Friday, May 28, 2010

A list of fake organic and fake natural products!

I am reposting this blog from organicgal007 because I think it is a very good resource as we educate ourselves about what's going onto...and therefore into...our bodies. What is often marketed as one thing, may not be what it seems.  She has created an extensive list of products that claim to be "natural" or "pure" or "safe" and then reveals those products and companies who are just plain faking it...and the lists of toxic chemicals they're still using. We must be aware that the FDA does not regulate the terms "natural," "pure," or "safe."  The word "organic" can even be used as long as some of the ingredients are organic...but there is no regulation about the safety of other ingredients! These terms can be included on any label with no oversight.  Do not trust the front of the bottle. 

I'm a little sheepish to say I found some of my own products on this list. While I knew they weren't really 100% pure, I knew they were better than what I had been using. It is a process. When that bottle runs out, I'll use something else. 

The other reason this list is helpful is that she has also included, near the end of the list, some companies with genuinely safe/organic ingredients. This is a good place for us to start looking for real natural cosmetics to replace the junk.

As I have said before, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate makeup, shampoo, hairspray, lotion, or any other cosmetics.  We must do our own research. I think this list is a good resource to help in this long and daunting research process.  It might also bring some surprises for those (like me) who are trying to make better choices but still had a little too much trust in the industry. Don't make that mistake!

Everything else in this blog is written by organicgal007, from her excellent post here

Fake Organics: These companies use synthetics and sometimes very little organics in their finished product. The ingredient names following the brand name are examples of the exact toxic ingredients these companies use, that landed them on my No No list and the USDA Organic regulations do not condone use of. You won't see the USDA Organic logo on any of these brands, yet, they still try to trick the uneducated public into believing they are an "organic" product by calling their brand name " ____ organic".
  • Alba Botanica - Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Octinoxate , Oxybenzone, Peg-100, Sodium PCA, etc.
  • Avalon Organics - Cocamidopropyl betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium oleamido succinate, Sodium PCA, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, etc.
  • Babywise Organics - Octyl Palmitate (I'm finding this to be another name for Dimethicone..correct me if I'm wrong), Retinyl Palmitate , Phenoxyethanol, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Cocamidopropyl Betaine , Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, etc.
  • Derma E Organic Expressions - PEG-7, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Dimethicone, Peg-175, PEG-200, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, etc.
  • Giovanni Organics - PVP (which is vinyl), PEG-40, Polysorbate 60, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Octylmethoxycinnamate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocamphodiacetate, PEG-8, etc,
  • Head Organics - PEG-7, PVP (which is vinyl), Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Cetrimonium Chloride, etc.
  • Jason pure natural organic - Cocamide MEA, Polyquaternium-7, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone,
  • Juice Beauty - Retinyl palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl (octyl) palmitate, Cocamidopropyl betaine. Only 4 of over 30 products actually carry the USDA Organic logo, all other 30+ products do not. To me having only 4 certified products, does not make you an organic company.
  • Kiss My Face Organics - Phenoxyethanol (funny their adverts claim they are "Obsesivly Organic". HA! Really?)
  • Lotus Touch organic & natural - PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Bisabolol,
  • Mill Creek Organics a.k.a. Amazon Organics - Cocamidopropyl betaine, Octyl dimethyl PABA, Acrylates copolymer,
  • Natures Gate Organics - Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-120, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone, PEG-100, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, PVP, Dimethiconol,
  • Organix - Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, Dimethicone, (Behentrimonium 2 of 4 are toxic, they don't notate which of the 4 types they are this one is iffy), Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone, etc.
  • Organix South Inc, a.k.a. Thera Neem - Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Lauramide DEA, PEG-7, PEG-40,
  • Pharmacopia Organic - Phenoxyethanol; Chlorphenesin, Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • Sexy Hair Organics. i can't find even 1 website online, including the company website, that lists the ingredients. next time i'm at the mall i will jot them down, this is where I saw them first and was appalled by the list of toxins.
Fake Naturals: These companies claim they are natural, safe, part of wellness, or pure; but use toxic synthetics in their products. The words Natural, Pure, & Safe have no regulations guiding their use. Any company can make these claims regardless to if the claim is true or not.
  • 365 by Whole Foods (so confusing to me at to why their body care products contain junk ingredients).
  • Alba - Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Octinoxate , Oxybenzone, Peg-100, Sodium PCA, etc.
  • Arbonne - Cocamidopropyl Betaine Coconut , PEG-80, Peg-120, Retinyl Palmitate, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol , Hexylene Glycol , etc. (their baby line is horribly toxic).
  • Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant- propylene glycol, tricolsan, (they test on animals, this alone is enough to boycott them)
  • Aveda - Many forms of PEG's, Dimethicone, etc. (sorry list not complete. I popped into an Aveda Salon because Aveda does not list online nor will reply to my emails. I did a brief look over of the bottles before it was frowned upon by the salon staff and I left.)
  • Aveeno - Dimethicone, Petrolatum, Distearyldimonium Chloride, PEG-80, Trisodium EDTA, PEG-150, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
  • The Body Shop - PEG-100, Parabens (1 product alone had 5 different types of parabens), EDTA, Yellow #5, Red #4, PEG-8, Cocamide DEA, Dimethicone, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-18, PVP
  • Derma E - Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Dimethyl MEA , PEG-100, Cocamide DEA
  • Earth Science - Phenoxyethanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, benzophenone-3
  • Healthy Times baby line - Parabens
  • Huggies/Pamper naturals. "Yeah, right." yes that was sarcasim
  • Jackson Reece Herbal baby wipes - cocamidoproyl betaine, phenoxyethanol
  • Kiss my Face - Trisodium EDTA, Retinyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Propylene glycol, Triethanolamine.
  • Korres Natural Products - Propylparaben, Methylparaben, PEG- 8, Aluminium Oxide, PEG-100, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, PEG-60, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol (one product had 5 parabens & pheno. That's just ludacris)
  • Lush - Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, (this company is at least 1/2 honest...when listing their ingredients, they color code the natural & synthetic so it's easy to read, but they call them "safe synthetics", I have to disagree)
  • Melaleuca - Dimethicone, PEG - 100, Phenoxyethanol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Avobenzone, Ostisalate, Octinoxate, Octocyrlene, EDTA, Triethanolamine, PEG-7, PEG-60,
  • Method - Cocamidopropyl betaine, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium lauryl sulfate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Cocamide DEA, retinyl palmitate, (gets sneaky & shady by not disclosing the name of their preservatives or what type of color they use. it just says "preservative" "color")
  • Mill Creek Botanicals - Disodium-EDTA, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • Nature's Gate - Phenoxyethanol, PEG-100, Butylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Cocamide DEA, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Octinoxate; Oxybenzone, Dimethicone
  • Pure and Basic - Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-90, Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben
  • Shaklee - Phenoxyethanol, Didodium EDTA, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, PEG-10, Dimethicone, AMMONIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM LAURYL SULFOACETATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, PEG-12, RETINYL PALMITATE
  • Tom's of Maine - SLS, Proplyene Glycol
  • Zia - Phenoxyethanol, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Octisalate,
 Real Organic: no synthetics; never ever.
  Real Natural: though they might not use all organic ingredients, their finished product has NO added synthetics.
 Hit & Miss/ Murky Companies. These companies have some products that are really clean and other products that are not. Read Labels and know what you are choosing before you spend the $$. be on the look out for: Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, PEG's, Parabens, Urea, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine...if those are in it, stay away.
  • Aura Cacia - Very Hit and Miss. Their certified organic line of esseintial oils are the bomb though, VERY high grade and very clean!
  • Bare Minerals- I found Dimethicone in 1 product out of about 12 that I researched. Seems they have taken out most of their nasty ingredients. I used to have them on my fakers list.
  • Beeceuticals - some products carry the USDA logo, other products have phenoxyethanol in the ingredients. I have spoken with the owner of the company and they are working on an enzyme based presevative to replace the pheno. so be on the look out for this positive change.
  • Burt's Bees - the good thing, is each product tells you on the front of the bottle exactly what % it is natural. they are a pretty clean company. there's not much i would shy away from.
  • Desert Essence - again a truly hit or miss. mostly miss. mostly on my fakers list with the exception of their pure oils and castile face soap, essential oils; those are truly natural and some even organic
  • Eco-Bella. All of their body care is 100% clean, but their cosmetic line still carries several ingredients of concern, including parabens.
  • EO - Phenoxyethanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Dimethicone; mostly on my fakers list, though their lip balm is really organic
  • Honey Bee Gardens
  • ikove


