At last, a real cosmetic ingredients database

Cosmetics Info Cosmetic Ingredients Database

There is an old prayer that goes, dear God please make all the bad people good and all the good people interesting.

This came to mind a few minutes ago when I came across the Cosmetics Info website, a new cosmetic ingredients database.  After a quick look I found it to be accurate, clear and properly referenced.  In other words, a bit dull.  I don’t know how long it has been going.  I imagine not long because it is the sort of thing I am likely to find pretty quickly.   It seems to be funded by the industry which may be a problem for some people.  If you are suspicious about the cosmetics industry, you are likely to mistrust a cosmetic ingredients database that it publishes. But the link is at least a transparent one.

I have a feeling I will be referring to it quite a bit from now on and I recommend it to you if you are interested.  I hope the link below will enhance its standing with Google a little bit and help more people find it.   I doubt I’ll be doing any more blog posts on it because it is frankly boring.  As the subject of the safety of cosmetics should be, and is.  The beauty industry is an interesting one and is full of colourful characters and it is has its shady side.  Some of the claims made for cosmetics are outrageous and some of the ways that they are sold are highly suspicious.  But they aren’t actually harmful to your health as far as we know.  There is absolutely no benefit to harming your customers after all.

I have a feeling that the very existence of this database is bad news for the Environmental Working Group and their cosmetic ingredients database, Skin Deep.  For a long time they have been the only online database available so they have had an easy ride.  With other scaremongers getting in on the act, and with an accurate alternative now available they might find it hard to maintain their position.  Especially as their database is rubbish.

Further Reading

Don’t forget my own small but perfectly formed cosmetic ingredient database.

This is the website I have been talking about.

This is one of many posts I have written criticizing and/or deriding the Skin Deep database

8 thoughts on “At last, a real cosmetic ingredients database”

  1. I’ve been using this database for quite a while now (for around a year, I think). Too bad that they don’t have absolutely all ingredients, but i still find it extremely helpful when analyzing cosmetics, especially when combining with cosmetic’s cop’s and INCI ingredient databases.

    Kudos for your blog, btw. I found it just a few days ago, but I’m a fan already!

  2. Hi Colin,

    I am using this database for a while (more than a year). It is very useful and accurate source of informations, but just like the “Skin Deep database” is held by the Environment Working Group, and consequently influenced in its judgement about cosmetic raw materials by its own general opinion about cosmetic industry, the website is “sponsored” by the Personal Care Products Council. It describes itself on its website as “the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry”. This does not necessarily that the database is not accurate, but the informations it gives are also certainly somehow biased by its link with cosmetic industry.

    As usual, the best information comes from confronting and comparing various sources.

    Thanks for your website, very relevant and useful informations !!


  3. C.W. – You raise a good point. One difference is that the information in is produced by scientists who are independent of the industry (the CIR). But I can still see a potential bias.

    On some level, I don’t think information about cosmetic chemicals is useful to anyone but chemists and toxicologists. If someone doesn’t have enough scientific background to understand the information how could they possibly even formulate an opinion? This stuff is complicated for even scientists.

    What use is it for regular people?

    1. Perry, I couldn’t agree more that this is difficult stuff to understand even if you have a science background. And the sheer volume of safety information is a problem in itself. No one person can possibly read everything that is known. But despite that, I think that opening up as much information as practical to the public is a good thing. For a start somebody might just spot something others have missed. And the fact that people can go and check for themselves if they want to is reassuring even if, as is most likely, the overwhelming majority of people will never actually do any such thing.

  4. Glad to see it mentioned! This is my standard point of reference for various synthetic materials. My only criticism would be that it doesn’t cover natural materials particularly thoroughly (not as whole materials anyway). And I agree that the fact it’s industry-funded could be a problem for some consumers for whom that would raise suspicion. The trouble is that people who would most benefit from such as database will never use it.

  5. Hi Colin, I left a couple of comments here tonight but find they have been deleted. Was there any particular reason for this? (I thought that they might be in an automatic moderating queue but I did actually see them displayed before).

    1. Hello Nukapai, I am afraid I am getting bombarded with spam at the moment so it takes me ages to moderate comments. Yours simply got caught up in a long list. I was very happy approve them once I had got to them. Thanks for all your comments I will answer the points you have raised as soon as I can.

  6. We are being bombarded with demands to show why we feel it is safe to use Glyceryl Stearate SE which has been gradedy comedogenic level 3. I have been trying to find out where that assessment was done. Interesting thing is that people demand white papers on its safety without showing any white papers to show it is an important comedogenic ingredient. Thanks for your great work. Des and Pam

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