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 vitacost.com. Do you have any helpful hints for someone who's making a switch over to less toxic products?