Can you call a cosmetic product “natural”? And what does that really mean, anyway?
Nowadays, there are so many products of all types being marketed as “natural” it’s getting crazy! I recently saw some piece of furniture marketed as “natural” because it was made (mostly) of wood. Where does it end?
The first thing to know is that, when it comes to soap and cosmetics, there is no regulatory definition of “natural”.
The FDA recently updated the Cosmetic section of their website and added some new pages that clarify regulations, particularly for small manufacturers of soap and cosmetics. Some of the most commonly asked questions are very clearly answered in FAQ format.
After some searching, I was finally able to locate a copy of this elusive book ($200 from an online used book distributor). Now I’ll share what I found in the book.
Over the years, one small section in my book, Soap and Cosmetic Labeling, has probably generated the most question and online discussion than any other. That section covers “Using an Ingredient in the Name” and discusses the FDA regulations that prohibit the use of the name of one ingredient in the name of the product (if it has two or more ingredients).
What about “Goat Milk Soap” or “Oatmeal Soap” or “Luxe Lotion with Shea Butter”? On the one hand, those product names seem reasonable. But first, let’s take a look at why the regulation might be there in the first place.
They say that when you fall off a horse, the best thing is to get right back on. The rationale is that the longer you delay, the harder it is to overcome any fear you have from falling off in the first place. In other words, you lose your groove.Well, I can tell you from recent personal experience, the longer your out of the groove, the harder it is to get it back.
“This document provides guidance to industry and other stakeholders on the FDA’s current thinking concerning what constitutes Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for cosmetics.”
Several people lately have asked me about using the term “organic” when it comes to cosmetics. Can cosmetics be claimed to be “organic? What about using the term “organic” in a product or company name?
I did some research, and what I discovered was a little bit surprising. Seems that the FDA and the USDA don’t actually see eye-to-eye on the subject.