Most people choose to buy natural cosmetics because they care about their own health and the health of the planet. Because the world ‘natural’ appears on the cosmetic’s label, they assume that the ingredients are safe, non-toxic and biodegradable. But that’s not necessarily true, and here’s why.

Labeling for natural cosmetics

Natural cosmetic labeling is not regulated. There are no laws in the U.S. that oversee products that claim they use ‘natural’ ingredients. This is because there are not yet any clear standards about what the term’ natural’ really means. In order for there to be laws, there needs to be a generally accepted and quantifiable meaning for the word ‘natural’. That way there can be a clear determination of whether a cosmetic fits the description or not. Until that happens, there won’t be any laws affecting the term ‘natural’.

Voluntary labeling guidelines
But in the meantime, some manufacturers and trade associations are developing their own definitions for the term and issuing ‘certifications’ of there own. For example, The Green Products Alliance has a logo for natural products. Guidelines have been developed that those products must adhere to in order to display the logo. Following those guidelines is strictly voluntary, so are shows that the companies which participate in the program are doing more than they have to by law.

What is behind the voluntary certification?
So it’s probably safe to assume that cosmetics that carry The Green Products Alliance logo are reputable – and that’s exactly why companies are taking the extra step. But there are also outfit s that are not so reputable that are setting up non-profit organizations which grant awards based on nothing more than paying a membership fee. So as a consumer, you have to make sure that the organization that is awarding the seal is reputable and not using it as just another marketing technique. Just because a cosmetic line got seal of approval from ‘The Alliance of Best Natural Products on the Planet”, it may not mean anything more than they paid a fee to display the seal.


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