“Key Ingredients” gives a misleading sense of transparency.

A 2013 study by BBMC found “More than 8 in 10 consumers globally (82%) say that ingredient transparency is a “very important or important” factor when shopping for beauty and personal care products…….87% of consumers say “uses no harsh chemicals or toxins” drives their product purchases in the beauty and personal care category, including 91% in emerging markets and 82% in developed markets.”  ~BBMG Consumers rank ingredient transparency among most important issues for brands, http://bbmg.com/news/consumers-rank-ingredient-transparency-among-important-issues-brands/

With this study in mind, are manufacturers of personal care products giving consumers what they want?

In a industry of self regulation, the leading conventional manufacturers have become used to setting the rules that are in the best interest of the manufacturer, in many cases even formulating products without regard to the health or safety of the customer.

“One in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in cosmetic and personal care products are hazardous industrial chemicals.  This means that 10,500 industrial chemicals are used as cosmetic ingredients, many of which are carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft) degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts) and surfactants (used to reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). And these go on our skin and into the environment.”[1]

This sense of entitlement of the conventional manufacturers comes from the U.S. government ruling that allows the Cosmetics Industry to self-regulate since 1938

2013 Sales in the Natural, Organic cosmetics market personal care market were at nearly $30 billion globally, increasing 10.6% according to Kline Blog, April 30, 2014, Ewa Griger, Ph.D.  This has caused conventional manufacturers to expand their lines to include products that claim to be natural, or include natural ingredients. As conventional manufacturers penetrate the natural,organic market, they are not changing their approach to cater to the natural, organic consumer.

This is going to be a mistake.

Manufacturers of conventional products have never had to concern themselves with sharing the negatives associated to the products they offered. Their ability to ‘self regulate’ allowed them determine what information they would provide their customers.  With this being a standard for generations, it was not until the past few years that people have been noticing the gap between the information they have been given by the cosmetics manufacturers, and information they need to make informed decisions.

Many of the customers within the natural, organic market are used to having access to more, not less, information. They understand the need to avoid using harmful chemicals.  They are aware of the environmental pollutants, the increased use of toxins in our food & water supply.  The natural, organic customers are less likely to accept they don’t need to know what goes into products meant to be applied directly to their bodies.

Whether or not consumers have access to a complete list of ingredients is dependent on the goodwill of the manufacturer.

Manufacturers of natural personal care should be willing to provide full disclosure of every ingredient. This should never be in question.

Especially within the natural, organic market.  One of the main factors that draws people to the natural, organic market is the stance on promoting  ‘healthy people, healthy bodies, healthy planet’. How could manufacturers market products as being healthier options, only to make use of the trade secret law, withholding listing certain ingredients that could be a trigger to a persons health condition? There are natural ingredients capable of causing allergic reactions, trigger asthma or affect other health conditions.  With so many allergies and intolerances; health conditions and illnesses, manufacturers cannot say for certain any ingredient is completely safe for everyone.  So, in being part of an entire industry built on trying to improve people’s health, Full Disclosure of ingredients should be a absolute, not a choice.

Manufacturers of Natural personal care products should be opposed to adopting use of  the “Trade Secret” law.

Visiting the website of any cosmetic or personal care brand, you will see individual product pages easily provide room enough to fit as much, or as little, information the company decides to show. More than adequate room to include a complete listing of product ingredients. How often do you see a full list of ingredients? Or even a partial list?  Why is this not becoming more common?

On most of the websites for conventional cosmetic brands (I chose at random a couple of “Top 10…” lists, using these lists to determine which sites to visit) there is no mention of ingredients. The only information related to ingredients was if it were related to new technology or new scientific breakthroughs or similar promotional information being used to market the product.

Many of these same brands are expanding with new products lines into the natural market.  They are bringing this practice of confining information to the few, featured ingredients that are related to current market trend. In the Natural market, these would likely be botanicals with attributes related to the benefits the product is said to promote.

Following typical, conventional manufacturer fashion, these ‘trending ingredients’ will be the only ingredients listed, and highlighted as:

Key Ingredients    Important Benefits    Active Ingredients

~no other ingredients mentioned or shown throughout the entirety of the product information.

What is so concerning is, this practice is being brought to the Natural market from the Conventional market. Many Natural Product manufacturers are adopting this method of only declaring the ‘Key Ingredients,’ avoiding mention of the others.

This manner of misdirection, consumer is focused on the overinflated “Key Ingredients” feeling they are being provided information, instead of seeing the information not being provided. This may continue for the time being, the Natural manufacturers need to be upfront, provide full disclosure of all pertinent information, proving there is no attempt to hide behind misdirection.  The customers will become more confident in their preferences; as they realize and adjust to the power they have for controlling this new, blossoming market. Once both customer and provider both understand who really holds the power and move forward in the right way, there will be no stopping what can be achieved.  We need remember to learn from,  and not follow, certain practices we disagreed with from the start.

At Spa Secrets 4 U, we are convinced the Full Disclosure is the only way to provide the consumer with the ability to make fully informed decisions and have control of their health.  This is a very important tool that needs to be provided to the consumer so they can manage any allergies, sensitivities, intolerances or other restrictions they might have.

Would you like to look at products that are guaranteed safe?  Shop Spa Secrets 4 U  luxury products made with the finest, all natural, organic plant based ingredients from both land and sea; sea salts, mud and clay to improve your health and beauty SHOP BATH AND BODY PRODUCTS.

A variety of informative articles related to Natural Health and Beauty: HOME.

[1] You have the right to know: 17 chemicals to avoid in cosmetic and personal care products, collective evoloution; http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/04/10/you-have-the-right-to-know-17-chemicals-to-avoid-in-cosmetic-and-personal-care-products/

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