22.6.12

Would you say Chemical Free or Free From?



When I first started writing this blog I commonly used the term "chemical free" when referring to natural products that did not use synthetic "nasty" ingredients. This is a term I had picked up from years of buying and researching skincare that did not contain SLS, SLES, parabens, petrochemicals, DEA, PEG, artificial colours & fragrance, tricolsan, phthalates, formaldehyde. I find it a quick recognisable term to use especially when tweeting. Just recently it has come to my attention that some people have a problem with the term "chemical free". The reason they object to the term is everything in life is a chemical, for instance water is a chemical and a common ingredient in skincare so nothing is truly chemical free.

You may have notice a while back I switched to referring to products as "free from". There were two reasons for this. 1. to please those that did not like the term chemical free 2. not every product I review is 100% natural and may contain the occasional synthetic ingredients which people like to avoid. I recently tweeted with Sharon of Alaya Beauty (Twitter Link) on this subject. She informed me that the problem with "Free From" for UK brands is the EU are trying to stop them from using the phrase. Sharon tweeted a link to an article about this which you can read for yourself over on The Ecologist.

I have been racking my brains to think how else you could promote a product which does not contain the ingredients which many of us try to avoid. The phrase "natural" can also be misleading as I have demonstrated numerous times on my blog. A product containing ingredients from nature does not mean it is free from synthetic ones. As someone who lives with food allergies, I understand the world of free from labelling. A skincare product with a free from label, listing the ingredients not used, is attractive to me, easily understood and recognisable.

On a side note I've seen a few rude tweets to Companies (and me) for using the term chemical free. What ever happen to polite debate? Argue the case for not using the term don't be rude to people. I would be interested to hear from my readers. What are your thoughts on terms like "chemical free" and "free from". Do you welcome the proposed changes or object?




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7 comments:

  1. I like 'free from' in a way, but companies could use that to hide behind with other nasty ingredients. I dunno, it's tough!

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    1. I guess when I think of Free From I view it in the same way as the food market where the list details all the ingredients it is "free from". I agree they could hide behind it and some people already do that. The key with either of these labels is to read the full ingredients list

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  2. The free from is a better idea,but it will be exhausting to say(or write)it,like:
    This product is free from parabens,free from silicones,free from PEG,free from synthetic colors,free from synthetic fragrance,free from BHT/BHA,free from formaldehyde,free from pthalates,free from talc,free from bismuth oxychloride,free from phenoxyethanol,free from gluten,free from mercury/hydroquinone,etc.
    See,that's quite mouthful,and Alibunn is right companies could use that to hide behind other nasty ingredients. So I prefer to call it"clean or green product".As for those who gave that rude comment,I'd say that they do it because it has something to do with their job.That's why they tend to be rude..

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    1. It is a mouthful but at least it is clear and to the point. Companies already hide behind their labels with greenwashing. Free from labelling is common place in my life because of my allergies so I guess that is why I favour it more.

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  3. I think I like "free from" more. It might be misleading but "chemical free" also is. It's just more informative. People's participation in supporting natural products is their initiative to learn more about them. Kudos to your blog for sharing your knowledge to us. :)

    Jen
    whyyyjen.blogspot.com

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    1. Reading labels is key to all labels & I agree the consumer must be aware of what they are looking for but that makes it difficult to attract new people to the market if labels are not clear and I think that is where free from plays a part.

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  4. As mentioned above 'Free From ... 'means you can hide other nasty things in t he skincare. I usually say nasty chemical free, but I guess that is open to interpretation too. It's a difficult one, as i guess you can't please everyone. I get the food issue too and manufactures are now really good at putting listing the ingredients that may cause allergies, but in skincare, it works the otherway. You wouldn't buy a lotion that lists all the ingredients to which you may react adversely. as for the nasty comments, totally no need for that at all.

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