The companies were accused of falsely marketed their products as “all natural" even though they contained synthetic ingredients.

Josh Long, Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider

April 13, 2016

2 Min Read
FTC Targets Skin Care Companies with All Natural Claims

Four marketers of skin care products, shampoos and sunscreens have agreed to settle charges that they falsely depicted their products as “all natural" or “100% natural," the FTC announced Tuesday.

The products contained synthetic ingredients, such as dimethicone, ethhexyl and glycerin, according to an FTC news release. Under proposed settlements, the companies are prohibited from making similar representations, and must possess competent and reliable evidence to substantiate any of their ingredient-related, environmental or health claims, the agency noted.

“‘All natural’ or ‘100 percent natural’ means just that—no artificial ingredients or chemicals," said Jessica Rich, director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a written statement. “Companies should take a lesson from these cases."

FTC also has filed a complaint against a fifth skin care firm, California Naturel Inc., seeking similar relief. The Sausalito, California-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It was just a misunderstanding," said Sean Zimmerman, general manager of Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, which has entered into a proposed settlement with FTC in response to the agency’s complaint that products such as “Natural Face Stick" were marketed as “all natural."  “We thought the all-natural part pertained to the active ingredients" and not inactive ingredients.

Zimmerman said the Arvada, Colorado-based company immediately stopped selling the product after hearing from FTC and has relabeled the product. He also noted FTC did not impose a fine.

“If you go on our website now, it just says mineral-based sunscreen," he said in a brief phone interview.

Beyond Coastal, a Salt Lake City-based company that reached a proposed settlement with FTC, said in an emailed statement, “We're grateful to the FTC for pointing out an editing error in some legacy text in our website. We take full responsibility for the error, are grateful that there were no financial penalties, and are glad to have moved into compliance with FTC regulations."

FTC also announced reaching proposed settlements with Santa Rosa, California-based ShiKai and Memphis, Tennessee, based EDEN BodyWorks. ShiKai, and Sally Beauty Supply, a retail distributor of EDEN’s products, did not immediately respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

About the Author(s)

Josh Long

Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider, Informa Markets Health and Nutrition

Josh Long directs the online news, feature and op-ed coverage at Natural Products Insider, which targets the health and wellness industry. He has been reporting on developments in the dietary supplement industry for over a decade, with a focus on regulatory issues, including at the Food and Drug Administration.

He has moderated and/or presented at industry trade shows, including SupplySide East, SupplySide West, Natural Products Expo West, NBJ Summit and the annual Dietary Supplement Regulatory Summit.

Connect with Josh on LinkedIn and ping him with story ideas at [email protected]

Education and previous experience

Josh majored in journalism and graduated from Arizona State University the same year "Jake the Snake" Plummer led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, was admitted in 2008 to practice law in the state of Colorado and spent a year clerking for a state district court judge.

Over more than a quarter century, he’s written on various topics for newspapers and business-to-business publications – from the Yavapai in Arizona and a controversial plan for a nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho to nuanced issues, including FDA enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

Since the late 1990s, his articles have been published in a variety of media, including but not limited to, the Cape Cod Times (in Massachusetts), Sedona Red Rock News (in Arizona), Denver Post (in Colorado), Casper Star-Tribune (in Wyoming), now-defunct Jackson Hole Guide (in Wyoming), Colorado Lawyer (published by the Colorado Bar Association) and Nutrition Business Journal.

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