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Natural is as Natural Does

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Natural is as Natural Does

"Natural" Skin Care Companies Using Synthetic Chemicals Disciplined for False Advertising

As someone who's as scrupulous as possible about using only natural, mineral and plant-based ingredients in their skin care products, it’s been frustrating to see dozens, if not hundreds, of companies mislead customers about their ingredients. 

This week, the Federal Trade Commission has done something about that. The agency, which regulates truth in advertising laws, has reached settlements with five personal care companies, ordering them to stop advertising and promoting themselves as "all natural" or "100% natural."

The Commission sued the companies last year after finding ingredients such as polyquaternium-7, phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol listed on their product labels. The companies named in the complaints are EDEN Bodyworks, Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, ShiKai, Beyond Coastal and California Naturel.

Saying “consumers have a right to take them at their word," the FTC alleged the companies made false and misleading representations. 

I agree. As a label reader it's irritating to see products sold in stores and online that market themselves as all natural, yet list many such synthetic chemicals.

I'm sure you’ve seen it, too. It’s called greenwashing: Common sense will tell you that dimethicone and polyethylene glycol don’t grow on trees. These marketing practices harm the consumer and legitimate companies that are truly conscientious about using beneficial natural ingredients. 

One of the problems in the natural product industry is there’s no legal definition for natural. However, several organizations have created guidelines, which may someday lead to a legal definition. 

I look forward to that day. Until then, I follow the guidelines developed by the Natural Products Association, the country's leading non-profit organization for the natural products industry.

According to the NPA, natural products are made with ingredients that "come from a renewable resource found in nature (flora, fauna and mineral)." Certain processing, such as distillation, fermentation and enzymatic processes, is allowed as long as it doesn't transform the ingredient into a different substance or harm the environment.  

To meet NPA standards, a product must be at least 95% natural and avoid animal testing. 

The NPA's natural standards prohibits the use of :

  • Petrochemicals and glycols
  • Colors or dyes
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Ethoxylated ingredients like PEG’s 
  • Polymers
  • Urea, DMDM Hydantoin, and other preservatives that release formaldehyde
  • Silicone and dimethicone

As Second Nature Skin's product developer, I do exhaustive research on every ingredient to ensure it's safe, natural, non-irritating and beneficial for your skin. As part of this multi-step process, I scrutinize each ingredient via the NPA list and the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which scores the safety of cosmetic ingredients from 0 to 10. 

This way customers get the high quality, natural and organic ingredients their skin needs without the chemical and synthetic irritants it doesn’t. With Second Nature Skin, you'll experience skin care with the finest natural ingredients on earth and results you can see.


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