Apologies in advance for my rant (let’s be honest from the start, this will be a rant! See what I did there, I was being transparent!) but I’ve recently had a very interesting and engaging discussion back and forth over the course of a few days with the ever lovely Galina from A Curious Russian In London about the importance for brands to list full ingredients on their websites. (Spoiler alert – we can’t stand it).
This topic is something that has been weighing on my mind a lot and it is most definitely a pet peeve of mine. I will not be mentioning any names or pointing any fingers because that’s not what this is about, rather it’s about conveying my thoughts and opinions on the matter of full disclosure and how this really affects how I perceive a brand AND, most importantly for them, whether I end up becoming a customer. We all have a financial bottom line to cover and I know that it matters where I drop my cash. This is me being brutally honest, but if I go to a website only to find products without their full ingredients listed I am instantly turned off. And I leave. I’m not interested in investigating further because I honestly believe that the brands who are proud of what they are doing and creating are making sure that it’s conveyed loud and clear on their websites. As a consumer I shouldn’t have to email to ask for more information. There are many who are doing it right but equally many who aren’t. And that could be a great shame for those who are actually doing things with integrity and honesty in their production but not quite succeeding in communicating it. Then there are brands that deliberately choose not to disclose anything on their websites…in my opinion? Probably the most foolish thing to do AND it raises major flags with me. The green beauty industry is most certainly going through some major shifts right now which means awareness is growing and everyone wants a piece of the pie. (If you haven’t read Tamara of Rainbow Feet recent eloquent post about it you should. Let me make it easy for you and offer this clickable link.) A part of me feels that some brands naively (and some not so naively) think that throwing a little “natural” here and a bit of “organic” there will suffice and yes, I’m sure there are those who may not be as discerning (and not into reading ingredients lists) BUT there are just as many of us out there who do a tremendous amount of research in our free time, and this is where I feel not disclosing full information about ingredients is a bit of an insult. And did I mention it was frustrating? Not sure if that is coming out from this post. Yes people, I’m taking it personally. I like to know where and to what my money is going. I understand the value of good marketing and for those brands who are doing it right, marketing can make a huge difference. However, a pretty bottle, fabulous packaging and design and flowery descriptions of how organic and natural a product is without mentioning ingredients will not make me buy it until I’ve seen a list. And by list, I mean the complete list, not just the active ingredients (some which can actually be found further down and then you wonder how active it really is!). Why do I want to see a full list? So I can make a call on whether the product is suitable for me, for my skin, for my lifestyle. There may be certain preservatives I avoid, certain essential oils that I react to along with many other reasons and I would like to be able to make that judgement call from your website. Have I ever bought a product without scanning the ingredients list? Of course I have, I’m only human and especially BNWG (Before Nic Went Green) I couldn’t tell you what Helianthus Annuus is but the more knowledge I arm myself with, the more discerning I become. This post is not only for me but for those who spend their time deciphering ingredients lists because we care about what we put on our bodies for various individual reasons. It’s also a post for brands, giving some friendly advice about what we consumers expect to see on websites.
So this is a request from a discerning green beauty consumer, please list full ingredients for products on your website. Please don’t expect me to email you about it. If that’s what it takes, I don’t bother. If you’re proud to be natural and organic and you’ve invested in making products that are kind to our skin and to the environment, you’d want to let the whole world know. Once again, not doing this raises red flags. And in a day and age where we can just click our way to the next option, brands want to be doing this correct from the start. Or am I wrong? Please join me in the comments as I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way.
From a disgruntled Nic