Natural Beauty vs-mall-poster

Published on April 6th, 2009 | by Stancie Wilson

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Why Is It So Difficult To Find Ingredients For Victoria’s Secret New PINK BODY Line And Is It Really Organic???

I’m a believer in voting with our dollars to send companies a message about what we, as consumers, want and that message is ringing through loud and clear. Consumer demand guides retail decisions – plain and simple.  With organic beauty brands popping up at what seems to be lightning fast speeds these days, its evident consumers are speaking and companies are listening.  It’s undoubtedly exciting there are more organic options popping up on the scene at a steady pace, but it can also be very confusing and overwhelming for consumers to distinguish a truly organic brand from one that isn’t when labels and price points can be similar.

It’s all about ingredients.  But how can we decide when we can’t locate the ingredients and when we finally do, are they really organic? 

Back in February, Victoria’s Secret launched a brand new line of body care called “PINK” advertised as their new “organic, natural, 100% vegan” body care line.   My first reaction to any new “organic” or “natural” line to hit the market is “what are the ingredients?” so  I went to their website and I couldn’t find ingredients.  Around this same time, my inbox began to grow with questions from family, friends, loyal readers and other bloggers who wanted to know if the line really was organic and if I had found the ingredients because they couldn’t find them either.   For the next month, some of my nights and weekends were dedicated to trying to locate them, not just for myself – but for everyone who had been asking for them.  The more obstacles I ran into, the more determined I became to find them.  Below you’ll discover the many “hoops” I had to jump through to locate the ingredients and hope this saves you some time and energy.    

[Note: If you are interested in just the ingredients, scroll down and you will find them.]

THE SEARCH

1). For starters I scoured the internet the good ‘ol fashioned way – Google.  Nothing.  No ingredients listed on the VS site, nothing listed anywhere. 

2). Not wanting to waste my time and energy trekking to a mall, I decide to call Customer Service – the toll-free number on the VS website.  I spoke with a very nice Customer Service Representative and told him I was looking for the full ingredient listing for all the PINK products.  “Oh, okay – our new organic body care?” he said.  He put me on hold for a good amount of time, came back to the line, apologized and indicated they had not yet been given the ingredients but instructed me to call back in a week.  I thanked him.  We hung up. 

3). One week passes.  This time I start with my local VS store.  I call the store, asked if they were busy, they said they weren’t and I asked the friendly girl who answered to do me a huge favor.  I asked her if it would be too much trouble to grab one of the new VS PINK body care products and read me the label.  I told her that I was highly sensitive to certain ingredients (which I am) and that I needed to know what all the ingredients were before I decided whether I could buy the product or not.  She said “sure, I’ll get the Soothing Body Lotion because it’s hypo-allergenic”.  She returned a couple minutes later and after she announced she was back, she paused for a very long time.  She said “it says it contains soy milk and mint….100% vegan and organic ingredients”.  I said “okay, but is there an actual ingredient list where it shows everything that is in it?”  Another long pause and some “ums” and “ehs”.  “No there isn’t” she said.  I asked “do any of the products have the actual ingredients listed on them?”, she replied “I’m not sure, I’ll go look”.  She came back to the phone a few minutes later and indicated that the only products with the ingredients were the Shaving Cream and the Hand Lotion which she brought to the phone.  She said “please don’t judge me, I’m an English Lit major and I can’t pronounce any of the words in these ingredients except water and glycerin”.  “I’m so sorry – this seems crazy”.  I told her not to worry because those words probably weren’t in English.  We laughed and she suggested I call Customer Service.  I thanked her.  We hung up. 

4). I called Customer Service and told the woman who answered that I was looking for a complete list of ingredients for their new PINK body care line.  She said they didn’t have it but said I should call or go into to one of their stores.  I told her that I just got off the phone with the store and they suggest I call Customer Service.  The woman said “you’re sure the ingredients aren’t on the bottles?” to which I replied “not according to your store employee who had the bottles in her hand”.  She put me on hold.  She returned and said they did not have the list of ingredients but that she was going to transfer me to their Store Customer Service line (apparently I called the Web Customer Service line) to find out if they could help me. 

5). Another woman answered the phone and I explained again what I was looking for.  She seemed a little irritated, but took my name and number and said someone would call me in a day or two to tell me how long it would take to get the ingredients, because they had to request the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) from the manufacturer.  I thanked her.  We hung up. 

6). 15 minutes later I receive a call from the same woman I just spoke to.  She gave me the toll-free number for the Lab they work with and told me to call them and ask for the ingredients.  I asked “just like that, I’m to call this Lab and they are going to provide me with all the ingredients?  “Yes, we pay them to do this – they are required by law to provide our customers with this information”.  I thanked her. We hung up. 

7). I call the Lab and am greeting by a live person asking quickly “is this a chemical spill or an emergency?”  “No” I replied.  “Okay, how can I help you?”  I explained that VS gave me this phone number to call to obtain the ingredients of their PINK body care lines.  “Are you having a reaction to the products?”.  “No – but that’s why I’d like the ingredients, to avoid having a reaction”.  The nice woman asked for my name and phone number.  I provided it.  She said that I should email the list of products I wanted info about and they would email them back to me.  I thanked her.  We hung up. 

