Thursday, May 1, 2008

what makes products natural?

i mentioned in my Botanics Deep Conditioner post yesterday that the word natural is not regulated.

that is mostly true...

i have come to find out that Burt's Bees, and other natural personal care product companies, are working with the Natural Products Association to develop a universally recognized seal that will let consumers know that a product is truly natural.

all products that are labeled "natural" must:
*be made with at least 95% truly natural ingredients.
*contain no ingredients with any potential suspected human health risks.
*use no processes that significantly or adversely alter the purity/effect of the
natural ingredients.

what "natural" is:
*ingredients that come from a purposeful, renewable/plentiful source found in nature (flora, fauna, mineral).
*processes that are minimal and don't use synthetic/harsh chemicals, or otherwise diluting purity.

so, it should be easy enough, right? will be eventually. and even when we have a seal to look for, we should still know what to look for. so here's a list of tips that will help you (and me) shop for natural products while we (patiently) wait for the seal....

1. one natural ingredient doesn't make it all natural. ingredient order on a label is an indication of the quality of that ingredient.

2. be wary of trademarked names with the word natural. products with natural in the name don't always contain natural ingredients.

3. beware of the language. just because an ingredient has a long or scientific name doesn't mean its a chemical. check out for more info about ingredients.

4. watch for phrases like "nature inspired" or "made with natural or organic ingredients. this type of language allows manufactures to position their products as natural or organic without having to include high levels of natural or organic ingredients.

5. there are certain ingredients that should never be used in a product labeled natural. watch for: parabens, sulfates (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate), petrochemicals (pretrolatum/mineraloils/paraffin), chemical sunscreens (oxybenzone/avobenzone), and phthalates.

now it should be a little easier to decipher between true naturals and the impostors. at least, i hope so....

have a fabulous day!!!


source: burt's bees


The Style Page said...

Hi Monique,

I received notice of the press event today, and requested information, but didn't get any response.

There are simply too many trade groups creating their own standards. The organic and natural personal care products industry needs to coalesce around a single international standard.

monique said...

i agree...hopefully this will be the start the industry needs. i'm not sure what other companies are in on this, but apparently this has been in the works for over a year...i hope that this seal, like the bunny for cruelty-frre products, will be adopted and standards will be kept.