In an ideal world everyone would be honest and the world of sales and marketing wouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of slack labelling laws to trick us into thinking cosmetics are “natural” or “organic” when they contain other less favourable ingredients.
Well actually, in an ideal world, cosmetics would not be allowed to use potentially harmful ingredients at all. But they are, and it can be very hard to know what’s dangerous and what’s not just reading the confusing ingredients lists.
This is why I make my ingredient lists as easy to read and understand as possible.
I always write them in a list form going down the label, making it easier for the eye to read, and I put the common name in bold so it’s easy to recognize and understand what exactly it is.
But not all ingredient lists are as easy to decipher, and there are many ingredients that sound scary but aren’t, and vice versa. How are cosmetic consumers meant to know what’s safe and what’s not. This is a problem that Jenise, a chemical engineer and environmentalist, and her team at Cert Clean, based in Toronto wanted to help solve. (Much to the annoyance of the big pharmaceutical companies who would rather you didn’t know!)
They created a certification for products free from ingredients that may pose risk to our hormonal, reproductive and or neurological systems, like talcum powder, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, and hundreds more. There are in fact 1220 banned ingredients on their list!
Other than organic certification, which is a prohibitively costly process, there is no other certification like this in Canada and the more brands that sign up, the more useful it becomes.
The second part to this great organization is they identified a big challenge for smaller independent brands who are choosing great ingredients and making fantastic products. Money. Big pharmaceutical brands have huge budgets for marketing campaigns and advertisements. They get the magazine features and reviews, the TV airtime and celebrity endorsement…because they pay for it.
It is very hard to compete with that with our small to non-existent marketing budgets. So Cert Clean endeavour to showcase those working hard to provide clean cosmetics and they now even have a review site where consumers can get real reviews of the products certified by them. Just because it’s clean doesn’t mean it gives good results.
So as my new labels are being created, I will be proudly displaying the Cert Clean symbol, enabling my customers to shop with confidence.
Read more about Cert Clean on their website, check out other brands who have gone through the process, the full list of all 1220 banned ingredients, and find out about Jenise and her team.