Saturday, November 26, 2011

7 reasons why you should read the label

“7 reasons why you should Read the Label
Sun.Star Davao, Nov. 25, 2011

Remember the popular TV commercial of a leading germicidal soap many years ago where the mom had a “talk–with-my-conscience” moment which ended with her choosing the right soap brand at the grocery?

Just like in real life, the responsibility of choosing what is best and safe for the family usually rests on a discerning mom’s shoulders. But, how do we determine if the products we use are ideal?

With unfamiliar and hard-to-recognize ingredients such as phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, parabens, methylparaben, propylparaben, among others, contained in our cosmetics, do we have the proper knowledge to safeguard our family from potentially harmful products?

To address this concern, Human Nature, the Philippines’ largest brand of genuinely natural personal care and cosmetic products, recently launched its “Read the Label” campaign to “educate consumers about which beauty ingredients are safe and which may be risky for their health”.

Founded in November 2008 by Anna Meloto-Wilk and Camille Meloto, daughters of Gawad Kalinga (GK) founder Tony Meloto, Human Nature is 100% made in the Philippines and 100% free from harmful chemicals. It is a social enterprise that is proudly “pro-Philippines, pro-poor and pro-environment”.

In its very informative press kit, Human Nature gives 7 reasons why consumers should “Read the Label”:

1. 60% of what you apply ON your skin goes INTO your body.
Not only that, but you can also be exposed to harmful chemicals by breathing in sprays and powders and swallowing ingredients that you apply on your lips.
Biomonitoring studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, Environmental Working Group (EWG), and various scientists, have found cosmetics ingredients—like phthalate plasticizers, paraben preservatives, the pesticide triclosan, synthetic musks, and sunscreens—inside the bodily fluids of men, women and children and even the cord blood of newborn babies. Many of these chemicals are potential hormone disruptors that may increase cancer risk.

2. Just because products are for sale at a supermarket, drugstore, or department store cosmetics counter doesn’t automatically mean that they’ve been tested for safety.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companies to assess ingredients or products for safety. FDA does not review the safety of the vast majority of cosmetic products or ingredients before they go on the market.
According to EWG, more than 500 products sold in the U.S. contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union.
Locally, our own FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t review each individual ingredient used in personal care products for safety either.

3. Think about this: How many personal care products do you use and how often and how long do you use them? Small exposures add up to harm, and your exposure to them is prolonged. Their effects are cumulative.
Some companies say that the amount of toxic chemicals in their products is too small to matter, but small exposures add up the harm.
In his book Healthy Beauty (2010), Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world’s foremost experts on cancer and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, explains that exposure to toxic chemicals in cosmetics is usually prolonged—when you apply lotion on your body or put moisturizer on your face, their ingredients persist on your skin for extended periods. Your multiple everyday exposures to harmful ingredients produce unpredictable cumulative effects.

4. The word “natural” on a product label doesn’t guarantee that it’s safe–or natural.
Because there’s no law regulating the use of the word “natural,” your favorite shampoo or moisturizer could just be 0.01% natural and 99.99% synthetic chemicals! Don’t be fooled – READ THE LABEL (and use Human Nature’s app to find out what it means. Find out more on #6, below).

5. Personal care product safety is not just a concern for women. Men, children, and even babies use them too.
Surveys conducted by EWG show that on a daily average, women use 12 products containing 168 ingredients, men use 6 products with 85 ingredients, and children are exposed to an average of 61 ingredients.

6. Toxic chemicals are still in many commercial personal care products. You can find most (but not all) of them listed on the label, but unfortunately, it’s not that easy to identify, among thousands of personal care ingredients, the ones which are safe from the ones which are toxic.
With this in mind, Human Nature created “Read the Label”, a handy dictionary-type app for iPhone, iTouch, iPad and Android, which was developed to educate everyone about greener and safer options while shopping for cosmetics and personal care products.
With over 26,000 ingredients in its database, it instantly shows how safe or toxic each ingredient may be (safe, low risk, medium risk, high risk), and gives you links to more information on the ingredient, courtesy of EWG’s cosmetic ingredient database (

Best of all, the app is available FREE on both the Apple app store and Android Market. You can also use your desktop computer to read more details at
7. The good news is that some companies are already making safer products without using chemicals that can cause cancer, hormone disruption, or other health problems. You’ll get to know these products too if you read the label!
Human Nature uses 100% no harmful chemicals, and all of its products are at least 95% natural (and in most cases, are actually 100% natural).

Get a chance to win an Eco Trip for 2 to El Nido, Palawan for 3 days/2 nights plus an Eco Party (eat-all-you-can organic buffet) for you and 100 of your friends by downloading the “Read the Label” app.

Aside from this fabulous holiday and party, there are more than 1,000 other prizes up for grabs such as an Eco Adventure Trip for 2 for 3 days/2 nights worth Php 45,000 to Caramoan, a year’s supply of Human Nature products, and special Human Nature gift packs! The promo runs until December 31, 2012.

To learn more about Human Nature products and its advocacy or to learn how to be a dealer, visit or the Human Nature Davao Branch in Unit 10, Plaza del Carmen, A. Loyola Street, Obrero, or call us at (082) 2952976 or 09233739104. You may also visit Robinsons Department Store and Beauty Bar for a select line of Human Nature products.

E-mail the author at Visit

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