Overwhelmed by all the news about dangerous chemicals in your cosmetic products? Confused by all that talk about 1,4-dioxane, toluene, and phthalates? The nonprofit Environmental Working Group — developers of the Skin Deep cosmetic safety database — have an easy solution: Just carry a handy shortlist of items NOT to buy.

“Because there are so incredibly many products available to us, I have found it easier to avoid the worst ingredients, the ones we know have adverse environmental health effects,” writes Lisa Frack for EWG’s Enviroblog. “Like reproductive deformities and cancer.”

To make it easy, EWG’s put together a wallet guide, EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics (PDF), you can just whip out when you’re shopping. Don’t worry — You won’t be stuck in the aisles trying to make your way through a huge long list. The guide just lists 7 cosmetic ingredients to avoid, and and 5 products to avoid.

Pickier people like me might prefer to just do their research on the Skin Deep database first and pick out the safest products before hitting the stores. But if you don’t have the time for that, just download the guide (PDF), print it out on recycled paper, and stick it in your wallet.

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