With thousands of skincare products claiming to work wonders in an unregulated clean beauty market, it can be hard to figure out which formulations to trust. Independent certifications and clinical testing are two powerful tools that can help you plough through marketing gimmicks and mixed messages to make better skincare purchasing decisions.
These can help you understand whether the skincare products you're considering buying contain any harmful ingredients and whether their formulation claims are actually effective. One of the organisations issuing a widely recognised 'green' seal of approval is the Environmental Working Group.
Video Source: EWG VERIFIED™
There are other marks on the market, but none like EWG VERIFIED™ - backed by EWG's reputation, scientific rigor and 14 years of experience in product evaluations that are recognized worldwide.
Our team of scientists - toxicologists, chemists and epidemiologists - scrutinizes every product so you can be sure that a product bearing the EWG VERIFIED™ symbol meets our strictest standards. And most importantly, EWG VERIFIED™ is 100 percent transparent about our criteria and our evaluations.
EWG VERIFIED™ recognizes products that meet EWG’s strictest standards for human health. These are products that provide full transparency for all ingredients, use good manufacturing practices and avoid EWG’s chemicals of concern.
At Ao we strongly support this transparent approach. Ao is proud to be EWG VERIFIED™, which means they must NOT contain any ingredients that have been banned by international government agencies. But don’t just take our word for it. See it for yourself.
EWG’s Dynamic Skin Deep® Database
Launched in 2004, the EWG’s market-changing Skin Deep® cosmetics database profiles cosmetics and personal care products and their potential hazards and health concerns, and provides you with easy-to-navigate ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market.
Skin Deep® pools data of nearly 60 databases and sources from government agencies, industry panels, academic institutions, or other credible bodies, detailing more than 1,535 unique chemical classifications, which are then used to make an assessment of potential health hazards and data gaps for cosmetic ingredients.
EWG’s methodology is incredibly robust.
From ingredients lists to manufacturing and packaging practices, EWG's testing is carried out using comprehensive frameworks in order to produce reliable scores for those products going through EWG’s verification process.
Not all products make the cut. Only those that 'don't include anything on EWG's extensive list of ingredients of concern' and 'provide a full list of ingredients used get approved'.
That means items that contain any ingredients with health or contamination concerns won't receive EWG's stamp of approval. Their strict labeling requirements are similar to those used in the EU where tighter regulations of everyday products are the norm.
Understanding EWG's Ratings
You can search Skin Deep® for a product, ingredient, company or category.
All EWG VERIFIED™ products go through a rigorous screening process before they’re approved for the mark, and they must score within the green, or low hazard, range in Skin Deep.
For every product and ingredient in Skin Deep®, there’s a two-part score – a hazard score and a data availability score.
- The ingredient hazard score, from 1-10 reflects known and suspected hazards of ingredients.
- The data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies in the published scientific literature and the number included in the Skin Deep database.
The data availability rating provides the scope of ingredient safety data contained in Skin Deep®, and the number of studies available in the open scientific literature. To calculate a product score, EWG tallies the hazards of individual ingredients and evaluate each product in relation to the rest of the products in the Skin Deep® database.
The gold standard is ‘EWG VERIFIED™’, which provides certainty that a product is free of ingredients that are known to be harmful. It also signifies that the EWG is satisfied with a product’s manufacturing processes and all the information supplied.
Ao EWG VERIFIED™ Products
Click on the EWG VERIFIED™ products below to learn more about how their ingredients and formulations meet strict EWG standards.