Free From? Really? Aren't We Past That Yet?

The other day I got an email from a company who wanted me to test and review their 'all natural' products. They were ready to send me a generous selection of creams, lotions, cleansers, and more.

For reasons unknown, this kind of thing happens to me regularly.

I mean, this blog is about how I go about developing a bespoke product, or what I discover while researching ingredients, or DIY's and How-tos.

It has, to my recollection never, ever, ever – not even once – been about reviewing commercially-made products.

Nevertheless, I get these mails.

This one was actually pretty long, and I read the entire text.

(I'm polite like that)

Check Our All Natural Products, Lise!

The company (which shall remain unnamed) had all kinds of information about the new line they were ready to roll out. They described all kinds of processes and ingredients – and everything was 'all natural'.

But then.

They just had to cross the line.

They proudly listed what their products were 'free from'

  • parabens
  • sulfates
  • PEGS
  • TEA
  • DEA
  • mineral oils
  • petrochemicals 
  • artificial fragrances


I'm a little surprised they didn't add 'dangerous toxins' and 'chemicals' to this frightening list.

I couldn't help it.

Instead of my usual cut and paste 'thanks but no thanks because that's not what my blog is about' answer, I sat down and wrote a reply to this person.

And here's what I wrote.

Dear All Natural Company

Hello XXX,

Thanks for your mail. 

Your introductory mail makes a point of mentioning XXX's products are ‘free from’ several ingredients that are neither dangerous, toxic, nor health hazardous – then proceeds to list these ‘dubious’ ingredients.

I would urge XXX to contribute to the education of consumers instead of playing off of the numerous scare campaigns that have so successfully vilified safe, thoroughly tested and approved ingredients and frightened the crap out of buyers in recent years.

You are adding to the confusion by advertising your products in this manner.

I’m sure XXX has developed some lovely products, but am guessing XXX would not be interested in reading any review I might choose to write. 

If you had read my blog, you would have known that I neither can nor will support any company who uses fearmongering as part of their marketing. 

I wish you and XXX the best.

And then I hit 'SEND'

Polite Rage

You may think what I replied was reasonably polite, but I felt a whole 'hellalot' like the picture you see up there at the top of this post while I was writing.

Admittedly, I did edit myself a few times before I hit send. There is, after all, no reason to be cruel or to insult people you don't agree with.

But there is good reason to speak up when something isn't right.

And something here is not right.

I find it completely unforgivable that the cosmetics industry is so unwaveringly off-the-planet-profit-driven that it continues to feed consumer fear and uncertainty by marketing their products using untruths based on scare campaigns.


When is this going to end?!

OK, rant over.

Now excuse me while I take some deep breaths and a make myself a soothing cup of tea.

Scratch that.

I'm mixing up a G & T.

Thanks for reading – even if you don't agree with me.


Denice said…
Hope you enjoyed your G&T. ;)
LisaLise said…
Oh Denice, it really hit the spot! :)
Nanette said…
I'm so very glad to read about your "rant". Well done, well stated, and well deserved by Company XXX. Oh, and well written. Since, undoubtedly, you'll run across similar companies, ahem, protecting us I hope you'll just consider a nice cut and paste response. Certainly, they deserve your ire but not much more of your time or eloquence.
LisaLise said…
Thank you Nanette - how very kind of you! :)
María said…
You are sooooooooooooooo right! And also, what a polite and exquisite way to say "thank you, but no, thanks" XD
LisaLise said…
Thank you so much María - maybe I was too polite though - they probably just chalked me off as some kind of fanatic.
Christine said… are anything *but* a fanatic.
They were just looking for an affiliate or some other easy revenue. Gained from your hard work! Grr.
Hooray for this blog, your kind self, and your honest, inquisitive, persistent work. Sorry if I embarrass, but your blog rocks!
Glad the G&T helped. Cheers...
LisaLise said…
Awww thank you Christine!! Compliments are always welcome - you just made my day!
Jo Warren said…
Great post Lise - sharing this far and wide for you. Also joining you for a GnT on ice as it's 30C here, I am thirsty and .............. it's my favourite!! Jo
LisaLise said…
Thank you Jo! And cheers!