In such a short space of time I’ve been inundated with natural and/or organic products from amazing brands.Â It seems that all things natural and/or organic are the hottest topic right now and really has us Aussies talking.
Burt’s Bees hails from the US, they are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, launched in Australia in 2008 and are slowly making their natural mark.Â I’ve been using some of Burt’s Bees products for years, because I have been travelling to the US shopping since I was a wee lass, I picked up on this amazingly natural brand years ago because it’s on every counter and we love little pots of fun that sit on counters don’t we?
Anyway, Burt’s Bees really wants to hear from you … they want to know What do you think about â€˜natural\’?
Just as bees are curious about flowers, personal care company Burt\’s Bees is curious about people. Or, more specifically, about Australian attitudes and concerns about â€˜natural\’ ingredients in personal care products, such as those for the face, body and hair.
So the company has launched a survey to start the conversation with Australian consumers to find out.Â I met earlier this week with General Manger of Burt’s Bees here in Australia, Emma Atkinson and I can’t tell you how delightful she is and how passionate she is about Burt’s Bees.
“We are interested in what Australians are thinking because there\’s not a lot of information available to tell us what really matters to them,” Emma Atkinson, General Manager of Burt\’s Bees Australia, said.
“We think it\’s safe to assume Australian consumers have their own concerns and we hope that they will be willing to share them with us. But what are those concerns? Are consumers confused by the claims and counterclaims made about â€˜natural\’ products? We don\’t know,” Emma said.
The Australians Talking About Natural survey is online now and is open to Australian residents only until 14 November.
I will be writing some more posts down the track about Burt’s Bees, introducing you to their products and their ethos but for now, below is some interesting information about what it means to be ‘natural‘ that Burt’s Bees kindly sent me:
Six reality checks for â€˜natural\’ products
Right now, consumers are concerned about the potentially harmful ingredients that might be lurking in their personal care products, despite their best efforts to buy safe products. Recent research on the effect of common additives such as phthalates, parabens, grease-cutting agents such as sodium lauryl sulphates and antibacterials such as triclosan are worrying â€“ and can be confusing.Â In the interests of cutting through the confusion, here\’s a handy checklist to help you choose your natural personal care products with confidence.
1. One natural ingredient in a product doesn\’t make it all natural â€“ Ingredient order on a label is an indication of the quantity of that ingredient. Look and see what percentage of the product is actually made up of natural ingredients.
2. Understand the difference between â€˜organic\’ and â€˜natural\’ â€“Â a product labeled â€˜organic\’ only needs to contain as little as 70% organic ingredients. That means up to 30% of the ingredients could be anything but organic or even natural â€“ and could include the very ingredients the consumer was hoping to avoid by buying organic in the first place. Trust products that back up their organic claim with certification from a reputable body.
3. Be wary of trade-marked or brand names using â€˜natural\’ in the name â€“ having natural in the name doesn\’t guarantee the product will contain natural ingredients.
4. Be aware of the language â€“ Just because an ingredient has a long or scientific sounding name doesn\’t mean it\’s a chemical. Find out more about the ingredients if you aren\’t sure.
5. Watch out for phrases like â€˜nature inspired\’ or â€˜made with\’ natural or organic ingredients â€“ This kind of language allows manufacturers to position their products as natural or organic without having to include high levels of natural or organic ingredients.
6. There are certain ingredients that should NEVER be used in a product labeled natural â€“ Watch out for these:
- sulphates (sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate etc â€“ and no, ammonium lauryl sulphate isn\’t better, in fact, it can be even more irritating than SLS)
- petrochemicals (petrolatum/mineral oil/ paraffin)
- chemicals in sunscreens (oxybenzone/avobenzone)