Are you too a ‘Super Shopper?’

Which personal care product should I pick today?

Are you a ‘Super Shopper?’ If you’re like me, you wander up and down the aisles at the grocery store and pharmacies reading labels. You may gaze longingly at the window displays at professional beauty salons. The choices available seem endless! What makes one better than the other? Which one is best for your personal health and really enhances your beauty?

Of course, you can always pick one of the ‘big boys’ – they’re everywhere! I can even get mini-bottles of shampoo at my local convenience store. That worked for me until I went to China. I found a shelf of 14 different colored shampoos but all the labels were in Chinese – which I can’t read! Too many choices!

Over the years, I’ve developed some basic criteria for choosing personal care products. Please write to us here at the PP Blog at if you have more suggestions to add to this list!

  • Targeted Effects – Don’t choose a dandruff shampoo if you don’t have dandruff. You’ll probably get it! The first thing to look at on the box or bottle is whether it meets your specific needs.
  • Ingredients – By laws in almost every country, manufacturers must list all of their ingredients. One exception is fragrance – there can be a lot of different molecules in tiny quantities to make the scent and governments don’t require them all to be listed. Ingredients are listed in order of the amount used in the formula. When I see the contents lists “water” as the first ingredient, I usually put that one down and look for something more concentrated. I can always add water!
  • Health Benefits –A few kitchen disasters and several sunburns have taught me that aloe vera really does help heal damaged skin while arnica gel has relieved many a torn muscle. My mother’s home remedies of lemon and vinegar for hair rinses really did lighten and brighten my hair as a child. And her compresses of witch hazel cooled my childhood fevers. Personal experience with ingredients may be the best teacher, especially because some people will have allergic reactions to an ingredient that others find helpful and healing.
  • Research – What does science say? Maybe in the past, makers of beauty products could slip in toxic chemicals but no more! The internet-literate customer is forcing a huge change on all kinds of industries. We do our homework! In fact, marketing people now realize that the typical customer these days has become much more sophisticated. We map out and list our needs, then read studies and reviews before we buy.

    If science says phthalates and parabens cause harm, and there’s empirical evidence from ‘people testing’ to prove it, then I will try to avoid them. The more you know, the safer you are!

  • Branding – Here’s where your research can really make the difference. Sure, we all know the ‘Big Boy’ brands – they spend billions on advertising to make sure we recognize their names. But think about it – how healthy is a can of Coke or a Big Mac, no matter how delicious?

    So-called “impulse buyers” (we all fall into this category sometimes) walk into a store and are attracted to the bright colors, fancy graphics, and familiar names of products. If there’s an emotional connection, whether because of a touching TV ad or a personal experience we’ve had, we’ll gravitate to those items.

    But nowadays, we no longer need fall into the traps of these predators. We can find out a lot about the companies we buy from simply by ‘googling’ them. We can read their annual reports, marketing materials including their websites, blogs, and Facebook pages. We can find product reviews by both professionals and consumers, and scholarly treatises on their influences. Perhaps most importantly, we can find out what causes they support and what political biases they may promote. If you agree with their stands on issues like animal testing, safe ingredients, government regulations, etc., then buy from them. If you don’t, you have the power to protest by simply not giving them more money and refusing to buy their products.

Being a ‘Super Shopper,’ you know personal care products are power tools.

They meet more than basic needs; they are an investment in your health and beauty. They can influence your personal power to get that good job, attend that special party, maybe even attract that perfect love.

Why waste your personal power on ‘fast food’ beauty products with name brands? For about the same cost – or often less – you can choose to support a small company, perhaps even a local one, that makes a product that is safe, healthy, uses the finest ingredients, and is targeted to your specific needs?

Of course, it’s always possible to go back to simple soap-and-water but if I have the money to invest in personal care, I also have the power to choose and to support the best.

How do YOU choose your personal care?

Image courtesy of photostock /

By Teviot Fairservis.


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