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How to spot and replace toxic cosmetics

DENVER -- Many of these products have been around for decades, but a new spotlight on what might be in your bathroom cabinet reveals some hidden risks.

The Colorado Public Interest Research Group says the average American is exposed to 100 chemicals from personal care products before they walk out the door each day.

COPIRG founder Danny Katz said the research is based on studies by the Breast Cancer Fund and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Unfortunately, the Federal Drug Administration doesn't check every product for safety before they hit the store shelves," he said.

Katz said a key red flag is the sole use of the word “fragrance” on labels.

“Fragrance could be one of any number of 3,000 chemicals," Katz said.

Labels on nontoxic clean products usually provide specific information about each ingredient, including where the “fragrance” comes from.

Some consumers are put off by the idea of purchasing nontoxic products because they have a history of being more expensive, but the cost is coming down due to increased demand.

Aillea shop in Denver’s Larimer Square had nontoxic eyeshadow for as little as $12. That’s cheaper than prices at many department and drug store chains.

Kathryn Dickinson of Aillea said there's "a great smoky eye, a great red lipstick a long lasting foundation and not have to sacrifice any bit of your health for it.”

If you can't afford a nontoxic health and beauty product makeover, experts recommend replacing the item you use the most, such as lipstick which tends to be ingested and worn more often than other cosmetics in your bag.