Monday, October 26th, 2009
My message, when asked about body, hair and skin care has ALWAYS been, “READ THE LABELS.” When Saltspring Soapworks began, back in ’79…there WERE no labels…..or more correctly, they didn’t really say anything.
In the U.S., ingredient listings were mandatory, in order of appearance. Usually, the 1st ingredient was water! But in Canada…we didn’t need to do this. I began to do it anyway, thinking that our ingredients were so special people would want to know about them. Also, we had nothing to hide.
One day, we had a visit from the owner of one of Canada’s largest “natural” body care companies. He had one line of products that we didn’t make…and he felt we could sell in our shops. He was known as quite a “guru” in the emerging natural market. He gave me a few free samples, including shampoo. As we sat there in my office, I smelled the shampoo: it was wonderful, pure essential oils.
I looked at the label, it all looked great! “But,” I said naively, “where’s the surfactant?” That’s inside talk for the detergent, the cleansing agent or whatever. Something had to make this shampoo lather. “Oh,” he said, “its sodium lauryl sulfate.”
“But, but, ” I gulped, “it’s not on the label.” His response floored me, and I still remember it, of course.
“We only list ACTIVE ingredients,” he said. “People don’t like to read about all the chemicals and preservatives.”
“Oh,” I thought…..ACTIVE INGREDIENTS???!!!!
So there you have it. Hidden ingredients. Also, aren’t you glad they’re protecting us???
And they are still doing it. So are we! We just discovered one of our nice food-grade extracts had propylene glycol in it….hidden away in something we thought was 100% coconut. Immediately, it was scrapped, of course…we don’t knowingly do this and we are looking for that 100% natural replacement.
Others, it seems, aren’t so picky. If you find a hidden ingredient, let us know. We’ll send you something nice!