Do you read ingredient lists on the back of food products and make a conscious decision to buy cleaner, healthier food? If you answered yes, then it’s time to start reading the label on that tube of mascara or foundation so you can make better makeup and skincare decisions too!

Did you know that 60 per cent of the products you put on your skin are absorbed directly into your bloodstream? It’s safe to say that you’re not only what you eat, but also what you put on your face.

Surveys have shown that one in three women wear makeup every time they leave the house, even if they’re only heading to the grocery store or going to the gym.

This might seem like a harmless statistic at face value, but the flow on environmental effects are far-reaching.

In a bid to help Australian women choose safer products, a new labelling standard to identify eco-friendly toiletries and cosmetics was released yesterday.

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has produced the label and will oversee certification of the standard.

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GECA says the new standards cover personal care products and toiletries such as soaps, shampoos, skin care, cosmetics and deodorants.

To display the label, manufacturers will need to satisfy conditions on palm oil, toxic chemicals and ‘greenwashing’.

Tom Godfrey is director of GECA and the spokesperson for the consumer group Choice.

“Really it’s about giving an accurate understanding of these ingredients that go into everyday cosmetics,” he said in an interview with the ABC.

“It’s about giving consumers the ability to make an informed choice and the value of a mark like this really comes through its independence.

“We know that on packaging there are a lot of claims of products that offer a green certification or a green seal but really we don’t know what’s behind those claims.”

GECA says the new label sets a standard for best practice environmental labelling.

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Here are some of our recommendations when it comes to natural personal care products:

Burt’s Bees

This skin care company (lip balms, soaps, lotions, cologne, etc.) maintains its commitment to the environment and customer health. Unlike many cosmetic companies, Burt’s is transparent about its products’ ingredients and even helps consumers translate the fine print.

Sukin

Sukin is an environmentally conscious, natural personal care company from Australia. They offer more than 50 products carefully crafted using natural ingredients. Winner of the 2010 Victorian Governor’s Emerging Exporter of the Year award, Sukin proves that sustainable business practices along with natural, effective and affordable products from Australia are in high demand.

Uniquely Natural

Uniquely Natural is a South Australian company whose products are made using plant based ingredients for skin care wherever possible. Their product range also extends to hair care, baby care and household.

Share your tips! What skincare and beauty brands do you recommend and why?