When you go to choose makeup and skin care, most people care about colour, look, and even packaging.
But most buyers don't think about whether the product is safe. They take it for granted. That's because the Environmental Protection Authority sets rules for all suppliers of skincare, toiletries and make-up – it's the watchdog. It makes sure that suppliers know the rules so that you can be confident the cosmetics and toiletries that you buy will not harm you.
Here are just some of the EPA's requirements:
1. Are all the ingredients listed clearly on the package?
There is a list of possible ingredients that all have to be listed (it's a long list) in order of the amount used. But some companies choose to go further. Kiwi company Wild Ferns for example, lists all the ingredients, and adds if they're natural, or naturally derived.
2. Are there allergy warnings and tests that you should do to check for reactions?
Even organic and natural products can be hazardous to some people. For example, Bee Venom is used in some skincare ranges. Most users have no issues, but the packages should have very clear warnings and tests for those who might be allergic.
3. What's the local contact address?
Even if the product's been made overseas, it's a legal requirement that you can contact someone locally about any issues, if the item contains a hazardous ingredient in it.
4. How do you need to store the product to keep it safe?
All products need to be sealed when you buy them. And there needs to be guidance about specific temperature, light or other conditions needed to keep the product safe.
While those are some of the rules the regulator demands, local company, Wild Ferns, thinks consumers could ask some other questions too.
Business Development Manager Andrew Rainham, says buyers could also ask:
Is the product ethical and sustainable?
Wild Ferns packaging is recyclable and uses biodegradable soy inks, and is committed to sourcing products and ingredients that are from sustainable sources; and equally dedicated suppliers. The company cares about this philosophical approach to their brand, and it's sure it matters to consumers too.
Is it local?
NZ is known to the world for its clean green environment, so making good use of natural ingredients and resources is important.
Can I be confident about a natural product?
People need to have confidence in what they're buying and should check manufacturers' websites. Wild Ferns makes sure to go beyond the legal requirements by labeling all ingredients whether they're natural, or naturally derived. It works with its partners making sure that from farm, to the pot, they've all been properly processed.
Mr Rainham adds "there's a lot of scientific evidence behind all the natural ingredients we use. "
Meanwhile, the EPA says the business of selling skincare, makeup and toiletry products is always changing, so get more tips and keep up with the guidelines on its the EPA website.
This article has been created for Wild Ferns to highlight its natural range of skincare products; including the Wild Ferns Manuka Honey Range.