Knowing which products are safe and made without harmful chemicals can be confusing. From endless ingredient lists to the ever-changing world of greenwashing, it’s not easy to know which products are safe for our family. So I am creating this post on Personal Care Product Certifications to help you navigate these murky waters. If one or more of these certifications are on the product description, it is good to understand them.
While there are numerous certifications I could cover for brevity, this post will focus on the most common certificates found in the personal care industry.
So let’s begin.
What is a Product Certification?
Product certification is when a company chooses to have a third party verify its products. A product becomes certified when it meets the requirements. Some certificates require full transparency, while others require rigorous testing, laborious practices, and the highest standards for operations in the industry. Certifications are good for us as consumers. Certificates help validate products by testing performance, endurance, quality, and validity.
Below, you will find information on some of the most common certifications in the personal care industry.
PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT CERTIFICATIONS
Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly
Have you ever seen’ hypoallergenic’ or ‘allergy-friendly’ on a product label? Seeing these terms makes you feel safe to trust and buy the product, especially if you, or someone you love, suffers from allergies. The sad truth, though, is that these terms have no regulations. This lack of regulations means any company can label any product with these claims, with little to no proof that they are effective. And they do. Annually, Americans spend roughly $10 Billion on products marketed to people with asthma and allergies.
In short, hypoallergenic and allergy-friendly are nothing more than a play on words in advertising. For validity, companies turn to the Asthmas & Allergy Friendly Certification Program.
Asthma & allergy friendly®Certification Program is a unique partnership between the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL). The program tests and certifies products and services to improve homes’ air quality and health. It is improving the lives of all who suffer from asthma and allergies.
This certification validates products that have not been tested on animals and do not have products or by-products of animals in their ingredients. Vegan Certifications are crucial for individuals that follow a vegan diet, for veganism is more than what one eats. It is a way of life.
Environmental Working Group Verified
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is one of my favorite resources. EWG is a non-profit entity that has created a database called Skin Deep Database that lists a myriad of products and ingredients. They test the ingredients in these products and the chemical reactions that occur when two different ingredients mix. Then assign a number from 0 to 10 to both the products and the ingredients, with 0 being the safest. In addition to the number scale, there are colors assigned to categorize the different levels of safety. Green is for 0-2, Orange is 3-6, and Red is 7-10. If a product is assigned a 0, it becomes EWG Verified.
The EWG Verification means that the company has provided full transparency and disclosure of ingredients in its products, and the testing results are above and beyond its green ratings.
Leaping Bunny Certification
The Leaping Bunny Certification is a cruelty-free label. It represents products and activities made without harming animals or containing ingredients of any animal by products. Founded in 1996, the Leaping Bunny Program operates under the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics in the US and Canada.
For a company or product to be certified, it must agree to no animal testing at product development. The company must also renew annually with third-party confirmation.
PETA Cruelty-Free, also known as Beauty Without Bunnies, has a database of over 6,000 companies with beauty and personal care products that do not test on animals. Beauty Without Bunnies is a great resource to vet your personal care products carefully.
Knowing Your Certifications
I hope the information shared in this post is helpful to you today. Don’t stress memorizing all of the certifications out there. Just try to recognize the symbols when you see them for peace of mind.
Is there a certification I left out? If there is another personal care product certification you feel is important that I missed, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to learn with you and might update this article with your suggestion.