Over the past few years it has been increasingly common to see products being marketed as “Free From” certain ingredients. The list is large but typically you will see the brands stating that they are free from parabens, SLES, mineral oil, silicones etc.  The rise of “free from” marketing co-incided with the move towards more natural products which co-insided with a move towards chemical phobia which co-insided with a lot of viral marketing, scare mongering, publicity, information sharing etc of information about the foresaid chemicals. Some of which had a basis in truth and some which didn’t.

The trouble with “Free From”  marketing is that A) it is just that, marketing.  The manufacturer has seen a way to get into a niche market which is growing nicely and making products without these chemicals that are in the chemical sin bin is one way to get some shelf space. B) it doesn’t give the same emphasis on what is in the product and surely it is that fact that is more important!

This week Frances body for fraud and competition control along with the French authority on the safety of health products agreed that stating what is out and not what is in is misleading and potentially dangerous as consumers get only half of the story.  See more at Cosmetic Design Europe website.

At Realize Beauty we understand that some ingredients are useful to avoid if you have certain skin conditions, are using the product on children or babies, have  environmental concerns or suffer from other health issues. Therefore mentioning on the manufactures web site what ingredients they choose and what they don’t while giving reasons is perfectly legitimate. However, giving up half of your packaging to listing what’s not inside is, in our opinion something that should send out alarm bells to the consumer.

The funniest and most alarming claim that Realize Beauty has ever seen on a pack is “Chemical free”. As we all know that water is a chemical we were very keep to either A) take the product without paying as the “free” obviously meant that it was without charge or B) The company was selling us nothing but a  vacuum pack as even air contains chemicals. Either way, we didn’t buy it.

Have fun when you shop and remember to share your stories with us. An educated consumer is an empowered consumer!