New seal for natural personal care products

US hair and skin products made from natural ingredients will qualify for a new consumer-facing seal developed by the Natural Products Association, set to appear on products within weeks.

The NPA, which has offices in Washington, DC, and California, said demand for natural personal care products such as lotions, balms and shampoos was soaring, prompting manufacturers to respond with a host of new products.

The natural and organic personal care market topped $7 billion last year in the US, a 17% increase over 2006, according to the NPA. It now represents 12.5% of the $56 billion US personal care market.

"People want natural products because they are good for them and good for our environment," said Debra Short, president of the NPA. "But anyone could claim their product was natural, even if it was 100% synthetic or petroleum-based. That wasn't fair to consumers or to companies who make truly natural products, and this seal will help end all that confusion."

Research indicated that two out of every three American women thought a personal care product labelled ?natural' should contain at least 95% natural ingredients, she added.

To qualify for the Seal of Approval under the NPA's new Natural Certification Program, a product must contain:

  • at least 95% truly natural ingredients or ingredients that are derived from natural sources
  • no ingredients with any suspected human health risks
  • ingredients that come from a renewable or plentiful source found in nature
  • non-natural ingredients only when a viable natural alternative ingredient is unavailable — and only then when there are no suspected potential human health risks.

The full set of criteria can be found on the NPA website at http://www.naturalproductsassoc.org/certifiednatural.

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