Mindful Echo is reading her labels.
I'm sure most of us are in the practice of reading labels when we're buying our groceries. For me, at least, it's been common practice to check the ingredients, the grams of sugar, sodium, and so on. It comes naturally when I shop because I have food allergies and I want to be conscious about what I'm putting in my body.
The strange thing is, I'm not generally as cautious when it comes to what I'm putting ON my body. It makes no sense because I do have sensitive skin and I want to limit unnecessary exposure to chemicals.
Sure, I check to make sure things are "natural" or "organic" or "plant derived" but I rarely flip a package over. Why? Because I cannot make any sense of the label. Unlike with food, where I can recognize different names for sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose) and gluten (maltodextrin, modified food starch), with body and cosmetic products, I can't identify a single word.
So, how can I tell if it's what I want to be buying? Let's take this Nature's Gate Hemp Shampoo as an example.
At first glance it checks all my boxes:
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth/Coco Sulfate Free
But when I look a bit further down the label, I'm met with a wall of words that mean nothing to me. Like, nothing. (Okay, that's not true. I know that "water" is the first ingredient. But after that I'm totally out of the loop!)
What I do appreciate about this label is that it provides clarification for most of the ingredients in brackets to provide some recognizable language to the consumer, like Vitamin C, Milk Thistle, Plant Derived, etc.
Still, I question whether all this stuff is actually something I need or want to be using.
To be clear, I don't believe that synthetic automatically equals bad. What I do wonder about, though, is if all this processing is actually creating the best product for my body.
Ideally, I'd be using hand made products for everything: pretty bars of soap with minimal ingredients and sweet little jars of scrubs and creams made from everyday sources. In the meantime though, it'd be nice to be able to read a bottle of shampoo without an advanced degree in biochemistry.
What are your thoughts? Does it matter what's in the cocktail as long as all the ingredients are "natural?"