Deciphering ingredient lists on products is one thing (we can help you with this), but you should also learn how to read seals. Lots of brands list what synthetic ingredients are NOT in their products, such as "sulfate-free". Other products will add stamps or seals to their packaging to help you figure out what is in a product. Here a short list of what some of these seals mean and how to best decipher them. It's not a complete list but a great start.
USDA Organic - 100%: If you see this government-issued seal, PLUS the words 100% organic, you know every ingredient in this product is certified organic - free of any synthetic additives.
USDA - Organic: If you see the USDA seal and the word organic but no percentage, you know that at least 95% of the ingredients are organic.
No USDA - but "Made with Organic Ingredients": This product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.
Non-GMO Project: Evaluated by a 3rd party and verified to contain no genetically modified ingredients.
Certified Vegan: This seals means that the product has not been tested on any animal and does not contain any animal products or by-products.
EcoCert: This is a European certification that indicates the formula is made up of at least 95% plant-based ingredients, contains no GMOs and has not been tested on animals. This seal also denotes that the packaging is biodegradable or recyclable.
NPA: Stands for "Natural Products Association" and the seal stands for formulas made up of only (or almost only) synthetic-free ingredients. None of the additives in products labeled with this seal can pose suspected human health risks. No animal testing allowed. All packaging must be "environmental sensitive".
EWG Verified: Stands for "Environmental Working Group" who has created a list of over 1000 unacceptable substances or chemicals of concern. If you see this seal, the product does NOT include anything on this list.
Leaping Bunny: This bunny icon stands for no animal testing on any of the ingredients listed in the finished formula.
Made Safe: If you see this seal you know that the product does not contain any known "toxicants". They look at how the formula is made and where the ingredients are sourced. Ingredients are screened using a proprietary database.
Fair Trade: The Fair Trade Certified seal means that one or more of the ingredients in the product were produced and traded in accordance with Fair Trade USA's standards. The seal does not signify that the product was grown only by small-scale farmers and traded directly. Compliance with the standards is verified.
Downloadable PDF - courtesy of DannyTheCoach