Today we want cleaner, greener, natural beauty products, so we can take better care of our health and the planet.
We want natural beauty products that are genuinely more sustainable, that we can trust implicitly, Yet still today, there is uncertainty around what constitutes an organic or natural, personal beauty product.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), recently wrote a report that stated the following:
“It is unclear how consumers understand organic claims that describe nonagricultural products, and how marketers of those natural beauty products substantiate the claims”.
The Commission lacks a basis, to provide guidance on the use of organic claims for products.
In addition it has avoided defining the term natural, which is a claim increasingly used to describe cosmetics and beauty products, so like the term organic, it has no legal meaning.
NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS
I feel the credibility of many certificated bodies, does need to be called into question.
Currently each organisation certifies cosmetics and personal care products differently, their policies are all unrelated, especially when it comes to percentage requirements, and allowance of certain ingredients and processes.
So the question has to be asked, why is there not one global standard?
Who can you trust?
The organisations that are making some headway in laying down stricter guidelines, for the “Naturals” market include;
- The European based Natural Products Association
IN THE CERTIFIED ORGANIC SECTOR
The Soil Association seal of approval, does appear to have strict requirements and ethics.
Some companies do offer both certifications for natural beauty products, however the Soil Associations policies do require a tighter regulatory framework, especially when it comes to organic products.
The good news on the horizon, is that many certifying bodies are going to be working towards a common standard, that will be composed of both Natural and Organic.
The most recent development is the introduction of harmonised European standards, and the creation of uniform logos.
THE US MARKET
The Food and Drug administration (FDA), tried to establish an official definition of “What is Natural“, in personal care products and cosmetics, but this was overturned in court.
Unbelievably, this decision has opened the door for many companies to use the term ‘Natural’ on their labels, regardless of their ingredients.
An estimated 80% of all cosmetic products that are marketed as natural, DON’T hit anywhere near the required 95% level of natural ingredients.
Fortunately, there are some companies that are campaigning to gain some clarification on this subject, Burt’s Bees is one such company.
They have been working with the Natural Products Association and other natural personal product manufacturers, to develop the Natural Standard for Personal Care products, which you can read about here.
THE NAKED TRUTH
An interesting survey was carried out by the retailer Saffron Rouge.
What they found, was that 72% of consumers, don’t trust the natural and organic claims found on their natural beauty products.
This clearly highlights, the requirements for companies to fairly and accurately label their products, with a trustworthy certification.
I believe the way forward is an implementation of a regulatory framework, one that offers a harmonisation of global standards, for both the ‘Natural and Organic’ personal care market, that defines what the term really means.
A standard that is governed by one or two core certification bodies, resulting in a seal of approval that is instantly recognisable,
A certification for natural beauty products, that consumers can really trust.