The soap pump has run out. What do you do? Choose the nice bottle or look behind the label?
At Nopa Nordic, our experience is that many Danes are very conscious of the detergents, dishwashing liquids and personal care products they use in their everyday lives. We want our products to be as gentle on people and the environment as possible, and that’s what many people shop for when they’re at the supermarket shelves.
BUT… our experience is that there is one place in particular where we don’t pay much attention: Hand soap. In the course of a day, we wash our hands several times; before cooking, after going to the toilet, after blowing our nose, etc. Every time we press the pump, if we’re not careful, we come into contact with potentially allergenic or endocrine disrupting substances – even if the soap is rinsed off again.
Yet many people’s hand soap purchases are often about more than the contents of the bottle. Products that are not gentle on people or the environment often end up in the shopping basket, with the choice by design meaning only considering how the soap looks in the bathroom. Appearance and attractive design are thus given priority over function and labelling, and hence over right ingredients.
At Nopa Nordic, we always believe that content should take precedence over design – even if all our products are “nicely wrapped” and can look nice in the bathroom. In fact, we think there’s an important message to be sent by leaving a cleaning product visible.
If you’re not quite there yet, we recommend that you pour your newly purchased hand soap onto your favourite bottle when you get home from the supermarket. That way, you can make sure you, your family and your guests wash their hands in a product free of allergens or endocrine disruptors.
Fortunately, finding an effective and gentle hand soap is both easy and straightforward in the vast majority of supermarkets. Avoid reading the long list of ingredients on the back of the bottle, but take a quick look at the label and you’ll be on your way.
1. Hand soap should have an official label, such as the Nordic Ecolabel or the Flower. This way you know that all the ingredients in the soap are subject to strict requirements.
2. Don’t be blinded by words like “pure”, “natural” or “with organic ingredients”. Marketing is one thing. Official labelling is another.
3. Still in doubt? Then use the “Kemiluppen” app developed by the Danish Consumer Council for Chemistry. The app helps you avoid problematic substances in personal care products – including hand soap. Read more about the app here: https://kemi.taenk.dk/bliv-groennere/kemiluppen-tjek-din-personlige-pleje-uoensket-kemi