As more and more consumers choose products with only natural ingredients, more and more companies want to call their products “natural”—even if it means ignoring the presence of synthetic or chemical ingredients.
ShiKai Natural Everyday Shampoo bears a fresh green leaf and the word “natural” on its front, but its back ingredient label lists “Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamide MEA, … Gluconolactone, [and] Sodium Benzoate”.
While no regulatory agency has a firm definition of “natural” for cosmetics, the word is usually considered to be the opposite of synthetic. The Code of Federal Regulations defines “natural” in foods as follows: “Nonsynthetic (natural). A substance that is derived from mineral, plant, or animal matter and does not undergo a synthetic process…” (7 C.F.R. § 205.2) The United States Code says, “The term ‘synthetic’ means a substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral sources, except that such term shall not apply to substances created by naturally occurring biological processes. (7 U.S.C. § 6502 (2.1))
By these definitions, a number of the components of this shampoo do not appear to be natural.
Yet ShiKai strives to create the image that the shampoo is natural and mild. The back of the bottle says, “Our goal is to make the finest, most natural and safest products possible.”
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently been cracking down on “natural” claims in cosmetic products. Four companies recently agreed to settle FTC charges that they called their products “all natural” or “100% natural” even though they contained synthetic ingredients. Under the settlements, the companies agreed to stop misrepresenting the nature of their products and must have “competent and reliable” evidence to substantiate their claims.
We’re interested in your experience with this shampoo. If you’ve used it, please let us know what your results were.