Natural Processes vs. Non-Natural Processes
97% of people think some regulation of Natural Personal Care is necessary. *
We think so, too, and that's why we're Setting The Natural Standard. These guidelines for natural personal care products apply to both the ingredients and processes used to create them. We believe that non-natural processes should be avoided wherever possible and that natural ingredients should be processed in ways that keep them natural.
When we get a natural ingredient, we want to ensure that its purity is maintained. That's why we use minimal processing, or as we call it "Kitchen Chemistry." This approach, including processes like distillation/condensation, extraction/steamed distillation/pressure cooking and hydrolysis, maximizes purity and causes no negative effects on the ingredients.
|Process||How It Works||Benefits|
|Saponification||Uses a strong alkali base, like sodium hydroxide, to create a reaction with a fat or oil.||Creates soap, glycerine and water in one process.|
|Esterification & Transesterification||Reacts an alcohol and acid (or base).||Creates safe emulsifiers, surfactants and solubalizers used to thicken and hydrate moisturizers.|
|Biofermentation||Converts substances through the use of a yeast and or a bacteria. Microorganisms do not survive the process.||Produces nutrients important for skin and hair and purifies substances.|
|Hydrolysis||Splits molecules with water.||Increases solubility and structure for hair products.|
|Hydrogenation||Hardens oils for stability using hydrogen.||Allows for increased stability of formulas|
Additionally, there are several processes that dilute or change the composition of an ingredient to the point that an otherwise natural ingredient becomes unsafe by virtue of how it is processed. We believe these kinds of processes, including sulfonation, ethoxylation, polymerization and unfavorable varieties of quaternization that use caustic solvents, impurities and residual compounds, should always be avoided.
For example, some companies use these methods to process coconut oil for their products, applying several chemical processes like sulfonation and ethoxylation. The result is a synthetic substitute called Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS). After all that processing, this substitute doesn't resemble natural coconut oil at all. What's more, the processing can leave behind residual ethelyne oxide and 1, 4-Dioxane, which both can have harmful effects. Meanwhile, we use a natural form of the oil to create non-greasy, oil-free cleansers for skin and hair that are incredibly effective and completely safe.
|Process||How It Works||Why It's Harmful|
|Sulfonation||Harsh processing using sulfates, sulphonates and phosphates creates effective wetting agents for use in detergents and foaming agents.||It's not natural and poses potential human and environmental health hazards because sulfates do not break down in the environment.|
|Ethoxylation||Ethylene oxide is added to fatty acids in order to make them more soluble and create foaming agents for products like shampoo and toothpaste.||It's not natural and its residual products pose potential human and environmental health hazards.|
|Polymerization||Harsh processing reacts molecules together, creating molecules that do not exist in nature.||It's not natural and creates synthetic products that pose potential human and environmental health hazards.|
|Quaternization||Unfavorable varieties use harsh processing that creates a positively charged compound for detergents and conditioning agents that help untangle hair.||It's not natural and can potentially be irritating to humans and toxic to animals and the environment.|
- Learn how we're Setting The Natural Standard.
* This statistic comes from a survey we recently conducted to help bring attention to the need for Setting The Natural Standard.