There is a currently growing trend towards a more transparent beauty market, one that uses jargon like “organic,” “natural,” “non-toxic,” “green,” and “clean.” But all these terms create nothing but confusion for the customers. The meanings of each word are likely to vary from brand to brand – and it’s even truer for branded products.
A product that appears natural for one business may be unnatural from another company’s perspective, so it’s quite hard to differentiate between what’s “good” and what’s “bad.” There’s a chance the product you’re currently using is yet another useless product with phony labeling attached to it. No matter how well someone tries to live a healthy lifestyle – whether through diet, exercise, or nutritional supplementation – they may still come in contact with harmful ingredients (like sulfates and parabens) without fully knowing their after-effects.
How can you navigate the sea of products when it’s filled to the brim with bogus jargon? Is it even possible? Fortunately, it is. You only need to read further to better understand some of the more popular terminologies and understand what is right for you. By taking the time to educate and inform yourself, you can finally start to make better decisions for both yourself and your well-being.
First Things First: Understand the Terminology
Unscrupulous marketing tricks are being used to trick people into buying a product they shouldn’t have purchased in the first place. So before we dive into the products themselves, let’s first start with a breakdown of the various terminology used. That way, the next time you go shopping, you can tell the difference between what’s good and what’s bad.
- Natural Products: Every product can be classified as a “natural product” if it contains at least one natural component. As a result, corporations can get away with simply filling an otherwise artificial product with small portions of natural ingredients; even adding water would do the job. And, since the term “natural” is not tightly controlled, you’re better off reading the labels.
- Organic Products: Cosmetics labeled as “organic” contain components derived from plants, and they are cultivated without using artificial fertilizers or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic products need to include at least 70% organic components to earn the “made with organic” designation, and no harmful chemicals (such as paraffin, sulfates, or synthetic colors) to be termed as “organic.”
- Vegan Products: Vegan cosmetics are products that don’t include any animal ingredients or byproducts. Vegan products are tricky in a way that they could still deploy harmful chemicals without mentioning them on the labels. Furthermore, vegan cosmetics are more expensive than conventional cosmetics, making them a niche product that not everyone can buy.
- Toxic-Free Products: Just like “natural products,” toxic-free labels can’t be trusted. There’s no law in place like we have with organic products, which helps determine whether the product is free from chemicals. Not all toxins are bad, though. Some are actually beneficial to our skin if appropriately regulated.
In addition to these terms, there are perhaps a hundred more jargon-filled words and phrases out there, further perplexing an already befuddled client base. Nevertheless, the terminologies are helpful, but checking the ingredients before purchasing anything would be better. If you are unsure whether a specific chemical is good or bad, a quick online search will help solve the problem!
Do Your Research
The reason corporations create enigmatic things is simple: it sells. Why does it sell? Because most consumers do not want to do their homework before making a purchase. Some people don’t even read the labels, which can be disastrous in the long run. These harmful products will not affect you immediately, but the damage will progress gradually. We refer to them as “slow killers.”
Another term that often misleads people is “preservatives.” Without knowing what a preservative means, people often confuse it with harmful chemicals. However, in reality, preservatives work to keep microorganisms at bay. Preservatives are an essential component of any cosmetic or canned product, allowing them to last for an extended period without spoiling.
Certain items might be far more dangerous without preservatives than they’re with them. Using preservatives can help prevent the spread of fungus and bacteria and extend items’ shelf life. Furthermore, some preservatives can be completely safe, like Vitamin C. And unless a company is misusing the preservatives, the products are ready for use.
Products You Need to Read the Labels On
Reading labels is a habit that you must familiarize yourself with if you want to be healthy on both the inside and the outside. Remember, the labels at the front can be gimmicky, and the important ones are hidden behind the shampoo’s back with minuscule letterings. For instance, shampoos often try to hide harmful chemicals in the huge list of ingredients they contain.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, parabens, and dimethicone are just a few of the harmful substances commonly found in hair care products with the label “natural” stuck to the front. Companies are trying hard to normalize these chemicals, but make no mistake: long-term use will almost certainly result in a slew of issues.
Another commonly used product that often gets under the radar is lotion. Yes, a nice bottle of lotion can help keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. But, in addition to moisturization, have you ever considered that they are the ones making your skin coarse, not the aging process itself? Well, most lotions contain harmful chemicals that make you feel good for a short period but harm you in the long run. Chemicals like triethanolamine, retinyl palmitate, parabens, and DMDM hydantoin are commonly found in lotion, and you should avoid them.
Much like lotion and shampoo, several other cosmetics like conditioners, body wash, or your face wash may contain unwanted chemicals. Companies will try to sell you these things with deals, and you will frequently see celebrities endorsing them. Don’t fall for their marketing ploys, and be sure to use your best judgment before purchasing any beauty product.
What Can You Do?
Even if you enjoy a product but are doubtful about its components even after scouring the internet for more information, you may hire any lab for beauty product testing to double-check it. In fact, it’s always a good idea to use products that have undergone rigorous testing, not only to ensure their effectiveness, but to also confirm that it contains the ingredients listed on the bottle – and nothing more.
In turn, this will provide you with a report that includes all the materials used in the product, as well as any heavy metals or contaminants that may be present. Lab testing is probably as safe as you can go to know about a product’s legitimacy. So, before you make any purchase, regardless of the product, remember to read the ingredient list on the back and do your due diligence. Your future self will thank you!