  1. Alas! Nearly everything I've seen around, that I considered substituting for no 'poo when I hit hard water difficulties, is on the fake list. But I'd already checked a lot of them out on Skin Deep and come to sort of the same conclusion myself, so. Maybe I'll check out Aubrey Organics if the latest experiment doesn't work.

  2. Good luck with finding better alternatives. Most stuff at my local co-op and crunchy stores are on the fake list too.

    It is a process. A while ago I swapped my Herbal Essences for Jason Naturals...definitely better, but we can't always just settle for better. Keep looking for the best option.

  3. Great resource! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Retinyl palmitate (from the no no list above) is simply vitamin A. As with any fat soluble vitamin, it can be toxic when ingested in large quantities, but I'm unaware of any toxicity with topical use. Vitamin A is associated with skin health-or more precisely, skin problems are one manifestation of vitamin A deficiency. (Vitamin A, or retinoic acid, often exists in ester form with various fatty acids. In this case, it is esterified with palmitate which is a naturally occurring saturated fat.)

    Just an FYI:
    The FDA also does not regulate nutritional supplements, functional foods or the term "organic" when applied to foods. In this instance as well, a food product may claim to be organic even if only part of the ingredients are actually organic.

    (I'm a registered dietitian working on my MS in nutritional science if you would like to know my background and qualifications for making the observations I'm posting here.)

  4. What about the brand "Beauty without Cruelty"?

  5. Amanda, I use BWC shampoo...and I love it! I haven't noticed any fake ingredients, and the scents are amazing!

    Okay, so I would recommend it, to sum up.

  6. So very disappointed to see Aveeno on the "no" list:(

    I also find it interesting that I haven't heard of a single one of those on the "real" list. Hmmm...maybe organics need good marketers, too?

    Aydan, I've been poo-free since November. You can find my research on the subject here:

    And, straying from health & beauty, this is a GREAT reference for buying organic produce. They do the dirty dozen, clean 15 and a full list. I have the iPhone app and LOVE it. It's nice to save some cash by buying conventional on the produce that retains fewer's all about dosage!

  7. What about the brand 'Yes to Carrots'...i have only used their shampoo and conditioner and most of the ingredients seem pretty natural. There are a few that aren't but they aren't the ones you list to be aware of.

  8. Thanks for the list, but I can't read the text with the blue font.

  9. I like cake, and I am glad it is not on the list.

  10. Earth mama Angel baby is highly recommended. I hope they would market it here in the Philippines. I had to order from US and have it shipped here :(