So this is a little rant from me about how you can get caught up in the marketing hype when shopping for beauty and personal care products.
Yesterday I was out doing my weekly shopping at Woolworths and had time to do a quick scan of the shelves in the personal care aisle. Like all busy mums I often grab things on the go, buy something only when I run out and I don’t have a lot of time to research new products. However, now I am more aware of the marketing hype and since I have decided to be more mindful of my purchases taking a bit more time to study the products has been a true revelation.
Take a look at the photos above and below. These are the shelves I stopped at yesterday.
I have slowly seen new brands, from more boutique (it seems) companies appear on the shelves of supermarkets which I have been excited by as it means a wider variety of products on offer for the consumer and it seems (as I used to think) that they are more natural than the other larger brands. Just look at the packaging!
Soft and neutral colours, images of leaves, flower and fruits and names using words like goodness, plants, and natural. They look like they are a ‘healthier ‘option than a Revlon, Dove, Palmolive or Nivea. They probably do use more natural ingredients than these bigger brands but beware, it can be deceiving!
Many of these products still contain ingredients that you should avoid.
I am not saying all these products in my snap shots are ‘bad’, in fact some of these products sit on my shelves at home and some I look forward to trying one day. I am excited that we are getting better products in supermarkets so they are more widely available. However, when you start to read the ingredients on the back of some of these products and check some of the ingredients using the Chemical Maze app – you realise they are not quite what they seem.
What really upsets me is how deceiving some of these brands make their packaging!
They use the word natural, organic and plant based. They even say No SLS, No Parabens, Cruelty Free or Vegan (which they are) but then you read the fine print and realise that there is still some fairly toxic ingredients in them! Maybe just some ingredients are organic when you think it’s all organic, or some of the products in a range are Certified Organic but some aren’t.
As a consumer, it is confusing.
Now we all need to decide what’s important to us and some of you may decide it’s OK to buy these products, at least they are more natural than other brands you used to use. Using these products (part natural or with less toxins) is a step towards going toxic-free. I understand.
However, the frustration is that you feel like you are making a good choice for your family when you grab something as you whizz around the supermarket but unless you arm yourself with the right tools so you can check the details, or do some serious research before your purchase, you just can’t be sure you are buying quality products when you pick a product that looks natural at the supermarket.
In the end, the supermarkets don’t care what is in the products they sell. They are just wanting to offer a variety of ranges at different price points. The beauty industry is self regulated so unless you are picking a product with the Australian Certified Organic “bud logo” on it (you can spot it on the People For Plants packs below), then it’s best to take a closer look at the product before you buy and try to decipher the marketing hype and labelling. Even compare a few similar products or do a quick search on your phone to see what others say about the brand.
I wasn’t in need of anything yesterday so I walked away empty handed (surprisingly) but after studying a few labels I did walk away questioning how some brands get away with it. Hence this rant!
So, when you next go to pick up a more natural looking product from the supermarket shelf, don’t rush the purchase. I promise, if you are more mindful, you will return home either pleased that you didn’t spend more money on something you didn’t need or if you did some quick on-the-spot research you will have bought home a product that you are excited to try as you know it truly is a great more natural alternative to ones you have used in the past.
Tell me have you been fooled by marketing hype and packaging that has sucked you in to purchase it believing it is a great natural product to only later discover it’s not all it seems?