We have all been there, Wanting to choose the best product for our money and our family. Shops full of labels stating Natural, Organic, certified, SLS free, Paraben free, silicone free, ethically sourced, vegan, gluten free, not tested on animals.... and that is just handful.
so what does it all mean?
If label has a few of these stated on the front it must be better then another, if its more expensive it must be better. Right?
Truth is there is no labeling control in Australia for cosmetics unlike food labeling but we confuse the two as we have been taught symbols and labels tell us whats in it, cos lets face it, flip product over and the ingredient lists are written tiny and are full of very long words we wouldn't know where to start. This is what companies are relying on and until we learn to beat them at there own game they will keep plugging out large marketing campaigns to sell us cheap blend that's barely beneficial and potentially harmful.
I'll admit I am certainly not able to read a ingredient list from beginning to end and tell you whats in it. and I don't expect you to either. But over next few blogs I'll give you tips on where to look for what you are buying to make better choices.
What were up against...
THE $4 SHAMPOO THAT SAID ITS SILICONE FREE.
At Christmas I had a really good friend come to stay, I love her to bits and we would both consider ourselves researchers. But we have different interests, she could produce a spread sheet on comparing realestate fees and charges in a afternoon. But when It comes to whats in a shampoo, conditioner or moisturiser and what it does she doesn't really care as long as it works and is affordable. One thing we both like is a bargain.
So she comes home from the supermarket, waving her latest bargain she had found...
$4 for Natural, Silicone free shampoo!!! she was so proud of her purchase, I really should have given her more credit for trying and knowing she was trying impressed me with her find. Looking back, I was a bitch. I barely looked up and didn't even look at her product before stating
" Yeah but is the second ingredient sodium laureth sulfate (AKA SLS)? "
She looked down at her $4 Shampoo, flipped it over and her smile faded.
How did I know?
Truth is shampoo is a cleansing product, like dish washing detergent it needs to cut through oil. So SLS is the cheap cleanser that is incredibly harsh and drying on skin and hair. Removing all oils including natural beneficial ones. Silicone, what this product was claiming it didn't have has slip qualities, it helps smooth and distribute the product. Its very common in conditioners for certain smoothing properties but were also planning to avoid that in the future but that's another story.
The betrayal is this company purposely listing no silicone on their shampoo knowing its not normally in a shampoo formulation and I can bet on their conditioner it states no SLS. Intentionally miss leading customers into believing this product is better then another, especially if they are wanting to avoid silicones due to the coating it leaves on the hair and scalp.
Lucky this time it was only $4... Imagine if it was $14 or $34, This is the reality.
There are those companies out there that will easily charge you big $$$ for cheap fillers and then they slam it in front of you on a daily basis and pump hundreds of thousands of dollars to establish a brand and marketing strategy and then charge you the customer for it. but essentially there is no difference between them and the $4 shampoo company in whats in it and how it performs.
so how do we get the best value and products?
We learn some simple tricks to read the fine print and broaden our knowledge a little to make best decisions for our family and budget.