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Post in Ingredient Sticklers

Sephora's Natural Seal

I love Sephora and I am a super active shopper as well as a pretty active member of this board. But I do have to say that I am really disappointed in their seal. They award the seal to a lot of products that dont deserve it--products that contain parabens and other harmful chemicals in them such as Ole Henriksen On the Go Cleanser. People that dont know much about ingredients are certain they are using a natural product because of this seal. If you're going to have a seal, be as rigorous about it as everyone else, but until then I'm sticking with the USDA seal, The Natural Products Association, the Whole Foods stamp of approval, NaTrue and Ecocert (although I'm not completely sure about that seal yet).


Kinda bummed Smiley Sad

Re: Sephora's Natural Seal

I completely understand your frustrations.  I have had the same problem.  Sephora's natural seal is not really a solution. This is for several reasons: (1) they give a seal based on product line, not by individual product; and (2) they do not require all harmful ingredients be excluded before a product is labeled natural. Because of this I find that I still need to vigorously read all of the ingredients before purchasing.
Sephora only requires that for a brand to be labeled natural, 90% or its products must exclude six of the eight following ingredients: GMOs, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, and triclosan. This ignores the fact that while a line in general may be "natural" not every product within it fits these standards.  A product may be among the 10% of products that do not exclude six of the above ingredients.  A product may also contain parabens and phthalates, but exclude everything else and still be label natural.  It also ignores the fact that a not natural brand may have a product that fits the above description.


Additionally, the information provided for the individual products can be misleading.  Take the information provided for Ole Henriksen Truth Serum for an example.  The blurb for the product says that it is free of synthetic dyes. However, the ingredient list for the product does not indicate that the fragrance is naturally sourced.  Without such notation by the company, there is little assurance that the fragrance is indeed natural.  You may say so what? Its no big deal. But if Sephora is going to make a claim, then it should be accurate and verifiable.  Additionally, fragrance that is not naturally sourced can contain anywhere from 30 to 300 unidentified chemicals.  Fragrance is a proprietary blend, which companies do not have to disclose to consumers.  If a product potentially has these chemicals I want to know.


Because of these issues, I also do not find Sephora's natural seal very helpful.  I still have to read the ingredients of each individual item to determine whether or not it has harmful ingredients.  This can be difficult, since ingredients are not always posted, and so I often need to go to the company website or call the manufacturer to find out the ingredients.  Even if the ingredients are listed I have to make sure that not only the product itself is not included, but also any associated products or derivatives.  For example, when trying to avoid parabens, I need to not only look for the common parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, and bezylparaben) , but also for paraffin and mineral oil.  This could all be avoided if Sephora had rigorous standards, applied to each individual product, and strictly enforced these standards.

Re: Sephora's Natural Seal

I often rely on to verify the safety of a product. They dont have every single skincare item ever made on that website, but if more people donated, they would. They have a LOT of products that people use, and they tell you how safe a product is by scoring it from 0-10. Zero to 2 is nontoxic, and 10 is very toxic. I'm pretty good at reading ingredient lists, but only this website really knows the safety of a product. Like I love Burts Bees and have been interested in buying their pomegranite hand cream for my mom, but it has a danger toxic score on that website, so I passed. ( I think its a 7...and it says "99% natural" on that product!) The website is free, I've been using it for years. So check it out sometime y'all.

Re: Sephora's Natural Seal

Thank you for sharing this website - I had no idea about it and am looking up some things I thought were in the clear and am HORRIFIED!  Fresh is one of the best and it's not under the natural seal

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Re: Sephora's Natural Seal

I think that is pretty helpful information. Thank you very much for sharing that. I am also a natural buff myself, so this helps me a lot.

Re: Sephora's Natural Seal

Hi Sephoramusthave.  Sorry for the confusion.  As the term "natural" is not fully regulated and every brand has its own definition, Sephora uses a natural seal logo to help you spot the products that have been formulated with and without certain ingredients. To learn more about qualifications for Sephora's natural seal click here:

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