this guide – and the VWJ guide – leaves out: animal testing. We’ve talked a lot about animal testing in this space. Are you tired yet of hearing about how it doesn’t tell us much about how a product will interact with humans?

Luckily, there are guides out there to help you avoid products tested on animals. We wrote not too long ago about Cruelty Cutter, an app from The Beagle Freedom Project. They’ve compiled thousands of products that don’t test on animals.

Cross-referencing an app with a guide or an app with another app can be time-consuming, for sure. Since that information isn’t all in once place right now, your best bet is probably to start your shopping at home. Don’t wait until you’re in the beauty aisle to make a decision. Instead, do that research in your PJs on a rainy day or after the kids go to bed. It doesn’t take too long to find a shampoo on Cruelty Cutter, then pull up the VWJ guide or the Red Lists and vet the ingredients.

If you want to save some time, you can shop for organic cosmetics. They cost more, because organic certification and ingredients cost more. But if you choose organic beauty products you don’t have to worry so much about ingredients. That eliminates a list!

How do you choose your cosmetics? Does animal testing matter to you? I’d love to hear about how you stock your makeup bag in the comments!

Image Credits: Cosmetics photo via Shutterstock; Red Lists via Campaign for Safe Cosmetics


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .
  • Becky I feel your pain! This is the exact reason I created kind-eye.com, because it was so difficult to find an aggregated list of information based on my own set of standards. It’s a challenge, but the database is growing all the time!