Key label claims:
Certified organics -22% pure plant essences and certified organics
 
No synthetics
I picked up this intriguing  product from my local health food store today and just had to share with you as it is quite bizarre for a couple of reasons.
My first thought was ‘wow, an organic  hair styling putty.  How cool is that!’ and so I bought it.  Being in a rush at the time (and re-assured by the fact that I purchased this from my health food store) I was expecting great things from the INCI list on the pack and was looking forward to testing its holding power on my daughters frizz prone hair.Secondly I was  looking forward to finding out what organic chemicals were making this product work as I have found it impossible up to now to make good styling products naturally (other than the basics of course – beeswax balms for dreads etc, etc). But it wasn’t long before I realized that the pack copy didn’t match the contents……
Let’s start with the name.
Eco kid – organics for kids.
Nice name and nice idea especially given the chemical phobia that seems to come free with every new baby these days.  However, even a cynical chemist like me  was rather surprised to find that this brand was jam-packed with ‘chemicals’ and I’m not being facetious.
PEG = Polyethylene glycol.   A polymer (lots and lots of them joined together) of ethylene glycol which is produced from ethylene which starts off life as petroleum in the chemical sense anyway!   This heavy industrial process produces PEGs of various weights and sizes which can be used in medical applications to help deliver drugs better, to sooth irritated skin (emollients) or maybe even to help form emulsions (creams).  They are usually ultra clean and safe (chemically un-reactive in the body)  but not natural.
Ingredient 1: jojoba wax.   All fine, definitely natural for most people’s standards and perfectly reasonable for this sort of product.
Ingredient 2: PEG-80 – excuse me but this is 100% synthetic, petroleum derived, non-natural and never organic.   The plot thickens.
Ingredient 3: jojoba wax PEG-120:  Synthetic, petroleum/ jojoba blend.  No natural or organic certifying body would allow this I’m sure.
Ingredient 4 and 5 are natural: cetearyl alcohol and glycerine but the glycerine seems to be in a blend with yet more synthetics…..
Ingredient 6: glyceryl polyacrylate.   This is a synthetic polymer with good water binding capacity that can be used as a softener and/ or film former in a hair gel.  Yes it has glycerine in it but the resulting chemical is far from natural.
Ingredient 7- 10 are all natural:  water, coconut milk, cetearyl alcohol and hydrogenated castor oil.
Ingredient 11: PEG-40  another synthetic PEG= polyethylene glycol.
There are more ingredients and granted most that follow are natural including some which are from organic sources but overall this product gets its in-use benefits from the synthetics and for that reason I feel misled.
There is nothing wrong (in my mind based on the evidence as I’ve understood it) with any ingredient in this product.  However, when I  buy a brand called Eco kid I  expect the brand to at least be from sustainable sources and for most people, that means little or no petroleum-based ingredients.
Secondly I actually expected this brand to be organically certifiable being as though they use the tag line ‘organics for kids’ in their marketing but no.  Again the petroleum-based ingredients would mean that this product could not achieve even basic certification under any organic standard that I am aware of.
Lastly I had to do a double take when I saw the ‘pinky promise‘ on the label stating that ‘no bad stuff’ was allowed in eco kids:  ‘only flowers and trees, oils and leaves that are organically certified, wild harvested and a nice shade of grassy green’.  Now I write copy for people and as such I can appreciate the lovely sentiment and warm fuzzy glow that these words bring out (except for the reality that wild harvest can  actually be quite a damaging way to collect commercial crops) but this isn’t a fairy story, it is legally binding pack copy  and I do wish that people would check their facts before letting the writing fairies lose.
Again, I am not one for calling PEGS ‘bad stuff’ and I am very much against the ‘free from’, ‘no nasties’ way of marketing  but I’m weird as far as natural product buyers go and most of my not-so-weird compatriots wouldn’t stick PEGS anywhere near their pure, green heads.
Overall I have to say that I’m disappointed, not necessarily with the product as that looks, smells and goes on fine.  I’m disappointed by the way the product tells you it is something that it is not.
What a shame and I didn’t even get to whinge on about the head lice references which probably should not be allowed on this cosmetic product (as far as I can see this is a cosmetic rather than a registered treatment product but I could be wrong).  Lice treatment products are regulated in Australia by the APVMA or TGA depending on the product type, claims and target market.
Sorry Eco kid, I hope you get greener sooner.
Amanda
PS: Love the smell and while I haven’t pinned the kids down to try this yet I am sure that they will like it – texture is great.
PPS: It cost me $14.95 for 100g.