Natural Personal Care Products
What is a Natural Product?
Natural Personal Care Products by Vermont Soap
Natural personal care products or green
personal care products are getting more and
more popular. But what does the word natural mean? It is kind of like the boy who cried
wolf. So many items on store shelves today proclaim
themselves to be natural, that
it's hard to believe any of them.
exactly is natural? Most people assign the term
natural to any product about which they can
answer yes to the following question: Can I
pronounce all of the ingredients without the aid of a
chemistry book? Therein lies the difference
between a socially responsible manufacturer and all the
other boys who cry wolf. Synthetic ingredients may be
less expensive for global corporations, but they can
also be toxic to everyday consumers.
Still, the market for natural
organic products is expanding by nearly 25%
annually. Consumers are insisting on healthier,
more environmentally friendly options, and the
big-wigs at these international companies know this. As
a result, they have slapped the word natural all over
their marketing campaigns, keeping the definition loose
for their own benefit. According to these companies,
'natural' products include those that
are made from chemically manipulated and altered
At Vermont Soap Organics,
being natural is a way of living, not a way of selling.
Here's how we pass that belief onto consumers:
Can any product or company use the term 'natural'?
The national watchdog for fraudulent
environmental claims is the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC). While the FTC does not specifically target
“natural” marketing, it does operate under the following
statement: "Every express and material implied claim
that the general assertion conveys to reasonable
consumers about an objective quality, feature or
attribute of a product or service must be
substantiated." There are simply not enough resources
for the government to regulate the number of “natural”
products out there, so the onus really does fall on
consumers. How can consumers police the market? By
reading ingredient labels carefully, and then showing
companies whether or not their products are natural by
using their buying power to send the message.
Chemical Free Personal Care Products
What about synthetic and chemical ingredients? How
safe are they?
There are numerous harmful ingredients
commonly found in mass-distributed soap that have been
shown as detrimental to users' health, including causing
extreme skin irritation. These include
isopropyl alcohol, artificial fragrances, DEA,
FD&C, triclosan (There have been reports
that show triclosan can combine with chlorine in tap
water to form chlorine gas), and propylene
glycol, all far
from natural, but still often
found in 'natural' products.
Companies will put a tiny bit of natural ingredients in
a product that consists largely of the aforementioned
synthetics and call that product 'natural'—which is
downright lying to their consumers.
Here's what we think natural actually is:
At Vermont Soap Organics,
natural means we:
artificial colors or fragrances
Do not test our products on animals
Do not use chemical
preservatives, but instead rosemary
Choose organic over
Choose vegetable-based over animal-based
Recyclable over wasteful
Natural is something you choose to be, a long-term
responsibility that a company actually bears. It means
the company looks pragmatically at the entire
process, from sourcing to producing to packaging to
ultimate disposal, and figures out how to make it as
socially and environmentally sound as possible.
Natural implies a positive relationship between
company, consumer, and above all, the planet. It is
about staying as close to the original grain as
possible, while still offering a superior product.
This is why Vermont Organic Soap products are synthetic and chemical free, even
though soap is admittedly a chemical compound in itself.
We have also found that Fundamental Earth makes
a truly chemical free personal care products
such as their
Vermont Soap is worried about
this boy-who-cried-wolf phenomenon that is plaguing the
word 'natural'. The word 'organic' has also come under
the same scrutiny. These terms are being stripped of
their meaning. As of 2003, there are 3 definition levels
of 'organic', even though this evades most of the
population. The USDA has proposed that only 340
synthetic chemicals be labeled organic.
Isn't Everything A Chemical?
Technically everything is a chemical,
and the word synthetic does, by its dictionary
definition, mean anything created by the union of other
elements and compounds. But we take chemical and
synthetic free to mean that a product is not toxic, is
safe, is healthy, biodegradable, and as close to
original form as possible. It also means, in our eyes,
that something is devoid of artificial colors (FD&C and
Lake Colors too), artificial fragrances, preservatives
(only quality rosemary extract; forget about triclosan,
parabens, benzoin, EDTA, or any of that stuff),
alcohols, propylene glycol, and detergent. Our products
meet these high standards with flying colors.
If you cannot create a certain product in a normal
kitchen with the aid of everyday utensils, then that
product is, under what we see to be a sensible
Use Vermont Soap chemical free personal care
products for the health of your family and the
planet. These are truly organic personal care