The NPA’s “Standard and Certification for Personal Care Products”* allows only those ingredients that “come or are made from a renewable resource found in nature (flora, fauna, mineral), with absolutely no petroleum compounds.” The standard includes an appendix of allowed processes and ingredients. According to the standard, a product seeking the NPA seal must:
be made with at least 95% natural ingredients;
contain only those environmentally friendly and benign synthetic materials allowed under the standard (which contains an appendix detailing allowed materials that must have no suspected health risks as indicated by peer-reviewed third-party scientific literature);
be used only when no viable natural alternative ingredient exists; and
contain ingredients that are U.S. Food and Drug Administration generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and contain no heavy metal residues or other contaminants above acceptable levels detailed in the standard or by the US FDA or Environmental Protection Agency.
Participating companies must be transparent, meaning accurate ingredient disclosure—formulas are not required to be disclosed to defend competitive advantage.
Companies must use the greatest amount of recyclable and postconsumer recycled content in packaging as possible.
No animal testing of ingredients or products is permitted.
Leading up to 2010, when the standard will be reviewed, possibly under a “debate and review” process, to settle differing technical and philosophical points of view. The definition of natural and natural personal care guidelines will thus evolve in time. Eventually, the organization hopes to harmonize with other global natural and organic standards as much as possible to further mitigate consumer and industry confusion. In 2010, the NPA looks to:
disallow all synthetics, except those nature-identical preservatives indicated by the German BDIH and other relevant standards;
require formal INCI nomenclature to describe all cosmetic ingredients; and