wait for it..........
Become a label reader
That's it. So easy, but, I've found, not something people do. They may perhaps read what the advertisers and designers want them to read, the bits that catch your eye, like flashy catch phrases promising "organic" or "all-natural" "naturally derived ingredients" "healthy". Sadly, too many times I'll pick up a cosmetic or body care product promising me something organic and all natural, and I'll find the ingredients riddled with toxins masked with complicated names, then aha! it has Aloe in it! Yayness. The four poisons above and the ten after that magical "all natural" ingredient are totally irrelevant 'cause you know, Aloe is natural. It may even be organically grown!
Take some time to educate yourself on those long and unpronounceable names, learn to discern which are harmful chemicals, and which are simply latin names for actually natural ingredients. Because sometimes you'll actually be surprised to find that, hey this actually is an all natural product! Oh so rare, but fun when it happens. I'll be doing a series soon on truly all natural cosmetics and body care products.
This tip is not just useful for cosmetics and body care products. Food, cleaning/household care items fall into this as well. If you are going to buy processed, or packaged food, try to keep ingredients under ten. If there are more ingredients than that, red flags begin to appear. If you don't know what it is, or it's hard to pronounce, chances are it has no place in your food!
Cleaning products are trickier, as they try to hide ingredients as much as possible, and companies dealing in cleaning products are notoriously underhand in claiming all natural when they aren't really.
So, in short (a little late for that, I know. I'm so long winded...) read labels, and educate yourself on what you are reading. After a few months, it will become second nature.
I really hope this helps anyone considering a more natural lifestyle!
Til next time!
p.s. Though not complete here is a good visual. I would add though, "fragrance" in general should be completely avoided. Not just "artificial fragrance"