Saturday, March 31, 2012

Clean Up Your Act ! (a rant that's been a long time in coming)

WARNING! This post is a "rant" about what I consider "unethical soaping practices" if you would prefer not to read such opinions STOP HERE and go read a friendlier blog!

Still reading?  Well here comes my rant -brace yourself:


It seems the FDA may regulate the handmade soap industry more closely in the future....making it difficult for many small home-based business to comply because of the mountains of paperwork necessary & time required to fill out said paperwork.  Such a shame that all soap makers aren't HONEST enough ON THEIR OWN to properly represent what is really in their products -perhaps then this would be a non-issue!

For instance, check out this ingredient list from what many would consider a "successful" handmade soap company:  

INGREDIENTS: Goat’s Milk, Certified Organic Olive Oil, Certified Organic Coconut Oil, Certified Organic Palm Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Organic Palm Kernel Oil, Certified Organic Cocoa Butter.

Can anyone out there explain to me how a soap made of the above ingredients will do the following?

 "The sweet scent of warm, ripe cherries will linger on your skin hours after lathering up..."

(not to mention give this soap color)
 

You can't explain it?  I didn't think so.  I can't either!  But there it is.

Is it ignorance or deception?  Hard to tell, but I think anyone who would lie about ingredients would lie about other things as well!  

This particular soap company must be hoping that the consumer will assume (and in my opinion rightly so) that this is a complete ingredient listing because, after all, what's the use of an incomplete ingredient list?


How do these people sleep at night?  We honest soap-makers could tell our customers that our soaps smell like flowers or cherries without the use of anything but the above ingredients, too -selling them a sweet-smelling lie.....no wait, we really couldn't....you see a  little quality called "integrity" prevents it.


My point in case you missed it is this: To those of you who feel consumers won't buy your product without being deceived or misled into doing so,

 "Clean Up Your Act" or Congress will, most likely, clean it up for you!  It's your deceptive practices that cause regulations (that most of us don't need) to be considered in the first place!  

I don't care if you use fragrance oils or essential oils,  natural colors or not,  organic oils or not....just TELL THE TRUTH!  It's not that difficult, really!



Oh, and BTW, if you happen to promote a deceptive company on your blog....it could affect your reputation as well....you know, "the company you keep" and all that...I'm just sayin'...

Rant over.

18 comments:

mary_smith said...

I completely agree. Integrity is key and deception is unacceptable.

Carmen said...

Not to mention 'lye'. Literally it isn't even soap without it! Such a shame...and really, really annoying!

Polly McNamara said...

In the UK, we don't list lye, as it is not present in the actual bar of cured soap. We do however, have to list the allergens that are present in the FOs/EOs and that can be a real trauma to work out. I hate dishonest sellers too, but my guess is that very few customers actually read the labels. rant away Becky, it seems a minority spoil if for those of us with integrity and honesty

The Soap Sister said...

Thanks for your comment Mary. You said what I meant in once concise sentence! LOL! ~Becky

The Soap Sister said...

Yes. I have listed my Ingredients as either the individual oils and sodium hydroxide or "saponified olive oil" etc. without the sodium hydroxide (which is arguably even more accurate when describing what's left in the final bar)-either way is o.k. IMO. But to claim, as some do, "soap made without lye" is just dishonest.

The Soap Sister said...

Hi Polly, Thanks for your comment. You're probably right -most customers probably don't care about every soap ingredient. I do think that customers expect honesty when it comes to product labeling. It's really sad that some soap makers feel they must deceive in order to sell their products. Thanks again for listening to my rant. :) ~Becky

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

Um,not to mention that ingredient list never mentions sodium hydroxide-last time I checked you can't have soap without it.

I hear you sister loud and clear. I too don't care if a soap maker is using fd&c colorants,fragrance oils,natural colorants or essential oils,but at least have the integrity to be honest about it.

The Soap Sister said...

Michele, you are so right -I didn't even notice that was missing! It seems only the ingredients that SOUND good and organic were listed. Is it just me or do you wonder what else might be in this particular soap? "Oh what a tangled web we weave..."

twobloomsdesignstudio said...

Yes, it can be frustrating. I know of a soaper that fudges what she uses.

P.S. Looking forward to your clay soap, I'm sure it's lovely.

Michelle

Dragon (Karen) said...

I never took a lot of notice of what was on the labels when I bought other people's homemade soap, but since making my own and selling it, I'm really interested in what other's use and I become really concerned when a 'list of ingredients' doesn't make sense. My concern is around 'if they lie on their label, what else are they lying about' ... for example ... 'is this really homemade soap?' etc.

Great post!

The Soap Sister said...

Hi Karen, Yep, me too...I was the average consumer, and I'm sure I had the wool pulled over my eyes a few times, too. Oh oh oh -I forgot the best part...the above soap is OVER $8.00 PER BAR!! The only thing more pitiful than a liar is a greedy liar! It's a shame that "Buyer Beware" should be necessary in homemade soap, isn't it?

Amy Warden said...

Oh boy, you're really going after it now!! Great post - I completely agree!! I'm a saponified ingredients lister myself. Then the additives go in the "also" category: also fresh goat's milk, titanium dioxide, etc.

Heidi said...

I totally agree with you! I myself list the ingredients with their INCI names as required in EU. Some soap makers still use ingredient list similar to the one in your post despite the requirements of the law. The thing that annoys me most is that the consumers seem to think that the soap with the incorrect ingredients list is "more natural" than mine because mine has strange INCI names in it!

mary_smith said...

Tune in tomorrow for my rant. I'm seething right now so I need to cool down before it click "publish." I love your handmade soaps.

The Soap Sister said...

Hi Amy, Can you tell this was like a pea in my mattress for a long time? LOL....well, the rant/vent helped, and it's good to know that many of the soapers that I admire & respect feel the same way. :) ~Becky

The Soap Sister said...

Hi Heidi, Good for you for being even more accurate! I've done that on lotion (I think it may be a requirement) but haven't attempted it on my soap yet. :) ~Becky

The Soap Sister said...

I'm heading over there now.....at least I'm not the "Lone Ranter" LOL! :)

Wendy.B said...

I so agree with you.. I soap down here in Australia and there are struck regulations here, we who sell soap have to be registered with the GOVT. dept NICNAS. Just last week I was on a hand made sellers site and there was soap beautifully labelled with everything bar the sodium hydroxide listed. I get very cross when I see this, and I want to email and say how can you sell it as soap, with the ingredient that makes it soap missing. I never do but I find it increasingly difficult to deal with. Unregistered soap makers selling soap incorrectly labelled really gives those of us trying to do the right thing, a bad name.