8). I emailed the list of product names and item numbers to the Lab and called the next morning to make sure they received my email.  They did receive it and the woman indicated they were working on the list and that I should have it soon.  I thanked her.  We hung up. 

9). 20 hours later I receive another call from the Lab, indicating they do not have the ingredient lists for any of the products and that they have put in a request to the manufacturer which should take another 24-48 hours (not including the weekend).  The woman who called gave me a confirmation number.  I thanked her.  We hung up. 

10). One week later, I receive an email from the Lab with the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) that do not contain any ingredients.  I call the Lab, ask them if they are sending ingredients separately and they tell me they do not have the ingredients, they only provide MSDS sheets and that I’ll have to get them from the manufacturer.  I asked the kind woman from the Lab how I’m supposed to determine whether these ingredients are safe for me if I have no idea what’s in them.  She said “I will ask the manufacturer if they will give them to me so I can give them to you”.   I thank her.  We hung up. 

11). A couple days later, I receive more MSDS sheets, this time with the ingredients of just one of the products.   I realize the two hour round-trip drive to my nearest Victoria’s Secret store is inevitable if I’m going to get the ingredients of all the products. 

12). One week later, on a weekend, I trek into the nearest VS store, make my way to the PINK BODY table, nicely displayed with cool bottles and tubes, and scan packages for ingredients.  I find ingredients on the back of every product except the Body Wash and Body Lotion (so I have no idea what the nice woman who answered the phone was talking about when I first called).  I’m asked several times by friendly employees if I need help and I tell them I’m trying to find the Body Wash and Lotion ingredients and one girl stops to help me.  We inspect the bottles carefully together, she can’t find them either and eventually moves on to help another customer.  Finally, I flip a bottle upside down and realize that the Body Wash and Body Lotion both have round white stickers with just a single black arrow on the bottom of the white bottles.  I peel and voila! - ingredients!  I loaded the products into my arms and checked out scoring their ‘Buy 2, Get 1 Free’ deal. 

13). Four weeks and $50.29 later…. 

THE INGREDIENTS

Nourishing Body Wash, 11.8 fl oz ($12): Water (Aqua, Eau), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycol Distearate, Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Lauryl Lactyl Lactate, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Triethylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Benzioc Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool. 

Soothing Body Lotion, 11.8 fl oz ($15): Water (Aqua, Eau), Octydodecanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Jojoba Esters, PEG-100, Glyceryl Oleate Citrate, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Allantoin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Bisabolol, Disodium EDTA, Soymilk, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 60, Alcohol Denat., Avena Sativa (Oat) Meal Extract, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal. 

Energizing Body Lotion, 11.8 fl oz ($15): Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Myristyl Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-20 Stearate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ammonium Acryloyl dimethytaurate/VP Copolymer, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Metha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Retinyl Palmitate, Octyldodecanol, Ethyl Linoleate, Ethyl Linolenate, Ethyl Oleate, Archidyl Propionate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), BHT, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Alcohol Denat., Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate. 

Nourishing Shave Cream, 6.7 fl oz ($10): Water (Aqua, Eau), Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Laurdimoniumhydroxypropyl Decylglucosides Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Diglycerin, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Fragrance (Parfum), Tromethamine, Myristyl Myristate, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Soy Glyceride, Caprylyn Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Isostearyl Behenate, Xanthan Gum, DMDM Hydantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzoic Acid, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium PCA, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool. 

Energizing Sugar Scrub, 8.4 fl oz ($10): Sucrose, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Hydrated Silica, Shea Butteramidopropyl Betaine, Water (Aqua, Eau), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Metha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Cymbopogon Flexuosus Leaf Powder, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Cocoamphopropionate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, BHT, Polysorbate 80, DMDM Hydantoin, Cocamide MEA, Citric Acid, Limonene, Hydroxcitronellal, Linalool. 

Soothing Hand Cream, 2.5 fl oz ($8): Water (Aqua, Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Squalene, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethiconol, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance (Parfum), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Starch, Bisabolol, Disodium EDTA, Soymilk, Sodium Hydroxide, Alcohol Denat., Avena Sativa (Oat) Meal Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citral. 

Lip Butter (Color: Ripe), .26 oz ($8): Cocoa Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candililla, Candelilla Cera, Cire de Candelilla) Wax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ricinuc Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Flavor (Aroma), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol, Vitis Vinefera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.  MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica, Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Iron Oxides (CI 77491/CI77492/CI 77499). 

