Lately, when I stroll the aisles at Shopper’s Drug Mart, I look like someone who’s so obsessed with Instagram’d photos of cherry tomatoes I can’t keep my eyes off my cell phone. But what I’m actually obsessed with is an online tool called Good Guide, a quick and easy search database created by a UC Berkeley professor that determines the health, environmental and social impact of the products you use.

After I discovered that many of my favourite, seemingly “natural” brands contained parabens and other harmful chemicals, I began a (somewhat frantic) search for alternatives that were actually healthy. My Googling led me to Good Guide, where a team of scientists have done the research for you. They’ve been talked up by the New York Times and Oprah, and they’re a “for benefit” and registered B Corporation company.

All you have to do is type in a product, and a report card comes up, with a numerical rating listing the health concerns, environmental impact, and social policies of the product and company. Every product is given an overall score, and then the scores are broken down into categories, so depending on your main area of concern, you can make your own judgement. Good Guide’s scientists are listed up front on their home page, and their information is invaluable. They even have a mobile app, so, like me, you can analyze your purchases on the go. You can also create a personalized Purchase Analyzer.

I was shocked at the report card of some of my favourite products, and have made a lot of changes since using Good Guide. If you’d like to start incorporating more natural products into your beauty routine, your home, and your meals, this is a great resource that takes a lot of the legwork (well, okay, ALL of the legwork!) out of discovering what products are right for you!

~ Haley Cullingham