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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Ask Dr. Desai?

Dec 05, 2013 05:32PM
Tips for buying great green personal care products by Dr Desai,

Are all products labeled “green” or “eco-friendly” or “natural” equal? This is a rhetorical question, of course! In trying to source your favorite natural personal care products, I would recommend that you examine your favorite personal care product using the following criteria:

Sourcing: Is the source of the raw materials and ingredients clear to you? Is it plant based, or synthetic? Even if the source is plant based, are the ingredients undergoing significant processing or substantial chemical modifications? Is the source domestic or foreign? If foreign, are the cultivators of the plant based ingredients being adequately compensated, and is your manufacturer adhering or pledging to Fair Trade Practices.

Environmental impact: Just because the ingredients are plant based, or natural doesn’t mean that there is no environmental impact. For example, do you know if the trees or plants that provide the source ingredients for your personal care product, are being grown or cultivated with renewal agricultural practices? And don’t forget the packaging materials that your favorite comes in as well? Is the packaging made from renewal resources and can it be reused or recycled?

Safety: Is the product that you are using safe to use? Safe enough to be used on young children or adults who may not be in good health? Just because something is natural or naturally sourced, doesn’t mean that it is safe. There are far too many natural products, which contain toxic ingredients including preservatives like parabens, or formaldehyde releasers like DMDM Hydantoin or antibacterial agents like triclosan. Was any of the testing for safety being done on animals? Look for products that are not tested on animals or carry the Leaping Bunny approved logo.

Efficacy: Ultimately you expect the product that you bought to be efficacious for whatever purpose you had in mind and deliver results that you were expecting. Unfortunately, there are several products out there that don’t perform or live up to their marketing hype.

Company values: While this item may be ignored by a few, the values of the manufacturer or what the brand represents is very important. Does the manufacturer of your natural personal care product truly care about the customers, the environment, their products, their ingredients, their packaging or is it all lip-service? Does the company disclose all its ingredients? Is there a performance or satisfaction guarantee that is offered by the manufacturer?  Does the company donate some proceeds of its revenue to your favorite social or environmental causes? While such a charitable contribution is not necessary, it often times is a good indicator of whether the manufacturer of your natural personal care product, care for something greater than the almighty dollar!

Now that you have some of these tips handy, you will be able to make an informed decision when it comes to finding great natural personal care products. In addition, you will be able to be able to influence what products your favorite retailer should carry!

Let Dr Desai answer your questions about natural personal care products.  Please send your questions to [email protected] or call 908-236-6742. For more information, visit

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