 QUESTIONS + OBSERVATIONS

a). How can a product be “organic” if it doesn’t contain organic ingredients? 

b). If some of the ingredients are organic, why aren’t they identified as such in the ingredient listings?  If none of the ingredients are organic, why does all the marketing material and every Victoria’s Secret employee I spoke with call the line “their new organic line”? 

c). Why are the ingredients listed on the packaging different from the ones in the Material Data Safety Sheets and the CTFA (Cosmetic, Toiletries and Fragrances Association) Declaration? 

d). All bottles indicate “Free of Parabens, Sulfites, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil and Paraffin“.  This is good news (the parabens, mineral oil and paraffin part), but note that “sulfites” is not the same as “sulfates“, which is most commonly what we are told to avoid in personal care products.  What the difference?  Sulfites are naturally-occurring compounds that nature uses to prevent microbial growth.  They are found on grapes (and in wine), onions, garlic, dried fruit and more (plants).  Though some people are allergic to sulfites, the larger issue when it comes to personal care products is sulfates.  Sulfates are synthetic surfactants used to create foam in detergents that can cause allergic reactions in people and have been known to harm marine life. 

e). Victoria’s Secret has been on PETA’s cruelty-free list since 1991. 

f). The word “organic” is not in the name of the line, but it is the way Victoria’s Secret employees refer to it and it is the way the products are marketed.  During my numerous phone calls and my store visit, all Victoria’s Secret staff referred to this line as their “organic line”.  They also have a new line which they refer to as their “natural line”, called “Naturally”.  No one who I came in contact with has been able to confirm and/or verify that a single organic ingredient exists in any of the products. 

KUDOS

  • The packaging is hip, young and fresh (something lacking with many organic products on the market) and the bottles are made from between 46-80% post consumer material. 
  • The PINK line is an improvement from the rest of their body care ingredients that do contain parabens and synthetic perfume. 
  • Consumers who already shop at Victoria’s Secret now have an alternative if they’re looking to avoid parabens and knock-your-socks off fragrance.  (These products have a much milder aroma, though still synthetic perfume and its unknown whether or not they contain phthalates). 
  • The Lip Balm – the majority of the ingredients in this product are plant names and are what you would expect a “natural” product to contain. 

READ LABELS

It may or may not be a surprise to you that there is no governing body regulating ingredients in personal care products in the U.S.  There are ingredients in these products that exist on “Ingredients To Avoid” lists, like the Ten Synthetic Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid list from the Organic Consumers Association or The Formidable 15 – Toxic Ingredients To Avoid In Skin Care, published by Natural Solutions Magazine who worked closely with Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care team to develop the list last year. 

LOOK FOR CERTS

Want to go a step further?  Look for products with organic certification like those from the USDA or Soil Association (UK) who have high standards when it comes to allowable ingredients in organic skin/body care. 

BOTTOM LINE

If you are looking for a line that simply doesn’t test on animals or use animal ingredients and uses recycled packaging – then this may be a line for you to try.  If you are looking for a product “packed with natural, organic ingredients…” – based on the ingredient listing on the packaging, it doesn’t appear these fit that description.  The word “packed” suggests there are probably more natural ingredients than synthetic ones and when consumers read the word “organic”, they are likely expecting to find the majority of ingredients to be organic – or at least some of them.

Is PINK BODY a step in the right direction for Victoria’s Secret?  Yes.  Does it have a way to go before it’s considered an organic product?  You decide. 

 

 

Photo credit: here


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About the Author

Stancie Wilson is an avid researcher who’s passionate about organics and the personal care industry. She’s not a hippie or treehugger (though nothing wrong with that), she’s a modern working woman who loves spreading the word about truly pure and stylish products, helping educate others about the dangers of toxic ingredients and who’s tired of rampant greenwashing. She’s Co-Founder and Editor of Fig+Sage™ [www.figandsage.com], the go-to online resource for discovering hip organic & fab eco finds (with a heavy emphasis on organic beauty), Green Editor for Pricegrabber’s ShopGreen site [http://blog.pricegrabber.com/shopgreen] and was the first to be awarded the 'Eco-Friendly Expert Maven' title by ThisNext.com where her recommendations are followed by millions of shoppers.



  • http://www.thesmartmama.com Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama

    Thank you for all of your research you have done to uncover the ingredients of these products. It all seems mostly like greenwashing, since virtually every single one of the products contains petroleum based ingredient, and an ethoxylated compound (or two), most likely contaminated with 1,4 dioxane.

  • http://www.thesmartmama.com Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama

    Thank you for all of your research you have done to uncover the ingredients of these products. It all seems mostly like greenwashing, since virtually every single one of the products contains petroleum based ingredient, and an ethoxylated compound (or two), most likely contaminated with 1,4 dioxane.

  • http://www.natureofbeauty.com Terri

    Kudos to you, girl, for going to such great lengths to expose yet another huge greenwashing scam. I can’t say I’m surprised, as I suspected this would be the case the minute I couldn’t find any ingredients listed anywhere. But I didn’t expect it to be quite this bad. As women, we need to stand up to companies like this who treat us like we’re too stupid to notice the difference between organic, natural, and chock-full-of-chemicals, so thank you, Stancie. I hope VS sees this and realizes the jig is officially up!!!

