By Kim Raisanen
That’s a tricky question requiring an in depth understanding of the word “Natural” and how products are made and marketed.
When we look at labels of grooming products and pet food, the term “Natural” in some cases misleads us into a false sense of security. Natural products are marketed to convey the message that the product or food is safe because it contains natural ingredients, as opposed to artificial.
So, what is the definition of natural? The word Natural is an adjective. Adjectives are words used to describe other words. For example: That cat is beautiful. What is the cat? Beautiful. Another example is: This product is all natural. What is the product? Natural. By way of Webster’s Dictionary terms, we know that “Natural” could mean any of the following.
- Existing in or formed by nature (opposed to artificial) a natural bridge.
- Based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.
- Of or relating to nature or the universe: natural beauty.
Natural does not necessarily mean safe.
There are plenty of other ingredients that I could write about but for this article let’s look at “natural shampoos” made with coconuts.
There are very few grooming products that are truly natural. For example, “This natural shampoo is made with coconuts”. We envision a creamy shampoo made with coconuts or coconut oil, but truth be told, by the time the coconut makes its way into the shampoo it is known as Cocamidopropyl Betaine. A far cry from the fruit in our super markets. It’s important to recognize that just because it is derived from coconuts doesn’t make this a natural ingredient. Coconuts are truly natural—Cocamidopropyl Betaine is not.
Without going further into the science and chemical aspects of this type of formulation found in both human and animal shampoos and products, we must look at the manufacturers for answers. The next time you are purchasing products, ask the company “What makes this shampoo Natural?” Do your homework beforehand so you are educated in understanding ingredients.
Any shampoo company that refuses to disclose its ingredients should be asked why they don’t. There is no reason a company should withhold information when asked about their products. An ingredient list is not the same as the recipe or formula, therefore they are not divulging any trade secret.
Only with true understanding and transparency in disclosure of ingredients will you find a truly safe all natural product. ✂