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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 areNatural Personal Care Products 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.

So what 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 ingredients.

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:

  • Use no artificial colors or fragrances
  • Do not test our products on animals
  •  Do not use chemical preservatives, but instead rosemary extract
  •  Choose organic over pesticides
  • Choose vegetable-based over animal-based
  •  Recyclable over wasteful
  • Botanical over artificial

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 shampoo and face wash.

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 definition, synthetic.

Use Vermont Soap chemical free personal care products for the health of your family and the planet. These are truly organic personal care products.


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