  • http://www.natureofbeauty.com Terri

    Kudos to you, girl, for going to such great lengths to expose yet another huge greenwashing scam. I can’t say I’m surprised, as I suspected this would be the case the minute I couldn’t find any ingredients listed anywhere. But I didn’t expect it to be quite this bad. As women, we need to stand up to companies like this who treat us like we’re too stupid to notice the difference between organic, natural, and chock-full-of-chemicals, so thank you, Stancie. I hope VS sees this and realizes the jig is officially up!!!

  • http://OrganicBeautySource.com Liz Thompson

    Way to go Stancie! Great article! I too tried to find out what is in these products and was sent a long list of information that did not include an ingredients list. While I was in the VS store (trying to take pics of the labels with my camera phone)an employee offered her help and we got pretty much no where, but I could see that they were not exactly nontoxic or safe. Just as we suspected…..

  • http://OrganicBeautySource.com Liz Thompson

    Way to go Stancie! Great article! I too tried to find out what is in these products and was sent a long list of information that did not include an ingredients list. While I was in the VS store (trying to take pics of the labels with my camera phone)an employee offered her help and we got pretty much no where, but I could see that they were not exactly nontoxic or safe. Just as we suspected…..

  • http://www.greengrechen.com grechen

    brilliant!!! honestly, i avoid victoria’s secret like the plague…good for you for braving the actual store :)

    this greenwashing has GOT to stop. seriously. first milk silk, now non-organic organic…

  • http://www.greengrechen.com grechen

    brilliant!!! honestly, i avoid victoria’s secret like the plague…good for you for braving the actual store :)

    this greenwashing has GOT to stop. seriously. first milk silk, now non-organic organic…

  • http://feelgoodstyle.com Courtney Maum

    I, too, went in to the store to sample a product and laughed out loud in the middle of the floor. My 25 year-old bottle of Vaseline is more organic than this junk. You know what it says on the back of their bottles? “Fabricated with love, peace and happiness”. Um, really? Give the under 25 set some credit, people.

  • http://feelgoodstyle.com Courtney Maum

    I, too, went in to the store to sample a product and laughed out loud in the middle of the floor. My 25 year-old bottle of Vaseline is more organic than this junk. You know what it says on the back of their bottles? “Fabricated with love, peace and happiness”. Um, really? Give the under 25 set some credit, people.

  • http://www.figandsage.com Stancie Wilson

    Thank you for all your comments & kudos ladies!!! It’s great to see so many like minds on here :)

  • http://www.figandsage.com Stancie Wilson

    Thank you for all your comments & kudos ladies!!! It’s great to see so many like minds on here :)

  • tessa

    Thank you for this! I just put the body lotion on and found your article, I am now going to wash it off after seeing all those toxic ingredients!

  • tessa

    Thank you for this! I just put the body lotion on and found your article, I am now going to wash it off after seeing all those toxic ingredients!

  • http://www.choosespun.com Sara

    So I read this article (and tweeted it) a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t get a chance to comment. Stancie, I applaud and thank you for doing this story. As someone who worked at VS while in college, I know first hand how big corporations like to hide their practices. So many times customers would come in asking questions about the ingredients in things and we just had no idea where to even find them…and I was the Manager! Back then, they also had a pheromone cologne that they tested in our store. A lady came in saying that her skin broke out and wanted to know the ingredients. I had no clue where to find them or who to contact. In the end, I gave her the VS 800 number but honestly felt bad about not having the answers she needed. That’s the difference between working with/for a small company or a large corporation. I can always get the answers I need with the small independant shops!

  • http://www.choosespun.com Sara

    So I read this article (and tweeted it) a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t get a chance to comment. Stancie, I applaud and thank you for doing this story. As someone who worked at VS while in college, I know first hand how big corporations like to hide their practices. So many times customers would come in asking questions about the ingredients in things and we just had no idea where to even find them…and I was the Manager! Back then, they also had a pheromone cologne that they tested in our store. A lady came in saying that her skin broke out and wanted to know the ingredients. I had no clue where to find them or who to contact. In the end, I gave her the VS 800 number but honestly felt bad about not having the answers she needed. That’s the difference between working with/for a small company or a large corporation. I can always get the answers I need with the small independant shops!

  • http://parabenfreeprincess.blogspot.com/ The Paraben Free Princess

    Thank you SO much for going to these lengths to find product ingredients. Believe me, I feel your pain. The only reason a company does not proudly display the ingredients on their websites is because they are garbage.

  • http://parabenfreeprincess.blogspot.com/ The Paraben Free Princess

    Thank you SO much for going to these lengths to find product ingredients. Believe me, I feel your pain. The only reason a company does not proudly display the ingredients on their websites is because they are garbage.

  • Raunnie

    Thank you so much, Stancie for your research. You have done a great service to the world community. I googled ingredients for victoria’s secret because the smell drives me nuts. The moment I get the first whiff, my adrenaline goes wild. I am going to have to be smelling it for 4 hours tomorrow during a training session for my new job because one of the trainees wears it every time. I try and stand as far away as possible and hold my breath. I’d rather smell manure anyday or B.o. It is crap like this that is the cause of breast cancer. It has become the norm to smell like a perfume factory. A cheap deodorant is to wet your armpits and pat a bit of baking soda on them. Also, check out the ingredients for Centrum Vitamins, one of which is triethyl citrate, used as a plasticizer in nail polish.

