As consumers become more aware of and in demand of natural and eco-friendly products, many companies have resorted to Greenwashing. Greenwashing is a deliberate intention to create an environmentally responsible public image while misleading buyers through labeling and marketing. The same is being done with natural products that we at Pretty Frank are coining Naturalwashing. Some products that claim to be natural contain only a minor percentage of natural ingredients, with the rest being synthetic and toxic. These products mislead consumers by using the term “naturally derived.” To ensure a product is truly natural, it’s best to investigate the ingredients. Watch for toxic chemicals like triclosan, petroleum-based ingredients such as earthwax, and ethanolamine compounds. Many of these ingredients still allowed in natural products in the U.S. have been banned in Europe. The sea of “natural” products we have to choose from has become very large. It can be overwhelming knowing how to decipher between what is truly natural and what is truly not.

Here are the top five things to look for when trying to figure out if a product is TRULY Natural.

  • Synthetics-

Synthetic products are not “natural” at all, but marketing buzz words can lead us to believe that they are.  “Naturally derived” is one phrase that can be an indicator that a product isn’t truly natural.  Be sure to look for products that are labeled as “organic” or “food grade. “Naturally derived” products can include synthetic Glycols like Propylene and Pentalene glycol. Pretty Frank uses only truly natural, organic, and food-grade ingredients.

  • Label Check-

Check your labels carefully. Earthwax sounds very natural, right? But Earthwax is simply a word that sounds natural also known as Ozokerite, which is a petroleum by-product. Not only is the extraction process bad for the earth but Petrochemicals are known to be cancer-causing and endocrine disruptors.

  • Water-

Water is a precious natural resource, but it’s not necessary to have water in your products. Most water-based formulas can have up to 70% water in them.  Water-based products not only waste one of our most precious resources, but also create a need for toxic preservatives. These preservatives assure a “shelf-stable” product. Pretty Frank’s products are anhydrous making them Waterless!

  • Fragrance-

Currently, fragrance is a part of a very hot debate in the personal and home care industry. It is the number one MOST toxic ingredient. There appears to be a justification to again claim that a product, is “naturally derived” from essences of essential oils. Unless a company is willing to include every ingredient in their labeling, whether natural or artificial, you stand the risk of being exposed to 100’s or 1000’s of undisclosed chemical ingredients actually in fragrance. Pretty Frank only uses organic or wild-crafted pure essential oils.

  • Untruthful Marketing –

Some products have stooped so low as to use deceitful marketing tactics and taglines via fake blogs and reviews. It’s rampant in today’s natural market. Believe it or not, some blogs claim that they’ve “tested the top natural deodorant brands.” It looks like third-party validation, but the fact is, they are fake blogs with no real studies or testing behind them. And of course, their product is listed as number one.  Others may claim that ingredients matter or that they have nothing to hide and yet if you read the fine print, they are definitely hiding. 

Please share this information with your eco-minded and health-conscious friends!


Mirra – Greenwashing: Why The Term “Natural” Can’t Be Trusted

Beautiful With Brains – Greenwashing

Biologi – The “Naturally-Derived” Scam