What Goes on Your Skin - A Personal Inventory

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 10:42 AM


We take for granted soaps, shampoos, colognes, toothpaste, makeup and many more products that we put on our skin on a daily basis. For many of us it's such a habit we don't even think about it, but as an experiment, take a moment to catalog the different kinds of chemicals that touch your skin every day. For myself, I came up with this list for a typical day:

Bar Soap
Shampoo
Conditioner
Hair gel
Deodorant
Cologne
Lip balm
Toothpaste
Mouthwash
Aftershave

On certain days this might be supplemented with:

Sunscreen lotion
Antiseptic cream
Dry skin lotion/foot cream

That's quite a list, and I haven't even stepped out of the house yet! 

One survey lists 168 ingredients in the products the average woman uses on a daily basis and 85 ingredients for the average man.

Because they are not food or drug related, the FDA does not regulate these products as strictly as those in other categories. No premarket approval is given or required for these products before they go on sale. Given that, and the number of chemicals involved, it might be time for all of us to check out some alternatives with more natural ingredients. You may find you look just as good, and you might feel even better about reducing your own personal chemical footprint.

The FDA will tell you all about how cosmetics are regulated (or not):


If you like statistics, some interesting ones related to personal care products can be found here:


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