  • Raunnie

    Thank you so much, Stancie for your research. You have done a great service to the world community. I googled ingredients for victoria’s secret because the smell drives me nuts. The moment I get the first whiff, my adrenaline goes wild. I am going to have to be smelling it for 4 hours tomorrow during a training session for my new job because one of the trainees wears it every time. I try and stand as far away as possible and hold my breath. I’d rather smell manure anyday or B.o. It is crap like this that is the cause of breast cancer. It has become the norm to smell like a perfume factory. A cheap deodorant is to wet your armpits and pat a bit of baking soda on them. Also, check out the ingredients for Centrum Vitamins, one of which is triethyl citrate, used as a plasticizer in nail polish.

  • http://apronstore.com/hempaprons.htm Perry Peck

    Synthetic ingredients are “man made” chemicals devoid of life. The body recognizes that they are different from nature’s plants and one’s own chemistry. The immune system registers this as foreign, possibly toxic matter and may respond with an allergic reaction!

  • http://apronstore.com/hempaprons.htm Perry Peck

    Synthetic ingredients are “man made” chemicals devoid of life. The body recognizes that they are different from nature’s plants and one’s own chemistry. The immune system registers this as foreign, possibly toxic matter and may respond with an allergic reaction!

  • Taylor

    I really enjoyed the article posted regarding harmful ingredients in personal care products. It was very informative and I believe you are absolutely correct about the negative impact that these chemicals can have on our bodies. I have discovered several amazing reports to validate your position, and I think you would find the information fascinating. I would love to discuss this further with you. Please email me at your earliest convenience at tdeann24@gmail.com. One report in particular is very serious in nature and was documented on CNN. I’ll send you a link.

  • Taylor

    I really enjoyed the article posted regarding harmful ingredients in personal care products. It was very informative and I believe you are absolutely correct about the negative impact that these chemicals can have on our bodies. I have discovered several amazing reports to validate your position, and I think you would find the information fascinating. I would love to discuss this further with you. Please email me at your earliest convenience at tdeann24@gmail.com. One report in particular is very serious in nature and was documented on CNN. I’ll send you a link.

  • Fabdiva

    I had to find your article to find the ingredients. They are under the bottle on the price tag. It just bothered me so much because I liked the lotion but I could not find the ingredients. I don’t know if I will be purchasing this product again because of the deception.

  • Fabdiva

    I had to find your article to find the ingredients. They are under the bottle on the price tag. It just bothered me so much because I liked the lotion but I could not find the ingredients. I don’t know if I will be purchasing this product again because of the deception.

  • Did You Read?

    So this whole “article” is flat out silly. You could have saved yourself a LOT of time by just going into the store and looking at the bottles! For instance, the line simply says “WITH organic shea butter” or “WITH organic citrus & mint” and on the back it says “packed with US sourced citrus and organic mint… plus a boost of caffeine from organic coffee beans…” etc, etc. While every ingredient isn’t organic, it’s one of the greenest and most friendly lines of any company considering every bottle is made up of up to 80% post-consumer recycled materials and can be recycled after use, & it’s not tested on animals!

  • Did You Read?

    So this whole “article” is flat out silly. You could have saved yourself a LOT of time by just going into the store and looking at the bottles! For instance, the line simply says “WITH organic shea butter” or “WITH organic citrus & mint” and on the back it says “packed with US sourced citrus and organic mint… plus a boost of caffeine from organic coffee beans…” etc, etc. While every ingredient isn’t organic, it’s one of the greenest and most friendly lines of any company considering every bottle is made up of up to 80% post-consumer recycled materials and can be recycled after use, & it’s not tested on animals!

  • http://www.neveroverthehill.com John

    I am a cosmetic chemist by profession and have been for over a decade. I hold multiple U.S. Patents for cosmetic raw materials and formulas. I have multiple published articles on raw materials in cosmetic chemistry. I was awarded the 2001 “Young Scientist Award” by the California Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

    There is a LOT of misinformation in this article. So much so, that I cannot address everything, but here are the high points.

    1) There is no such thing as “organic cosmetics” or “organic certified” cosmetics. There never has been. The USDA only governs and regulates organic FOOD materials which are NOT the same as cosmetic materials.

    2) Victoria Seceret can use any “marketing spin” they like to sell there products. Of course, calling their skin care line “organic” is an absolute falsehood. There is no governing body that can stop them from doing so, although consumers should be complaining. The ingredients lists for those products are run of the mill, typical, and rather “low cost” (read: cheap) cosmetic ingredients. Face it, they are just trying to make a buck on consumers who don’t realize that there IS NO SUCH THING as “organic cosmetics”.

