Las Vegas, Nevada - Beauty products and cosmetics have become overgrown with labels covered with flowers and greenery and words like natural and healthy. The September 2014 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, features an in-depth look at hidden health risks that can be found in cosmetics and other beauty products, ingredients to avoid, and more.

“The problem is that some of these manufacturers are appealing to shoppers looking for healthier beauty products by changing what’s on the container—not what’s in it,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Yes, there might be aloe or shea butter added, but there might also be lots of stuff you don’t want to rub on your body every day.”

As a result of consumer demand, some manufacturers have been phasing out certain problematic chemicals, but there are still dangers consumers should be aware of. The following information from ShopSmart identifies ingredients to avoid and meaningful labels and apps that help users make better choices when shopping for beauty products.

Ingredient Watch List

When buying cosmetics, ShopSmart recommends checking ingredients lists for chemicals including the following — some of them are outright banned or restricted in other countries:

Meaningful Labels

The terms “natural,” “dermatologist tested,” and “hypoallergenic” aren’t meaningful because they aren’t independently verified. Below are some examples of terms and seals that are legit according to ShopSmart’s safety experts:

Beauty Product Shopping Apps

When shopping for beauty products, ShopSmart recommends using these free apps to evaluate ingredients and help narrow down choices:

The full report, which includes more ingredients to avoid, specific product recommendations, and other meaningful labels and seals, is featured in the September 2014 issue of ShopSmart on newsstands now.

About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at