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A recent survey undertaken by Spiezia Organics skincare has highlighted a huge gap in consumers’ understanding of how to ‘read’ the labels on skincare products. Even eco-savvy consumers were unable to differentiate between pure, natural and organic and their understanding of how to read the constituent ingredients was scarily off mark.

Spiezia Organics commissioned an independent survey of 100 customers, 87% of whom identified themselves as committed organic foodstuff buyers and 53% confirmed they looked at labels before they bought.

Ingredient countdown
Over half those asked were unaware that the ingredients on skincare products are always listed in % order of constituents with the highest percentage being listed first.

Differences between pure, natural and organic
Nearly half (49%) thought pure, organic and natural statements on packaging meant that these products did not contain any chemicals and a further 11% were not sure.

39% did not know what % of natural ingredients must be used to make a ‘natural’ product and a further 24% guessed at 100%.

Fact : Pure or natural products need only contain 2% natural ingredients – the other 98% can be anything, chemicals included.

Understanding organic
71% believed that organic meant that no chemicals had been added to the product and 6% believed it meant the product was handmade.

31% did not know what % organic ingredients are required in a product labelled ‘Made with Organic Ingredients’ and a further 37% guessed at 100%.

Fact: In skincare there is no legal definition of organic and there are no EU guidelines to be followed. ‘Made with Organic Ingredients’ labelled skincare products should contain a minimum of 70% organic ingredients. The balance can be chemicals and preservatives. The Soil Association requires a product labelled ‘Organic’ to have 95% organic ingredients and bans the use of sodium laurel sulphate and ingredients of a petrochemical origin.

Hoping to help clear up the confusion, Spiezia Organics suggest a few simple guidelines:

1. Look for the Soil Association or Ecocert logo on the label- these ensure the ingredients have been sustainably produced and can be traced right back to the farmer and even the field.
2. Read the ingredient list – this is a good measure of how natural or botanically based the product is. If chemicals are listed high up the list, it isn’t.

Meanwhile, Spiezia Organics will continue to actively encourage the implementation of clearer legislation and guidelines for consumers. Amanda Barlow, Managing Director of Spiezia Organics, states ‘All cosmetic producers, whether they are organic or not, have to abide by the current EEC legislation which clearly state that no harm must arise as a result of any chemical used in any skincare product. At Spiezia Organics we produce skincare products which are, where possible, 100% organic – in fact they are so organic you can eat them. However, as one of the main players, we realise that we have a responsibility to take a bigger step to protect consumers and that is why we are working with other like minded companies to lobby Government to set skincare industry standards and guidelines. It is very confusing for consumers, but it will only get better’.

For further information and visuals, please call Jennifer Hall-Thompson at ProActive PR on 020 8682 4785. Email
information line 0870 850 8 851

February 2008

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of ProActive PR in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, Environment & Nature, for more information visit