    3) PARABENS ARE SAFE! PARABENS ARE FOUND IN NATURE! The internet has spawned and spread the completely FALSE rumor that parabens are “bad”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Parabens have a 50 year track record of unparalleled safety as cosmetic preservatives. They are used to preserve food as well! Read these comments from technical articles that have come out as recently as Nov. 18, 2009 defending the safety of parabens, and proving that they are NOT harmful to humans in any way:

    The following information was written by Mr. Anthony Dweck. He is a distiguished botanist and cosmetic chemist from the UK….and, he is also a personal friend of mine. I have met him many times at trade shows in Europe, and we always have a wonderful chat about cosmetics. You can “google” his name and find even more information on this topic. The link to the full article can be obtained from me in an e-mail if requested.

    Parabens: Is The Danger Real?

    As skin care products become more organic and natural, preservatives are needed to prevent the ingredients from spoiling. If a product is labeled “parabens-free,” it does not mean that it is preservative-free. There must be a preservative in products that contain natural or organic components to allow for shelf life, or the products will rot.

    Parabens have a 50-year history as effective preservatives. This track record is the reason that many scientists and medical professionals absolutely believe that parabens are the best option for skin care formulations. Unfortunately, the newer preservatives have no track record, and may have unknown, or even worse, consequences.

    But what exactly are Parabens, and why are they getting so much negative criticism?

    First of all, parabens are actually derived from nature. In fact, ALL plants produce some natural preservative, often p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Certain plants, such as cucumbers, carrots, and olives, actually produce parabens to protect themselves from attacks by microorganisms. (Bach M et al, Plant Physiol, 103(2), 1993); (Aziz N et al, Microbios 93(374), 1998); Smith-Becker J et al, Plant Physiol, 116(1), 1998); (Dweck A, “Natural Preservatives”, Cosmet Toilet, Aug 2003).

    This makes sense, since destruction by bacteria of a natural organic product is the same, whether the bacteria attacks a plant in the wild, or a botanical ingredient in a bottle.

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “The best preservatives for sensitive skin are those containing parabens.” (2002 Prof Zoe Draelos, Summer Scientific Meeting, New York, AAD, 2002).

    In fact, two common parabens, Methylparaben and Propylparaben, which are used widely in cosmetic skin products, are also used to preserve spices, black and green teas, beer, fruit juices, jams, and wine.

    The US Food and Drug Administration, and other national agencies worldwide, have also approved parabens as a direct food additive in amounts ranging from 0.0001% to 0.10%. When we EAT vegetables that contain parabens naturally, they obviously enter the human body, are digested, and are eliminated in the urine. (Metcalf D, et al, Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1991).

    We now live in an age where scare tactics and misleading information are used to market products. Frightening information, whether accurate or not, always gets headlines. Unfortunately, the more frightening and negative, the bigger the headline.

    But remember, if a product is termed “parabens-free,” it does not mean it is preservative free. Every skin care product that has natural ingredients must have a preservative. If it is not a paraben, then it has to be another preservative. But the new preservatives have not been used nearly as long as parabens. In time, we may find out that these newer preservatives have serious side effects and consequences, which we do not know as of now.

    In summary, remember:

    1) Parabens are a naturally derived preservative. Plants produce parabens, naturally, to protect themselves from bacterial deterioration. We use them the same way to protect our skin products.

    2) Parabens are a safe, FDA approved food preservative with a 50-year track record, and are used in almost all food items to prolong shelf life.

    3) All skincare products must contain some type of preservative prevent bacterial growth, and to ensure shelf life. It is better to use parabens, which is a naturally derived, FDA approved preservative that has been used in food items for over 50 years, than a new, untested preservative with no long-term track record. Why take a chance on a new preservative that, in the future, may be shown to have dangerous side effects?

    4) Skincare products that do contain parabens usually have them in minute concentrations.

    New data on parabens suggests no adverse hormonal effect on the body

    This article, written by Katie Bird on November 18, 2009 describes a new study performed in Sweden using parabens. Once again, the study proved that parabens have no adverse affects whatsoever on the human body. The study confirms that parabens are one of the best preservative systems that can be used in personal care and cosmetic products.

    The article expresses the desire to put an end to the runaway misinformation about parabens that is being spread on the internet, and consequently by word of mouth.

    Since I cannot post the link here, feel free to send me a private message or e-mail and I will give you the link so that you can read the entire article.

    4) The “Truth in Labeling Law” went into effect in the U.S. several years ago. It requires, by law, that ALL cosmetic and personal care products sold in the U.S. MUST have the full ingredients list on the label of every product. This ingredients list must use the correct PCPC (Personal Care Products Council) approved INCI name of the ingredients. That is why the MSDS was of no use… the MSDS usual gives an IUPAC name which is almost always different from the INCI name. But, she didn’t need the MSDS anyway…. the bottles had the ingredients on them… they had to by law. That whole “contriversy” of not being able to get the ingredients could have been solved in no time flat by simply going and getting the bottles and having a look.

    5) I always, always, always recommend buying products SOLELY by looking at the ingredients list on the container. DO NOT trust “marketing spin” at all when buying a product. Do not trust “advertising” at all when buying a product. If a product says it is “certified organic”, or “organic cosmetic”… know right off the bat that this is marketing sales hype ONLY, and not the truth.

