If you're like me (busy af) and don't have time to sit down and research each ingredient of each product you use the last drop and have to buy more - you're usually buying what looks 'right.'
I've been lucky so far in choosing some really good products just by taking some time in store to read a bit of the packing and taking a chance. I also haven't had a bad time choosing Canadian-made products. Oh, Canada you've treated me well!
However there are some go to tips and websites you can use in a pinch to make a better decision. If you take a few minutes before you purchase or at the bare minimum check it out after you buy and if it's horrible don't buy it again!
1. Read the damn label: If there's 18 bajillionty products... maybe pass. Like it or not, simple is actually better (in all things, for reals) so that's usually best.
2. Check out if they torture cute little animals: There are many, many websites for this. Peta has the biggest one (they're a little militant for my tastes and through research I've read that Peta's criteria can be lax) However, like anything on the internet, it's best to check a couple of sources to see if you get consistent information. So check out a few of the sites below or straight-up perform a Google search with the company's name and "tests on animals" and see what you find!
Peta's Beauty Without Bunnies Search
Cruelty-Free Kitty's List of 100% Cruelty Free Brands
The Leaping Bunny Program's search page
3. Know a few of the really, really bad ingredients off by heart:
Cosmetics: BHA and BHTs, parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, DEA related chemicals, dyes or colourants that start with a CI or Blue #x, formaldehyde releasing products (too many to name, click link) and artificial fragrances.
Food: Anything that actually says 'artificial' like colour, flavour etc...(Red 3, Blue 1 & 2,) BHA and BHT again (eww it's in both!) As well as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame & sucralose (my faves,) sodium chloride, MSG (obviously) and soy that isn't actually a giant chunk of soy. Also - always buy organic soy because, Monsanto is why.