The Answer: Why Does She Care?

(January 12, 2012)


I get asked often about why I turn myself inside out caring about whether people are compliant or not with the Canadian Cosmetic Act and what does it matter to me if people are formulating properly and the like.  I spend a lot of time researching the facts for people about the truths of the industry and trying to create an awareness about the products we sell (and in turn, my customers) and the rules and regulations of the industry.  I get told often that it is not my job…my job is to sell the products and that is the end of it.  And I wish there was some truth to that sometimes as I have a lot on my plate. 


Truth be told, my reasons for caring are mainly selfish.  I love this industry and love the fact there are such amazing ingredients out there that we can utilize to formulate amazing products.  I love the fact that there is little regulation about what is referred to as the “natural cosmetics industry”.  Really, in order to be compliant in Canada, a person has to label their products properly, submit some paperwork (that rarely gets looked at), not make therapeutic or medicinal claims and formulate a safe product.  That is it.  There are more rules out there about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle than there are in this industry.


So with the above being said my reasons for wanting everyone to be compliant, and making it as easy on my customers as possible by providing the facts (even if it frustrates the heck out of me) are mainly because I do not want this industry to die.  I do not want more regulation.  I do not want people to not have the ability to do this anymore.  If people can no longer formulate their own products and sell them to the public, the industry dies.  The big companies (Burt’s Bees, Aveeno, etc) may have most of the market, but it’s the little guys that raise awareness due to their passion.  Without the little guys, Creations from Eden no longer exists, because face it, Burt’s Bees is not going to be purchasing their product from us any time soon. 


I see people bending the rules, ignoring the preservation facts about products, formulating using dollops, rather than via chemistry and it irks me.  I wonder what this person does not understand about the repercussions of their actions.   I am not talking about possible staph infections and skin disease either… I am talking about the potential for a non-existent industry.  And it is unfair to the people that are trying their best to do the right thing, do their research and be compliant.  I hear it all the time about how Company ABC is at a market selling a natural bug spray or sunscreen (big no no, for those that do not know) or an unpreserved product next to another vendor who is selling a paraben preserved lotion with better, safer ingredients (man-made or not).  Company ABC then talks about how preservatives are dangerous leading the public to believe that their product is a better option, when in reality, it is a much more dangerous option to the public’s health. 


If nothing is done about it, our beloved natural product industry is going to meet its demise to the home crafter.  Rules will be enforced that commercial kitchens must be used.  The industry will be regulated beyond our wildest dreams.  If a person believes it is hard now, envision what it could be.  By being compliant and getting our ducks in a row sooner, rather than when it is too late, can help us survive.   Educating people about the proper labelling practices and proper handling of ingredients and manufacturing of product can save us.  The fewer problems and negative reports there are in the marketplace, the less chance Health Canada will step in to enforce compliance. 


So yes, as you can see, my objectives in attempting to educate are selfish.  But it’s because I really do not want to see a good thing vanish.  


~ Randi

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