Recently I called in to question the published ingredients of a popular "organic" shampoo. (See my previous post.) The ingredients listed on the product just didn't add up. They listed water, oil, glycerin, potassium lactate, and some herbal extracts. From a scientific standpoint, I knew it couldn't be true, as oil, water and glycerin just don't mix, let alone lather and clean hair. I stated that there had to be something that the company wasn't disclosing on the label, and today my assertion was proven correct by a statement that the company made. Their response to my article. Here is an excerpt:
With over 30 years experience and practical application in the skin care field, and with the advantage of highly advanced technology, our chemist is capable of achieving end results based on specific ingredients used in precise amounts. The oils used in our shampoo are carefully chosen for the character they impart to the final product. Coconut oil creates glycerin and produces a great lather. Olive oil has natural antioxidants and makes the lather creamier.
Attempting to explain something as intricately complex as a chemical process is difficult, but in a nutshell, these two oils are saponified using new, advanced technology which does not require the use of harmful solids. Instead, potassium salt is used and is converted into potassium lactate (a moisturizing agent). The process is similar to using precursors and initiators that allow reactions to take place but do not become consumed within the reaction.
Your confidence in the quality and integrity of the ________ brand is important to us. Be assured that we accurately list the active ingredients on our labels and that ________ Shampoo does NOT contain SLS. Cocomide Betaine was in the original formula but was removed when our labels were updated several years ago.
If their product is so natural and organic, why does it undergo such a "intricately complex chemical process" that's difficult to explain?
If the shampoo was truly made from saponified oils, the product would have the same physical properties of soap. It would turn milky in water (which it doesn't) it would leave soap scum in hard water (which it doesn't) and it would have an alkaline pH (which it doesn't.) And, if they were saponified oils, why not list them as such on the label? But, as they've described, the oils are not truly saponified, but are undergoing an "intricately complex chemical process." These are not raw or saponified oils; they have undergone sophisticated processing, using "advanced technology." In other words, the oils have been chemically altered and turned in to a new substance. A substance that's not disclosed on the label.
Then, something else stuck out at me. They say: "Be assured that we accurately list the active ingredients on our labels." First of all, "active ingredients" is a term that's relegated to a product that's a drug, not a cosmetic. The only time a shampoo would have an "active ingredient" legally would be when it's considered a drug, as in a medicated dandruff shampoo. Cosmetic products must disclose all of their ingredients (with exceptions for chemicals listed under "fragrance.) How they're defining "active" ingredients is unclear, but I find it suspect that they wouldn't say "we disclose ALL ingredients" and not just those that they deem to be "active."
So, the bottom line remains: their shampoo label does not accurately reflect the actual ingredients in the bottle. And now their own statement has confirmed it.