View Full Version : Chemical-free - or Is It?

04-12-2008, 03:19 PM
Elsewhere this page (http://www.rsc.org/AboutUs/News/PressReleases/2008/ChemicalFree.asp) was pointed out and there was some discussion on the matter.

What would/do you say when a customer asks "Does it contain chemicals?"

I decided to go further and put an article on my blog My Soaps Are Not Natural and They're Full of Chemicals as I think too much use is made of the adjective "natural".

04-12-2008, 04:30 PM
i totally agree, but i did do chemistry at uni;) xx

04-12-2008, 06:32 PM
Well part of the problem is that there is no legal definition of 'natural'. Products only have to contain 1% natural ingredients to be able to label themselves as natural...something that is abused by big companies.

I tend to say that my toiletries contain no SLS, etc. rather than chemical free. I do describe them as natural but I stock Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (which is just coconut oil iyswim), similarly with Shea Butter, etc.

04-12-2008, 06:54 PM
I do wonder how many people really read the labels on the products - having to have the INCI names doesn't help Joe Public understand what's in there (and some assume it's done on purpose by the makers to hide what's in there).

I've just found an interesting article by a cosmetic/fragrance consultant (http://www.danieleryman.com/aromatherapy_articals/what_is_natural.html) about natural products.

04-12-2008, 07:28 PM
I usually say "there's nothing nasty in it" (!) and point out the list of ingredients. It's true though about the INCI names not meaning much to Joe Public, so I'd always be happy to explain what everything is to anyone who asks!

Lomond Soap
04-12-2008, 09:10 PM
It would be great to see the cosmetics industry use "plain english" I'm useless at INCI names, takes me forever to put a label together. But I do add the english name after the ingredient (space allowing on my labels) most folks won't have a clue what's what, even more so, a lot of people just aren't interested. I sell 2 ranges of soap, one is the brightly coloured & fragranced (although I use mainly non allergen FO's), the other is naturally coloured, clays, herbs and the like, made with nice oils and butters & essential oils. Which do you think sells?
The "natural" (sorry, EJ, don't mean to get you on your soapbox again ;)) are by far the nicer soap, but how do I get that accross to customers?

04-12-2008, 09:57 PM
They'll know when they've used one Corrie.

Although there are people looking out for such soaps - I've had a few site visits where the people have put "traditional soap" into google or whatever, many peoples idea of handmade natural soap and stuff is that from a certain high street shop (which distributes scents halfway down the street).

Also the wholesale orders I've had have been for shea/cocoa butter scrub soaps: coffee, oatmeal and pineapple/orange, and for my unfragranced Castille so they're obviously selling somewhere as I've had repeats.

I think the really fancy presentation re moulds and fragrances belongs to the realm of MP soaps (and SoapyChica has this off to perfection). I think she uses mostly the "Natural" MP base (which is more natural than a lot of other stuff around) then adds butters etc.

05-12-2008, 01:01 PM
Water's a chemical and I'm sure you're customers are happy to use that to wash with (and even in their drinks). Though most of the proletariate probably don't realise that the "aqua" on the ingredients list of most soaps/shampoos/cosmetics is actually plain bog standard water, H2O, council pop, adams ale or whatever you'd like to call it!