    Please, when sharing information on the internet, be sure you’ve done your research and you are disiminating “information” rather than spreading gossip stype “misinformation”. There is a huge difference, and once a rumor gets started on the internet (like the parabens lies), it is almost impossible to kill the rumors off.

    John

  • http://www.neveroverthehill.com John

    I am a cosmetic chemist by profession and have been for over a decade. I hold multiple U.S. Patents for cosmetic raw materials and formulas. I have multiple published articles on raw materials in cosmetic chemistry. I was awarded the 2001 “Young Scientist Award” by the California Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

    There is a LOT of misinformation in this article. So much so, that I cannot address everything, but here are the high points.

    1) There is no such thing as “organic cosmetics” or “organic certified” cosmetics. There never has been. The USDA only governs and regulates organic FOOD materials which are NOT the same as cosmetic materials.

    2) Victoria Seceret can use any “marketing spin” they like to sell there products. Of course, calling their skin care line “organic” is an absolute falsehood. There is no governing body that can stop them from doing so, although consumers should be complaining. The ingredients lists for those products are run of the mill, typical, and rather “low cost” (read: cheap) cosmetic ingredients. Face it, they are just trying to make a buck on consumers who don’t realize that there IS NO SUCH THING as “organic cosmetics”.

    3) PARABENS ARE SAFE! PARABENS ARE FOUND IN NATURE! The internet has spawned and spread the completely FALSE rumor that parabens are “bad”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Parabens have a 50 year track record of unparalleled safety as cosmetic preservatives. They are used to preserve food as well! Read these comments from technical articles that have come out as recently as Nov. 18, 2009 defending the safety of parabens, and proving that they are NOT harmful to humans in any way:

    The following information was written by Mr. Anthony Dweck. He is a distiguished botanist and cosmetic chemist from the UK….and, he is also a personal friend of mine. I have met him many times at trade shows in Europe, and we always have a wonderful chat about cosmetics. You can “google” his name and find even more information on this topic. The link to the full article can be obtained from me in an e-mail if requested.

    Parabens: Is The Danger Real?

    As skin care products become more organic and natural, preservatives are needed to prevent the ingredients from spoiling. If a product is labeled “parabens-free,” it does not mean that it is preservative-free. There must be a preservative in products that contain natural or organic components to allow for shelf life, or the products will rot.

    Parabens have a 50-year history as effective preservatives. This track record is the reason that many scientists and medical professionals absolutely believe that parabens are the best option for skin care formulations. Unfortunately, the newer preservatives have no track record, and may have unknown, or even worse, consequences.

    But what exactly are Parabens, and why are they getting so much negative criticism?

    First of all, parabens are actually derived from nature. In fact, ALL plants produce some natural preservative, often p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Certain plants, such as cucumbers, carrots, and olives, actually produce parabens to protect themselves from attacks by microorganisms. (Bach M et al, Plant Physiol, 103(2), 1993); (Aziz N et al, Microbios 93(374), 1998); Smith-Becker J et al, Plant Physiol, 116(1), 1998); (Dweck A, “Natural Preservatives”, Cosmet Toilet, Aug 2003).

    This makes sense, since destruction by bacteria of a natural organic product is the same, whether the bacteria attacks a plant in the wild, or a botanical ingredient in a bottle.

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “The best preservatives for sensitive skin are those containing parabens.” (2002 Prof Zoe Draelos, Summer Scientific Meeting, New York, AAD, 2002).

    In fact, two common parabens, Methylparaben and Propylparaben, which are used widely in cosmetic skin products, are also used to preserve spices, black and green teas, beer, fruit juices, jams, and wine.

    The US Food and Drug Administration, and other national agencies worldwide, have also approved parabens as a direct food additive in amounts ranging from 0.0001% to 0.10%. When we EAT vegetables that contain parabens naturally, they obviously enter the human body, are digested, and are eliminated in the urine. (Metcalf D, et al, Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1991).

    We now live in an age where scare tactics and misleading information are used to market products. Frightening information, whether accurate or not, always gets headlines. Unfortunately, the more frightening and negative, the bigger the headline.

    But remember, if a product is termed “parabens-free,” it does not mean it is preservative free. Every skin care product that has natural ingredients must have a preservative. If it is not a paraben, then it has to be another preservative. But the new preservatives have not been used nearly as long as parabens. In time, we may find out that these newer preservatives have serious side effects and consequences, which we do not know as of now.

    In summary, remember:

    1) Parabens are a naturally derived preservative. Plants produce parabens, naturally, to protect themselves from bacterial deterioration. We use them the same way to protect our skin products.

    2) Parabens are a safe, FDA approved food preservative with a 50-year track record, and are used in almost all food items to prolong shelf life.

    3) All skincare products must contain some type of preservative prevent bacterial growth, and to ensure shelf life. It is better to use parabens, which is a naturally derived, FDA approved preservative that has been used in food items for over 50 years, than a new, untested preservative with no long-term track record. Why take a chance on a new preservative that, in the future, may be shown to have dangerous side effects?

    4) Skincare products that do contain parabens usually have them in minute concentrations.

