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Decoding Beauty Product Labels

How familiar are you with the terminology found on the labels of your favorite beauty products? In this post, learn what some of the common terms mean to help you make better choices when shopping for bath and beauty products.

Shopping for bath and beauty products can be overwhelming with all the choices out there. If you're trying to adhere to a natural lifestyle or have an allergy, it can especially confusing once you turn over the package and read the label of your favorite skincare or haircare products. Knowing what these 15 common terms means can make your selection process easier so you get the exact ingredients you want for the results you love.

1. Hypoallergenic: Not likely to cause an allergic reaction in individuals who are normally sensitive to cosmetics. You should still read the ingredients carefully and test the product on a small area if you have concerns.

2. Non-Comedogenic: The ingredients in the product shouldn't clog your pores, which can lead to blackheads and breakouts of acne.

3. Paraben Free: Contains no parabens, which are a type of preservative used to prolong the freshness of a product.

4. Sulfate Free: Contains no sulfates, which are compounds added to everything from shampoo to toothpaste to help them foam up and generate a lather.

5. Cruelty Free: The product has never been tested on animal subjects for allergic reactions, staying power or any other purpose. Look for the official seal to be sure.

6. Clinically Tested: The product was rigorously tested in a controlled environment (laboratory) for safety and effectiveness with human participants.

7. Phthalate Free: Contains no phthalates, which are added to plastics to make them more flexible or used in liquids as solvents to help blend ingredients together.

8. Petroleum Free: Contains no petroleum, which is a crude oil used in beauty products as a moisturizer. It may also be labeled as mineral oil or petrolatum.

9. No DEA's: Free of DEA's, which are chemicals added to products like shampoo to help them lather up into a thick foam. Also known as diethanolamine or cocamide DEA.

10. No Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Contains no sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a type of detergent added to boost cleansing benefits.

11. Vegetarian Friendly: A vegetarian product may still contain ingredients like beeswax or honey, which are produced by animals.

12. Vegan Friendly: A vegan product doesn't contain any direct animal products or byproducts, making it entirely plant based.

13. Organic: This label could mean the product is made with some organic ingredients or entirely out of organic ingredients. Look for the USDA seal.

14. Non-GMO: The product is free of genetically modified ingredients. You can also look for the seal of the Non-GMO Project.

15. Natural: We saved this one for last because it can be tricky. Labeling a product as "natural" may mean it's made without anything artificial or it just may mean some of the ingredients used are all-natural. Do your research and look for any of the other labels listed above to understand exactly what's in there.

Look for these terms on your product labels to choose the right products for you. Shop top bath and beauty brands like Honest Company, EOS, Burt's Bees and more now at eVitamins!

Legal Disclaimer:
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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