How Natural is your natural cosmetic?

Well the answer to that question seems to be a rather uncomfortable ‘not very’  according to research carried out by global consultancy Organic Monitor.   So should we be surprised?  I think not.

The Organic Monitor report looked at a whole range of products, some carrying organic certifications, some certified by ‘natural’ cosmetic bodies and some claiming to include ‘naturally’ derived ingredients.  So, in a nutshell a little bit of everything was tested which to my mind is one big clue to why not all brands were very natural.  Another reason is in the definition.

There is no single definition of ‘natural’ in the global cosmetics world. Yes there are some pretty robust certification bodies out there: Ecocert, NaTrue,  the Soil Association and such like but there is no SINGULAR definition or law on how the word ‘natural’ should be used in relation to cosmetics.  Therefore you can see the word ‘natural’ on products that are 99% synthetic but contain 1% natural extracts all the way through to products made with 100% natural ingredients.  So is that wrong?

Well, personally I think it comes down to intent.  If a company or brand is using the word ‘natural’ or the terms ‘made with natural ingredients’ or ‘rich in organic extracts’  to help them either sell more a product or sell a product for a premium price that is the polar opposite of what  the average consumer of natural cosmetics would be after then I would say that they are being misleading.  This is especially true when they call themselves ‘natures little helper’ or ‘organic blisstastic’ or ‘naturally orgazmic’ or whatever and package their syntheticness in a green or brown or beige tree-shaped bottle. This could, in some but not all circumstances be taken up […]

Indulgent bath syrup range from Nspa

With the taste of Christmas still hanging in the air and the side effects of that box of chocolates still clinging to my hips I hit the beauty product aisle in that beacon of English shoppingness ASDA SUPERSTORE!  I knew that what I needed was a bath, not because I had embarked upon an experiment to re-enact life in the 1920’s when bathing was something savoured for your birthday, I just needed to feel snuggly and warm again after another close to freezing day in the countryside.  I wanted some comfort products and I found them.

Indulgent Bath Syrup – a bath feast that sounds good enough to eat.

Todays products on my aga are Indulgent Bath Syrups.

Well, I had never heard of N Spa until that moment and so went on a mini-digging spree (well, I don’t want to break into a sweat) and discovered the following little facts about this funky English brand.

N Spa is short for Nirvana spa who believe that you can reach that state of mind with the help of a few disgracefully aromatic bath products.
The Berkshire based health spa has over 200 staff to help prod, preen and pamper you into a state of bliss with the help of their gym, flotation tank, delux swimming area and relaxation space. 
The range will not use ingredients that have been animal tested more recently than 1990 and never test their finished formulations on animals (which is good because if they did, they would be illegal).
Animal derived ingredients are also a no-no unless the ingredient supplier can prove that the animal wasn’t harmed in harvesting the material (an example may be lanolin or some honey).

So what do thesebath  products contain that is so tempting I wonder?

Well […]

It ain’t pretty – the cosmetics counter.

I was out and about yesterday looking for inspiration among the department store shelves when I came across a few grossities.  I am not usually one to spread bad news but I think that this is worth mentioning so, here we go.
While out shopping I found:
*  One med-high priced brand of lip balm (in a tub) completely separated and smelling rank.

*  5 separate pump dispenser packs, caked up with old lotion around the nozzle.

*  The afore-mentioned lotions in various stages of cottage cheese cakiness.

* More than a handful of brands for which one had to purchase or clandestinely rip open the pack to reveal the ingredients listing.

* Two sad old creams completely separated.

Sound familiar?  I am not surprised that products don’t go the “shelf life” distance when presented as sample pots.  These products have a tough old life often being used by hundreds of grubby hands – large and small every day. They are also placed under hot and bright lighting and quite frequently forgotten about altogether in the rush to re-stock the sales merchandise.
The problem?
Well, rancid lotions could do more than put you off a brand, they could seriously upset your stomach. How many of us test out potential new product on the back of our hands, rubbing it in and then giving a once over before we buy? How many of us then wash it off before digging into our cappuccino and banana bread?  Most of the time these actions will go without consequence but every now and then, a split lotion spells danger as it has come under bacterial attack.  Candida, E-Coli, Pseudomonus and Staph grow well under cream conditions.
The solution? 

Sales assistants and merchandisers need to keep their eyes peeled for any […]

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