The Number One Ingredient to Avoid When Shopping "Clean"
We all know parabens are a big fat 'no', and we all know that we should avoid sulfates. Dare I say, a fair few of us even avoid PEGs and even phenoxyethanol, but there is this one very annoying ingredient that's still widely used throughout the beauty industry and it is artificial fragrance.
"Fragrance/Parfum" on an ingredient list is a snake in the grass, and I'll tell you exactly why. We don't know what's in it, and fragrance formulators do not have to tell us. I wrote a more in-depth article on this a long time ago, and if you'd like to check it out, find it here.
Full Disclosure Is A Must, and I will stand hollering on that hill until my last breath is gone. One of the key skills we must develop when shopping for products that are not toxic to our bodies is the ability to effectively read an ingredient list and use our own discernment in our purchase decisions. If the ingredients are not disclosed, we are essentially stripped of that essential knowledge.
(hilarious quote pilfered from my friend Kelsey over at Paris Laundry)
Artificial fragrance concoctions should be avoided by everyone, but especially by anyone with dermatitis, allergies, sensitive skin, or anyone who suffers with eczema or psoriasis. It's important for those of us within those categories to have the ability to spot, eliminate, and avoid ingredients that cause us discomfort. We can't avoid what we can't see.
"Natural Fragrance" is not a whole lot better, either, unless the company discloses everything fully online and only uses the term "natural fragrance" to save label space. Naturally-derived ingredients may still not be suitable for everyone, and can still use less-than-savory solvents that we'd rather not use. Again, we can't avoid what we can't see.
If you're looking to start cleaning up your household and beauty products, and you feel overwhelmed by all of the no-no ingredients, start with "fragrance" (and the few mentioned in the first paragraph if you're feeling ambitious).
Another thing that helps in the beginning is finding a shop that you trust to carry wholesome products. If you happen to be on the hunt for a shop such as that, check out Paris Laundry. My friend Kelsey is a breast cancer survivor and she does a tremendous job formulating and curating clean products for the whole fam! She usually has a selection of my products in-stock as well!
It is absolutely shocking how many of our everyday products are still polluted with artificial fragrances, but when we vote with our dollars, we can make a huge difference over time.
What's one ingredient that you avoid like the plague in the products you purchase? Share in the comments below!