Is This Really 100% Natural?

naturalThe natural cosmetic industry does not have uniform guidelines as to what to call natural. The guidelines for manufacturing, labeling, and marketing that exist differ from one country to the next, offering some insecurity about what consumers buy.

That is why some organizations such as the National Consumers League (http://www.nclnet.org/) are making an effort to have consumers understand that even though companies claim to manufacture the best natural products, this may be misleading information.

The problem, besides companies claiming to have all natural ingredients in their products even when it may not be true, is that consumers believes them. And because of this they may spend a lot of money for a product that instead of improving their way of life, it may be causing health issues. In a 2002 survey, the National Consumers League showed that 86% of consumers who participated believe that products labeled “natural” were nothing but that. And three out of four people actually expect those “natural” products to contain at least 90% natural ingredients in them.

The word “natural” on a label implies that products that the consumer intends to buy or buy are pure,healthy, organic, safe to use and that its raw materials are obtained from the  earth.  Some companies even go as far as to using imagery, pictures of trees, flowers and fruit; to visually convince them that their purchase is in fact the best choice or one of the best choices in the market.

The truth is that even when personal care products have these labels it doesn’t mean anything at all.   Keep in mind that these products labelled as “natural” may contain harmful preservatives and synthetic essential oils. Some of them can become a bigger threat when they chemically react  with each other, even when not as harmful when used separately.

In some cases the products you buy because you believe are safe, contain the same dangerous ingredients you are trying to avoid.

When manufacturing a true nature product some of the aspects that need to be considered are the following:

Materials which are of botanical, mineral or animal origin may be used as long as there is no contamination which may result in risking people’s health. Manufacturers also need to consider that these products won’t cause any allergic reactions to those who use them.

Natural ingredients used in natural products need to be obtained by means of specific techniques such as extrusion, centrifugation, filtration, distillation, extraction, percolation, absorptive techniques, freezing or drying.  Microbiological and enzymatic methods are allowed as well. The process of extraction can be carried out by water, ethyl alcohol and other appropriate natural derived solvents. Any essential oil, fragrance or perfume that has been synthetically altered or chemically modified cannot be used.

Although these are only some of the aspects to be considered and are technical considerations. you can do your part to protect your family and yourself from potentially harmful products. Make sure you choose certified organic and natural personal care products. Minimize health hazards by reading labels and selecting products carefully.

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Posted by on Nov 13th, 2009 and filed under FEATURED ARTICLES, NATURAL INGREDIENTS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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