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5 Easy Steps To Decipher The Hidden Ingredients In Your Fragrances

By Maria Cook

Most eco-conscious parents have a habit of reading food labels. But what about cosmetics labels? From shampoo to lotion, products for adults and kids can hide some unhealthy surprises. And there are some ingredients that companies aren't required to disclose. Scent, in particular, is allowed to be listed simply as "fragrance." Luckily, there are ways to get a better idea of what's in your family's products, mainly by examining what's behind the "fragrance" portion of labels. Here are five easy steps to help ensure that you always know what's in the products you and your kids use. 

1. Avoid artificial scents entirely.

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Avoiding artificial scents altogether is both a step and a solution in one. As green and healthy living become more mainstream, more companies are emerging to produce products free from all sorts of artificial or harmful ingredients. This includes products with no artificial scents at all. Such products will be scented with natural ingredients, such as essential oils. They are often marked organic or all-natural, though you'll still need to read the label to ensure that every individual ingredient is listed.

It's worth noting, however, that avoiding artificial scents altogether can be easier said than done. Organic and all-natural products tend to be more expensive than their traditional counterparts, and harder to find. Those on a tight budget or living in rural areas might find this step especially difficult. Children also tend to get attached to certain products, which can complicate matters. What if your kiddo absolutely loves their favorite shampoo, and you'd love for them to be able to keep using it, you just want to know whether or not it's safe? Luckily there are ways to find out.