Every single day while browsing the web, I see claims popping up by natural products companies that make me roll my eyes a bit. Today, I'd like to talk about some of these with you. The title of this blog is Lately I've Been Paying More Attention and this is something that I have been paying more attention to for sure!
1. "Our products are so safe you can eat them!"
The other day while on Facebook, a post from a natural skincare company popped across my feed that said their products are all "safe enough to eat". Curious about this, I took a gander at their offerings and their ingredients listings.
The body creams and lotions all contain the preservative called Phenoxyethanol. While not as harmful as parabens may be, this ingredient still ranks a 4 with limited data in the Skin Deep Database, with "high concerns" about irritation to the eyes, lungs and skin. In Japan, this preservative is on the Restricted list for cosmetic ingredients.
The same company also uses synthetic fragrance in their products. For reference, fragrance has been given the score of 8 out of 10 in the Skin Deep Database.
Furthermore, if you were to accidentally consume a skincare product with many of the common ingredients found in skincare such as silicone or petrolatum, the consequences could be serious. The West Texas Regional Poison Control Center says that cosmetics and personal care items account for 12% of accidental poisoning cases.
You do not want to be eating your skincare products, no matter what the company claims.
2. "Our products are totally natural and organic!"
This is another statement that I just ran into. Can I be frank? These are buzzwords. YES, there are AMAZING companies formulating equally amazing products.
Unfortunately, there is no regulation concerning the labeling of organic and natural products. The FDA does not regulate the claim of "organic" in skincare. Plus "organic" in one store may not meet the criteria for "organic" in another. There are no meaningful consequences for companies who mislead the public with the organic or natural claim. It can really be misleading. TerraChoice, an environmental consulting firm, has stated that 98% of the "natural" companies are actually making misleading claims.
Have you ever felt duped by the $2.99 shampoo that says NATURAL all over it, only to read through the list of sulfates, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylparaben, Polyquaternium-7 and the like? At the end of the ingredients list, perhaps they add honey. Or there is even an almond or rosemary fragrance oil to make it "smell" natural. The products say natural, but are anything but.
3. "Our products are chemical free!"
I am VERY pro-natural ingredients. I have been blogging about natural for more than 8 years now. I am pro-science too. When I see silly claims, I cannot help but become frustrated because the public deserves honesty.
There is no such thing as a chemical free product.
The claim of "chemical free" is making natural beauty and skincare companies lose their credibility.
I believe that there is a lack of understanding when it comes to ingredients, and I feel that the gimmicky ad copy is to the detriment of the entire natural products industry. And I really believe that consumers are catching on.
Let me set the record straight. Guess what? The idea of "chemical free" is a bunch of bologna. When you see a company saying "chemical free", put your guard up. Water is a chemical. Water. H20. Find your friends Hydrogen and Oxygen on the Periodic Table.
Essential oils -- one of nature's greatest gifts in terms of sensory delight -- are made up of an average of 100 different chemical compounds.
Chemicals are all around us -- in the air we breathe, even in those cookies I have in the oven. I added the chemical NaHCO3 to the batter today! FYI: That is baking soda. :)