Consumers misled over 'organic' beauty products, say campaigners

Consumers are being misled over shampoos, skin creams and other beauty products that claim to be organic or natural, campaigners have warned.

Consumers being misled over organic beauty products

Pic: Getty

In a study by the Soil Association, some products from big name brands were found to contain chemicals commonly found in antifreeze, air fresheners and oven cleaner.

Among those coming in for criticism were Nivea, whose '95 per cent natural' Pure And Natural hand cream was found to contain methylisothiazolinone, a preservative found in floor cleaners and air fresheners, Boots Botanics facial oil, which, despite being labelled as 100 per cent organic, was found to contain at least four ingredients that were not.

US beauty firm Organix were also accused of "misleading marketing" since the brand name itself suggested a natural product, when in fact, its coconut shampoo contained no organic ingredients at all.

The labelling of organic beauty products is not currently covered by law, although there are voluntary certification schemes run by various organisations whereby certain standards must be met, and certain chemicals are banned.

According to the Daily Mail, neither Nivea or Organix would comment on the study's findings. But a spokesman for Boots claimed the problem was with the labelling and not with the products, insisting that "the ingredients in the Botanics Organic Facial Oil support a 100 per cent organic claim and Trading Standards approve our process".

Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association told the Mail: "It is wrong that people are putting chemicals found in antifreeze, paint, oven cleaner and floor cleaner on their skin, when they thought they were buying a product made from only natural or organic ingredients. This must stop."

What do you think? Should so-called organic and natural beauty products be certified by law? Leave your comments below...