The Importance of the EWG VERIFIED program , 0 Comments

This week we're celebrating the approval of our 18th product earning the EWG VERIFIED™ seal (yay!), and could not be more proud of this accomplishment. Becoming EWG VERIFIED is not for the weary, as the process has stringent guidelines and a meticulous application process. But the rewards are great, as the seal is tangible evidence that our products meet and, in some cases exceed, some very strict standards of safety.

We can't keep Sally from crowing about her growing collection of EWG VERIFIED products, so we channeled her excitement in Q+A form!

What makes products that earn the EWG VERIFICATION™ special?

When I decided to turn my hobby into a business, I knew there would be regulations and requirements that I needed to become familiar with. But instead, I was surprised to find that cosmetic industry was self-regulating. This meant that all the products I had used throughout my life may or may not have been safe.

It became the mission of Sally B's to ensure that every ingredient was carefully researched and sourced before adding to a formulation. We also wanted to set our products apart by being 100% transparent with our labeling and marketing. But aside from my confidence in our products and our word, what would make our products stand out as safe, beneficial, and of high quality?

We considered certifying our products as organic by the USDA Certified Organic program. While our products could earn the seal, a recognizable shopping icon, the program was written for and mostly applies to food products. While technically our products are safe to ingest, we don't recommend doing so. Have you heard someone qualify their skin care purchase by saying, "I only put on my skin what I would eat?" Our response to that is, you absolutely want to use organic shea butter or organic tamanu oil on your skin, but you definitely wouldn't want to eat either. 

Right at the point that we felt that we had to make this crucial decision whether or not to apply for USDA certification, we were introduced to the EWG VERIFIED program. This program offers us the opportunity to earn a seal that indicates that our formulas have been scrutinized for safely like no other program available in the United States. It is an identifying marker that we are proud to put on our products.

Why are not all Sally B's products EWG VERIFIED?

Some of our formulas simply don't apply for verification. For example, we label our B Unbitten as a bug repellent and there is currently no "licensable category" for bug repellents.

Then there are just some ingredients that are more difficult to get verified, like essential oils. The EWG has very strict criteria regarding certain essential oils.  We have been asked to supply specific testing results for components of certain essential oils. For example, in order to get products with Organic Peppermint Essential Oil approved, we had to supply test results that measured the amount of Pulegone in the oil. None of my very reputable suppliers had ever tested for Pulegone. We eventually did find a supplier that tested for it, but with that comes time and costs to get that newly sourced ingredient into our production chain. And Organic Peppermint Essential Oil is not the only ingredient like this.

Even though there are challenges, we believe in the EWG VERIFIED program so much that we are willing to jump through the hoops to get our current collection and future products verified. We will update you as products become verified...stay tuned!

Why should shoppers choose an EWG verified product over one that is not? 

The EWG program is rigorous and their standards meet or exceed other programs.  We often look to Europe and Canada to provide standards of excellence when it comes to formulating safe cosmetic products.  Those countries have banned approximately 1300 ingredients from cosmetic formulations on the market. The USA has banned 11. The EWG takes much of this information, as well as their own quality standards, and uses it when evaluating a product produced here.

What does EWG VERIFIED mean to Sally B's Skin Yummies? 

This verification seal has given us the backing and the credibility to stand behind what we say about our products.  We make our products to create effective, non-toxic alternatives to everyday products.  We use the highest concentration of certified organic ingredients available.  And now with the EWG VERIFIED seal, we can say that we have been scrutinized and approved by one of the most highly recommended sources for personal care product safety.