Friday, September 2, 2011

Labeling Fail

Labels can be confusing, can't they? A couple of months ago, when I had the first inklings that some of my products might not be all that good for me, I picked up a few things that I thought were a bit healthier. L'Oreal has a sulfate-free hair care line (EverPure, EverSleek, and EverStrong), so I bought a shampoo and conditioner from them. Luckily, I read the ingredient list before purchasing a new set. These products contain both parabens and parfum/fragrance. Why did they decide to go sulfate-free but not paraben or phthalate-free? Their whole marketing scheme is centered on the absence of sulfates.

I've also been using St. Ives' Blemish & Blackhead Control Apricot Scrub. St. Ives seems to be proud of the fact that their products are paraben and phthalate-free, because it clearly states this fact on the packaging. In much smaller print, in the ingredient list, I found that my scrub contains sulfates. This was particularly annoying because I thought I had a good face scrub. (I really hate trying out new face products, because I often break out.)

Weird labeling can work both ways. I recently purchased Renpure's Amazing Miracle deep penetrating reconstructor. I was drawn to this product because it's label said it didn't contain any sulfates, parabens, colors, or dyes. When I got home, I realized that all of the other Renpure products had said they were phthalate-free as well. I checked the ingredient list and there it was: "fragrance." I was bummed, but then I thought - what are the chances that I picked the ONE product in the line with phthalates. I emailed the company, and I was informed that Amazing Miracle, like all of their products, is phthalate-free. So, how come this is the one label that doesn't say it?

Labels can be confusing, and right now I'm finding it a bit stressful to read all the tiny print in a store before I make a purchase. (I also feel a bit suspicious. I wonder what the salesclerks think of me.) I find making online purchases is helping me to make good choices because the information is (usually) readily available, and I have as much time as I need to check ingredients out. I'm really liking Do you have any helpful hints for someone who's making a switch over to less toxic products?

1 comment:

  1. I definitely feel you on this one, so many companies are hopping on the "natural" marketing bandwagon to attract conscious customers.. but are making very halfhearted changes to their actual ingredients and methods of production. I get so sick of scrutinizing the labels! When I do find a reliable brand I try to order as many products from them as I can (I have found Aubrey Organics to have consistently healthy ingredients). Good luck!