    New data on parabens suggests no adverse hormonal effect on the body

    This article, written by Katie Bird on November 18, 2009 describes a new study performed in Sweden using parabens. Once again, the study proved that parabens have no adverse affects whatsoever on the human body. The study confirms that parabens are one of the best preservative systems that can be used in personal care and cosmetic products.

    The article expresses the desire to put an end to the runaway misinformation about parabens that is being spread on the internet, and consequently by word of mouth.

    Since I cannot post the link here, feel free to send me a private message or e-mail and I will give you the link so that you can read the entire article.

    4) The “Truth in Labeling Law” went into effect in the U.S. several years ago. It requires, by law, that ALL cosmetic and personal care products sold in the U.S. MUST have the full ingredients list on the label of every product. This ingredients list must use the correct PCPC (Personal Care Products Council) approved INCI name of the ingredients. That is why the MSDS was of no use… the MSDS usual gives an IUPAC name which is almost always different from the INCI name. But, she didn’t need the MSDS anyway…. the bottles had the ingredients on them… they had to by law. That whole “contriversy” of not being able to get the ingredients could have been solved in no time flat by simply going and getting the bottles and having a look.

    5) I always, always, always recommend buying products SOLELY by looking at the ingredients list on the container. DO NOT trust “marketing spin” at all when buying a product. Do not trust “advertising” at all when buying a product. If a product says it is “certified organic”, or “organic cosmetic”… know right off the bat that this is marketing sales hype ONLY, and not the truth.

    Please, when sharing information on the internet, be sure you’ve done your research and you are disiminating “information” rather than spreading gossip stype “misinformation”. There is a huge difference, and once a rumor gets started on the internet (like the parabens lies), it is almost impossible to kill the rumors off.

    John

  • http://enlighten-illume.webs.com/ Dannielle

    You are so right!!! I had a hard time finding the ingredients for the “organic” line too, and when I finally found them, I was disappointed. The funny thing about their “kissable massage oil” (which indicates, at least to me, that it is edible) is that there is a warning message on it that says “do not eat.” When you look at the ingredients you think, “I don’t want to put that in my mouth or even let it soak into my skin for that matter!

  • http://enlighten-illume.webs.com/ Dannielle

    You are so right!!! I had a hard time finding the ingredients for the “organic” line too, and when I finally found them, I was disappointed. The funny thing about their “kissable massage oil” (which indicates, at least to me, that it is edible) is that there is a warning message on it that says “do not eat.” When you look at the ingredients you think, “I don’t want to put that in my mouth or even let it soak into my skin for that matter!

  • Blue Stranger

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS. IT has been such a PITA trying to find the ingredients. After reading this, you are saving me money on their semi-annual sale LOL. *HUGS*

  • Blue Stranger

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS. IT has been such a PITA trying to find the ingredients. After reading this, you are saving me money on their semi-annual sale LOL. *HUGS*

  • Pingback: Victoria’s Secret Drops Organic PINK Line, Releases ‘Natural’ Version « ecorazzi.com :: the latest in green gossip

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tej_kohli_foundation Tej Kohli

    Nice Post I love It

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tej_kohli_foundation Tej Kohli

    Nice Post I love It

  • dd

    how did you get the MSDS sheets?

  • dd

    how did you get the MSDS sheets?

  • http://www.idtees.org Charlotte

    Thank you for this! Your due dilligence on the issue is very much appreciated, and enlightening. It only proves that you can not simply trust labels or marketing campaigns.

  • http://www.idtees.org Charlotte

    Thank you for this! Your due dilligence on the issue is very much appreciated, and enlightening. It only proves that you can not simply trust labels or marketing campaigns.

  • http://Web alary

    “organic and natural” means the product contains these ingredients NOT that the product is100% natural or biodegradable.

    many companies do bottom labels, in this case the formula probably not finalized at the time they had to produce the bottle.

    recycled plastic is a huge step for the plastic and gold foil world of victorias secret

  • http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ Kate

    Hey you guys – avoid VS products at all costs – this is the list of side effects of just some of the ingredients from the first product – the rest you can find yourself at this VERY useful website – I never buy a product before consulting this site first – I run every ingredient against their data – they are great! Go and see for yourself (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/) – the more we, consumers, know about what is good for us – the more companies will have to listen to us.
    Lauryl Lactyl Lactate -suspected to be an environmental toxin according to Environment Canada Domestic Substance List, and a carcinogen
    Sodium Hydroxide: One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effects at very low doses, One or more animal studies show metabolic effects at very low doses, Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful (Environment Canada Domestic Substance List), One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results, One or more animal studies show skin irritation at very low doses.
    Propylene Glycol: Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful (Environment Canada Domestic Substance List), Classified as skin irritant, One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results, One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at moderate doses, One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effects at high doses (RTECS®- Journal of Pediatrics 1978).
    Methylchloroisothiazolinone: Known human immune system toxicant (National Library of Medicine HazMap), Human skin toxicant – strong evidence (Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments), Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics (Canada – Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients), One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells demonstrate neurotoxicity, 141 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical

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