Creams, lotions and hair conditioners
These are all a combination of oil and water. Emulsifiers are needed to combine these ingredients, and plant extracts are often added for their aromatic and therapeutic benefits. The oil and plant parts of the formulation can be organic, but the water cannot (See ‘Why aren't all Neal's Yard Remedies products organic?’ for more information.) and neither can the emulsifiers used to give the product its texture. Unlike the oil blend or balm, a cream or lotion cannot be 100% organic.
Shampoos, shower gels, foaming baths and face washes
Foaming products use functional ingredients called surfactants (short for surface active agents) that act as the cleansing base, and allow the product to disperse into the water. Foaming products can contain high quality natural and organic ingredients, but they can't be 100% organic. (See ‘Why aren't all Neal's Yard Remedies products 100% organic?’ for more information.)
When you combine ('saponify') vegetable oils with a strong alkali solution such as sodium hydroxide (lye), you create soap. After saponification none of the alkali solution remains. A bar of soap cannot be 100% organic - but it can come very close! Neal's Yard Remedies has always been at the forefront of working with suppliers to engage them with our organic mission. We campaigned for 5 years to persuade our soap manufacturer to make an organic soap base, and were the first to use it when it was finally created in 2006 in our 99% organic Baby Soap. Click here to learn more about our functional ingredients.
Face masks or similar products
Natural ingredients used in beauty care - such as clays, minerals and salt - can not be termed ‘organic’ because they are not living organisms or the products of farming.