How can this company’s tagline be “organic beauty”?

Sample product LOI:

water/aqua/eaualoe barbadensis gel*hydroxyethylcellulosemaltodextrin copolymerpotassium hydroxidegluconolactonesodium benzoatecalcium gluconatealkyl acrylate crosspolymercitrus aurantium dulcis peel oilcaprylic/capric triglyceridepotassium sorbatesodium phytateglycerin*chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract*eucalyptus globulus leaf extract*ginkgo biloba leaf extract*aspalathus linearis leaf extract*honey extract*limonene†

*Certified Organic

†A natural component of essential oils

Isn’t this misleading? I mean, sure, you’ve thrown some organic products into the gel. Yay. But for all intents and purposes, the essential ingredients aren’t organic. Where does the line get drawn? 

Signed, 

Genuinely curious 

Comments

  • The alkyl acrylate crosspolymer usage rate I think is 0.2 -3%, and caprylic/capric triglyceride  and maltodextrin copolymer are "naturally-derived" so the formula is 'mostly' natural, depending on your shade of natural.  But if the company tagline is organic beauty, IMHO that is quite misleading. 
  • FarahFarah Member
    @Anca_Formulator yeah I can get behind “mostly natural” but their tagline is indeed organic beauty… I don’t know if there are any legal consequences to a misleading tagline. If not, then this is a very clever ploy. They don’t have to state “this is a mostly organic product” and be inaccurate. But their tagline is on the bottle right under the brand name and it’s super implied. 
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Welcome to the world of marketing and advertisement. Their job is to find a way how to dupe consumers whilst (barely) sticking to the law.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Technically, in the US in regards to cosmetics “organic” has no legal definition. The FDA does say you have to also follow USDA guidelines https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-labeling-claims/organic-cosmetics

    The USDA gives ways you can get certified but doesn’t have authority over products that aren’t claiming certification. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/OrganicCosmeticsFactSheet.pdf

    The state of California however, has specific rules so a company could get sued there for claiming organic.

    Basically, they can get away with this as long as they are not sued.

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    They don't claim 'organic certified', they claim 'organic beauty' and, I'm sure, that kind of beauty is caused only by the organic ingredients, not the (chemical) excipients :smiley: .
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Farah

    The term they are using is Innersence Organic Beauty.  They are not claiming that the product is Organic Certified or Made With Organic Ingredients, both of which are legal certifications and bear a seal.  The word Organic is not necessarily being used in the sense of some of the ingredients being certified organic.

    Rather, I think what they are referring to with the tag line Organic Beauty is beauty that is of living matter.  The word "Organic" does have a definition that has nothing to do with cosmetic ingredients and they are probably using it in this context.  They are trying to associate the company's brand name Innersence with the concept of Organic Beauty, not organic certified products.  It is a distinction that will be lost on many consumers. 

    Nothing illegal here.  But, yes, it is misleading. But, this is nothing more than lying liars lying to dupes and rubes who want to be lied to ... I think that's how it works. 
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @MarkBroussard - I agree with your assessment however, they may be breaking the labeling rules set up in California. And there are lots of lawyers there willing to pursue lawsuits. https://www.findlaw.com/legalblogs/california-case-law/you-can-now-sue-over-organic-labels-in-california/
  • FarahFarah Member
    Thank you all for chiming in! I appreciate the insights. 

    @MarkBroussard - I fully understand the word play and how it can be explained. But is the true intention to coin and perpetuate the use of the phrase “organic beauty” to refer to the beauty of living things? How many customers will have that interpretation? I personally find the attempted deception so irritating that I’m put off trying their products (which I’ve heard positive feedback about and could stand on their own without all of this). But for most customers it will likely have the opposite effect. 

    @Perry I doubt a lawsuit would work in this instance since the tagline is so carefully worded to have a whole other non-ingredient related meaning. 

    I guess what I’m bitter about is that these successful “ethical”  companies have an opportunity to break the stigma surrounding synthetics and to educate the consumers on the benefits of using both natural and synthetic ingredients as needed. Instead they are just riding trend waves. Also, so much hard work goes into formulating truly compliant natural products and this just seems like a clever branding loophole… 
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Farah:

    I think a lawsuit for false advertising/misrepresentation would probably prevail here.  By using the term "Organic Beauty" most consumers would be lead to believe they are buying an organic product.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • edited July 17
    You wouldn't believe it... they are part of B-Corp???!!
  • FarahFarah Member
    @Anca_Formulator that’s exactly what’s getting my goat!! 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Perry

    B-Corp is a certification organization for businesses that adhere to business practices that are geared towards social and environment business standards.  Mostly around using sustainable ingredients, often free-trade sourced from poor countries, environmentally sound packaging, green energy powered manufacturing, etc.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • I like this tag line in one face wash ad " Three Minute treatment wash".
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