Ready to spend your hard-earned dough (or your tax return for USA readers) on some of those fabulous natural beauty goods online? Whether it’s a solopreneur selling handmade concoctions or a bigger company doling out pure, natural products by the bulk, you always want to keep yourself informed and armed with the right info before choosing to indulge and invest in their products. As you’ve noticed, some of them don’t come cheap, so to avoid returns or an unhappy purchase, keep an eye out for these factors.
If you want CERTIFIED organic, look for any certification symbols like ECOCERT, USDA Certified Organic, OASIS, or the Soil Association.
Yes, there are many different organizations clamoring to give businesses this service, and they all vary from each other. Some require that at least 90% of the product’s ingredients are organic, while others allow a small amount of synthetics.
Nevertheless, this is one time where skimming won’t do you much good, especially if you’re looking solely for certified organic. Keep an eye out for symbols or logos on the product detail pages themselves, or on the footer. They may also just list the certifications after the ingredient lists themselves.
Check the store’s “About” and “FAQ” pages as well for more details if you’re unsure. The same can go for cruelty-free and vegan products. Look for the Leaping Bunny symbol, or notifications that the products are vegan. Reading ingredient lists help here, too.
A clear, detailed and well written About page.
You want to learn about who’s behind the natural beauty products you’re about to buy, and why they’re in business. Taking the plunge to go natural is still a big risk, even after all the research you’ve done. The last thing you want to do is invest in a company with little to no information on who they are, and a blank or unfinished about page only looks shady. If you don’t know a thing about the owners, how do you know what’s behind the products?
Company blogs are also a source of info behind the company’s policies and mission statement.
Complete transparency is crucial in the natural and green beauty industry.
This rule is very important. Make sure they disclose all the ingredients used in each product, as well as the benefits for the specific, key ingredients they use. This can usually be found right in the product description, so don’t skim. This is your skin and health we’re talking about! Some companies may brightly illustrate their key ingredients for easier reading.
Assuming you have a list of what ingredients you plan to personally avoid, keep an eye out for them. Any natural beauty company that has something to hide isn’t one you want to do business with, period. Also, if they have “fragrance” ambiguously listed, ask about it. I have, and have gotten quick responses about the nature of the fragrance, such as them using synthetic fragrance oils, but being phthalate-free. Because I do tolerate small amounts of synthetics, I’d personally accept this and buy the product.
Look for lots of reviews written by actual customers, then generalize its effectiveness.
Newer companies may not have too many, so use your best judgement. Take a look at the newer company’s About page, Twitter, Facebook, or blog – that can give you an idea of whether its worth making an investment. (If you’re not ready for a big purchase, look at the tip below). You may need to ask around, or do a search on the company to see if anyone’s done some video reviews on Youtube, or randomly mentioned them on their own natural beauty blog.
When buying on Etsy, you can view their past feedback for a clue on the quality, as well as some feedback on specific items. They may say “the lip gloss worked so well!” along with a general statement about quick shipping. If all the feedback’s relatively positive, you should be all right. Of course, look for feedback about the particular item(s) you’re about to buy first. You can also check out the Etsy seller’s past sales to see which of their products are the most popular.
For normal ecommerce platforms, their store should have an option to display reviews on the product detail page. For example, 100% Pure’s highly rated coffee bean eye cream (it’s seriously boss stuff, I’ll be doing a review on it soon) product page lists the reviews at the bottom for your perusal. You can also try checking Makeupalley.com for product reviews or do a Google search for “name of product + review”.
Always look for sample or trial sizes before committing.
Whether you’re trying a new company or trying a new product out, getting a trial size or sample is obviously the smartest option. Like walking into a department store, you want to be able to try before you commit. Online, these sample sizes will still cost you a little money plus shipping. However, the pain of discovering that a product doesn’t work for you won’t sting as much if you just sprung for a sample. Most companies offer some sort of trial size. If they don’t, just ask.
Even if it’s not free (and it likely won’t be), it’s best to spend mini bucks to try and toss than splurge mega bucks and getting a rash.
So, are you about to make the big spend?
What company are you going to try next? If you did, what experience did you have? So far, my plunges have been positive, and none of the products I’ve tried have given me a bad reaction. If you’re questioning a company now and need some feedback, leave me a comment!