UK multinational retailers score low in organic monitor report

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Organic monitor Organic food

UK multinational retailers score low in organic monitor report
In a Natural Cosmetics Brand Assessment report recently carried out by Organic Monitor, a chartered chemist analysed the ingredient composition of cosmetic products of over 50 brands that make natural and / or organic claims, finding that “many brands do not live up to its marketing claims”.

Products, chosen from categories like skin care, sun care, hair care and personal grooming were examined and then ranked in terms of 'naturalness' according to their formulations from 1- 10. Those with high naturalness ratings were given 8-10, whilst low naturalness ratings were at the low end of the scale with a 1-3 score.

Conventional cosmetic products

“We do not want to 'name and shame' brands, however, some of the brands that had conventional cosmetic formulations were Superdrug Naturals and Boots Botanic”, ​reveals Amarjit Sahota, managing director of Organic Monitor.

Although the products contained natural ingredients, they contained all the synthetic chemicals / ingredients that are common in conventional cosmetic products​”,​he told

For example; “Boots Extracts Fairtrade Brazil Nut Body Butter was found to have one of the highest synthetic contents of all the products that were assessed​”, says Judi Beerling, technical director at Organic Monitor.

“The body butter, marketed on the strength of its one organic Fairtrade ingredient – brazil nut oil – had a long list of synthetics that included dimethicone and dipropylene, giving it a range score max of 2 in our assessment”, ​she added. approached representatives of Boots in regards to these findings; but were unavailable to comment on the matter.

A spokesperson for Superdrug told; “The range referred to uses natural extracts and fragrances in the products and we do not claim it is a range made from mostly natural ingredients.”

However, these companies were not alone in their low ranking; “Others were putting organic certification logos on product packaging because one major ingredient was certified, while most were making natural claims just because some ingredients were natural​”, says Sahota.


As a result of this report’s findings, Organic Monitor says; “One way to clear up consumer confusion is certification. By adopting natural & organic cosmetic standards, formulators have a clear list of permitted / prohibited ingredients and processes​.”

Pure natural & organic brands have realised that overstating natural / organic ingredients and making unsubstantiated marketing claims only adds to consumer distrust”​, Sahota concludes.

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