Last updated on December 27th, 2017
Hi! My name is Irina Webb, and I am thrilled to have you here. If you have already read testimonials throughout my website or some of the posts or ebooks, you may already have the sense that joining our community is be a life changing experience. I am honored to be part of the community we have built here.
I want to talk to you about something very important to me: the foundation of my reputation for thoroughness, honesty, and integrity.
As you will notice as you peruse the pages of this blog, I do have affiliate links, meaning that I receive commissions if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. Since this is the case, Federal law requires that I make disclosures right here on the blog, and up front, so there is no question about any interest or bias I may have. Some people have asked questions about this, so I decided to create this page.
Here is my approach to products. Before I write about any product, I research it as thoroughly as I can (see below). I refuse to recommend a product unless I would (or do) use it for myself or my family. In fact, there are some products that I use that I don’t recommend on my blog because I am not certain whether they would be good enough for you. This is true, even though I could have received commissions for recommending them.
Here is my unique approach to research.
I spend a lot of time on research, even to the extent that it takes away from time with my family. It is a very time-consuming endeavor. Part of the challenge is that I contact companies directly, and not every company wants to deal with me, requiring lots of follow up. (This is where your help is critical – tell others about my blog. The bigger number of blog subscribers I have, the more willing the companies will be to answer my and ultimately your questions.)
In order for me to recommend a product, this is what I do.
First, I survey the whole industry. In other words, I first read as much as I can about the industry to see who the leading brands are in that particular industry segment.
Second, I learn as much as I can about manufacturing processes in order to understand how the products in the subject industry are made and to try to understand things such as how unlisted contaminants may be introduced into the products, and what harmful by-products may result from a particular manufacturing process.
Then, I proceed to study the ingredients of a particular product. If it is a personal care product or a cleaning product, I often look it up in the Skin Deep Database or the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. But due to their limitations, I rely on my knowledge how products are made and go directly to specific scientific databases to learn more about the ingredients before I arrive at final conclusions. The databases I regularly review include:
I am also subscribed and pay a fee to DeepDyve.com, which is an electronic hub for numerous peer-reviewed science journals.
Next, I discern the safest options available to manufacturers of the products in question, and contact the manufacturers for more information, to learn more about the best choices manufacturers can make, and what and why manufacturers make the choices they do.
Finally, I get the product and test it for an extended period of time to learn whether it is quality-made and practical and to determine whether I have any allergic reactions. Sometimes this step is modified somewhat, and I rely on others to tell me about their experiences. For example, I was not a good test subject for deodorants, so I used my husband as a guinea pig.
When a product passes all my strict criteria and its manufacturer offers to pay me commissions, I sign up for their affiliate program. While there is no conflict of interest in my mind, I understand that there might be a perceived conflict of interest, especially when I am very enthusiastic about a product. (After you read my due diligence process, you can probably understand why I get enthusiastic about a product that passes it.)
Here are some posts where I could have paid commissions but I chose to voice my criticism of the products instead.
Note a comment left on this post by Lady Billy Budd:
“You are so refreshingly honest and your integrity to the truth is unwavering. Your voice cannot be bought. Do you know how few people can claim that? I know you just reviewed a clay pot but I’ve read book reviews, product reviews, pet food reviews, and all manner of other reviews that were nothing more than paid-for shilling. I was surprised to read your honest review and I’d trust your opinion and judgment on other things. If you ever feel the temptation to blur the truth or hide some uncomfortable facts for the sake of selling something, remember this review and don’t give in. If you continue to remain so refreshingly honest for your readers, you could be someone we all need in a world where everything negative is brushed under the carpet and we, the public, are led around by our noses.”
Lady Billy Budd is right, and thank you for appreciating this, LBB! And, as a follow-up, I will say that I have never been “tempted to blur the truth or hide some uncomfortable facts for the sake of selling something.” Instead, I get a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that we’re building something unique here, based on truth.
Note a comment left on this post by Shaunna:
“I find this company to be worse than mainstream cosmetic companies. They tout themselves as a revolutionary clean beauty company, and have even gone so far as to become EWG verified, and yet they still have questionable ingredients in their products. So while they talk about taking on the government and the need for higher and healthier standards in the beauty industry it seems like they are talking out of the other side of their mouths. We are all aware of greenwashing but the fact that they refuse to back up their claims and be transparent about their testing practices (and results) makes them downright despicable. Just another MLM company doing a huge disservice to the public. I for one will be refusing to buy any of their products and will continue to put my money towards truly clean products. Thank you for this website and all that you do Irina!”
By the way, they still have not sent me their test reports, even after I posted that review.
Still not convinced?
Book a 15-min phone conversation with me. I will help you figure out which products you can buy for your family. You will pay me, and there will be no affiliate links involved.
If you are interested in my mission to make the consumer product industry safer and look for ideas on how to help me keep going, here are things you can do. As you read this list, keep in mind that my husband and I decided that instead of returning to work, I would devote myself full-time to this blog. Although the blog has started generating a modest income since last year, it does not come close to replacing my former salary, and so every little bit you do can help:
- Subscribe to my blog and follow me on social media of your choice. I am spending more time on Instagram now (no affiliate links there).
- Tell your friends to subscribe to my blog and follow me on social media.
- Write testimonials for products I recommend and/or my services or perhaps share your personal story with us. Here is an email that melted my heart.
- When shopping on Amazon (for anything at all, not just products recommended here), first click on Amazon banner on the right side of a blog post or use this Amazon link. You can buy whatever you need and I will still get credit. It would be a huge help if you could buy all of your Amazon purchases through my website.
- Buy my e-books (to my blog subscribers I send occasional discount coupons). Tell me what e-book you would like me to write next.
- Book a consultation of your choice with me.
- Donate some money, even if it is just $1.
Thank you for reading and considering ways you can take part to affect much-needed change! I am thrilled to have you here.
Do you have any health challenges? You might be interested in reading the latest updates on my health, in case they are relevant to your situation.
Let's start creating a healthy home today!
When you join the I Read Labels For You community, you'll receive weekly emails with inspiration, exclusive content and coupons to gain clarity and confidence to create a healthy home. Plus, you'll get the FREE guide: "5 Powerful Steps to a Non-Toxic Home You Can Take Today!"
"I find your knowledge so helpful, to the point and like a gold mine. You have saved me so much time and have taught me so much.” Toni