Photo: How to dispose of toxic cosmetics

Avoid the Dirty Dozen in your personal care products. (Credit: Microsoft Images)

Identifying the Dirty Dozen ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics is a huge first step.

Now that you've done your homework — reading the fine-print ingredient lists with their numerous complex chemical names — it's natural to want to turf everything overnight. And you're not alone. Almost 80 per cent of products reported in our cosmetics survey contained at least one of the "Dirty Dozen" ingredients. They are that widespread.

When it comes to disposal, don't throw products in the garbage. One option is to consider finishing up what you have and then buying a safer alternative without harmful ingredients next time.

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If you'd rather stop using your product today, find out if your city considers personal care products household hazardous waste.

A final option is to take a stand and mail your product back to the manufacturer. Include a note explaining your reason, and then ask them to sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.

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