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Knowledge Is Health - Guide To Reading Ingredient Labels

Posted by Bill DAlessandro on

The written word is so powerful. Especially when presented by the "trusted" name brand companies. Let's find out just how honest these companies really are when it comes to listing their ingredients on their personal care products. Proud as a Peacock I can tell you that Nurture My Body feels as proud as a peacock while being a signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. This is an organization that is helping to spearhead the requirement for companies to disclose all of their ingredients on their labels. Nurture My Body has always listed all of the ingredients used in our formulations, but the way we list them has changed per the requirement of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. INCI - What is That? As a campaign signer we are now required to list our ingredients by their INCI name. INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetics Ingredients. It is a system for naming cosmetic ingredients that is multilingual, multinational and based on the Latin language. Here is an example of a partial list of ingredients for our Acne Serum: Old Version of an Ingredient Label Water, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Organic and Wildcrafted Herbal Infusion of Burdock Root, Echinacea, Dandelion Root and Leaf, Horsetail, Calendula Blossom NEW Version of an Ingredient Label Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel**, Arctium Lappa (Burdock Root) Infusion**, Echinacea Angustifolia (Coneflower) Infusion**, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Root and Leaf) Infusion**, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey Root) Infusion****, Calendula Officinalis (Pot Marigold) Infusion** * Organic  ** Certified Organic  *** Wildcrafted  **** Biodynamic/Demeter Certified Whew, now that’s a lot to read. So, let me simplify it for you. Just look at the words in parentheses. Those are the common names of the plants. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has also asked to provide you with the nature of the plant if it is:
  • Organic
  • Certified Organic
  • Wildcrafted
You will notice after each ingredient there is an asterisk or series of asterisks. At the end of the ingredient list there is the explanation (legend) of how each plant was grown, harvested and manufactured. The Most Important Thing to Learn About the New Ingredient Requirements If the ingredient does not contain an INCI listing then it is not from a plant origin. It is either derived from plant material or is synthetic. One example is our Lauryl Polyglucose which is a safe derivative found in our Organic Body Washes and Shampoos. For this particular ingredient it is shown on our Ingredients Glossary that it is a very gentle and mild surfactant that occurs naturally in ambrette seed and sweet orange. It is a fatty polyglycoside that is prepared by reacting corn starch glucose with natural fatty acids. It contains no solvents or hydrotropes. Nurture My Body hides absolutely nothing when it comes to educating our customers and keeping you healthy. How Companies Fool the Unknowing Consumer This is what irritates me. Some companies think they can fool consumers to make their ingredients look more natural. They list a chemical ingredient and follow it with a plant name in parenthesis. Great (deceptive) example, a proven poison - sodium lauryl sulfate (corn). It's an ingredient that is chemically processed from corn; however it is absolutely synthetic because it has been altered tremendously. But you think it's OK because it's followed by "Corn". How deceitful. Nurture My Body is Up To Date (almost) You'll notice that our product ingredients listed on our Website now reflect the current INCI requirements. We even go further to teach our customers the properties of each ingredient by offering a link to an Ingredients Glossary. Great idea, huh! Our outstanding homework assignment is to now change all of the labels on our bottles. This will require twice as much space to do, making the labels even larger (or the font smaller!), so we are researching a solution. Knowledge is Power (and Health) We hope this information will make it easier for you to read our labels and other personal care labels. Knowledge is power and it is always our intent to have the most brilliant and trusting customers.

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