The Ethics of Shampoo Brands

These extracts have been taken from the Ethical Consumer website. The original article can be seen here:

Toxic chemicals ratings of shampoo brands

The often complex and long ingredients lists of bodycare products contain a number of ingredients of concern. Parabens, phthalates and triclosan have been selected by Ethical Consumer as important indicators for our own toxics rating.

Companies that receive our best mark for their toxics policies avoid all three toxins, ones who score a middle in our scoretable above, have a policy to avoid one or two of the toxins, and companies that score a worst use all three of the toxins or have no policy.

ethics of shampoo

Holland & Barrett’s Dr Organic brand also score a worst rating whilst Friendly Soap scores middle.

Risks of foaming agents

Some people may also want to avoid the foaming agents sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and its milder form sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), which are known irritants and are often used in shampoos.

However, the Skin Deep website gives SLS and SLES hazard ratings of 1-2 (low hazard) and 3 out of 10 (moderate hazard) respectively, and states that research studies have found that exposure to the ingredient itself, not the products that contain it, have indicated potential health risks.

Find out more about toxic chemicals in our wider report into the Cosmetics Industry. 

Palm oil in shampoo

Palm oil and its derivatives are found in a vast number of cosmetics products including shampoo. How a company sources and traces its palm oil products will affect whether it is linked with the clearing of rainforests and peatlands, and the degree to which its products negatively affect local communities, biodiversity and climate change.

Our new palm oil column, in the table above, shows which companies receive our best, middle and worst ratings for their palm oil policies and practices.

Palm oil free: Odylique, Caurnie Soap and Honesty.

We provide more detail on the problem with palm oil in our wider Cosmetics report.

Animal testing by shampoo companies

As animal testing is common in the cosmetics industry, we have rated the animal testing policies of all companies in this guide. Companies will score a best rating if they have a policy not to test on animals, have a fixed cut-off date (a date after which none of their products or ingredients will have been tested on animals) for ingredients and are not selling to markets (e.g. China) where product animal testing is required by law.

Best Ethical Consumer rating:

Essential Care, Faith In Nature, Desford Holdings, Honesty, Friendly Soaps, Pure Nuff Stuff, Triangle Wholefoods Collective, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Weleda, Lush Cosmetics, Natura Cosmeticos, Little Satsuma, Logocos Naturkosmetik, Caurnie Soap, Daniel Field and Hain Celestial Group.

Middle Ethical Consumer rating:

Bentley Organic, Yaoh, Laverana, Bioforce Roggwil, Midsona, Li & Fung and Superdrug Stores.

Worst Ethical Consumer rating:

Kao Corporation, Church & Dwight, Holland & Barrett, Zochonis Family, Clarins, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Avon Products, Estée Lauder, JAB Holding, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal/Nestle (owners of Body Shop International), Dr. Wolff-Gruppe, Daniel Field Direct, Colgate-Palmolive, WBA Investments and Unilever.

Cruelty International explain the global campaign to end animal testing in our wider Cosmetics report.

Animal friendly alternative shampoo brands

There is now a wide range of vegan and vegetarian alternatives within the shampoo market – as highlighted by an [A] after the brand name in the table.

Vegan products are offered by Odylique, Daniel Field, Bentley Organic, Caurnie, Faith In Nature, Green People, Friendly Soap, Neal’s Yard, Honesty, Yaoh, Suma, Little Satsuma, Weleda, Laverana, Avalon Organics, Lush, Urtekram, Logona and Sante.

If you are vegan you may wish to buy from a vegan company as well. Vegan companies include: Caurnie, Honesty, Yaoh and Little Satsuma.


Why ‘organic’ beauty might not be so saintly

Why organic beauty might not be so saintly: Discover the sinners and true saints among natural beauty products

The word ‘organic’ on a beauty product suggests it is good for both the consumer and the environment
But the truth could be very different, according to the Soil Association, which has launched a campaign against ‘greenwashing’
European certification bodies (BDIH, Cosmebio, Ecocert and ICEA) have now developed a new Cosmetic Organic Standard or COSMOS
Discover the true saints and sinners among natural beauty products here

By Claire Coleman for the Daily Mail – see the original article

When shoppers see the word ‘organic’ on a shampoo bottle or pot of skin cream, they tend to believe they are buying a product that will be as good for their skin as the environment.

But the truth could be very different, according to the Soil Association.

It has launched a campaign against ‘greenwashing’ — where consumers are given the impression their beauty favourites are more organic than they are.

The organisation claims major brands including Boots, Dr Organic and Faith In Nature all use this type of marketing.

It is very different story in the food and grocery aisles of the supermarket.
Discover the sinners and true saints among natural beauty products as new standards are set for labelling of ‘organic’ offerings










Discover the sinners and true saints among natural beauty products as new standards are set for labelling of ‘organic’ offerings

Before a lettuce or beef joint can be labelled as organic, it must be approved by an organic certification body, which regularly inspects everything from labelling to production methods to ensure rules about pesticides, antibiotics, animal welfare and additives are followed.

Packaged products, such as tinned beans, can be sold as organic only if at least 95 per cent of ingredients are from organically produced plants or animals.

But there is no legal definition for organic beauty products.

As a result, a product can say it’s organic without having to satisfy any set standards. You can pop 0.01ml of organic lavender oil into a cream and say it’s ‘made with organic lavender’, but that doesn’t mean ingredients derived from petrochemicals aren’t included.

This is why the Come Clean About Beauty campaign for better product labelling is highlighting brands that use the word ‘organic’ for products which also contain ingredients that could damage health or the environment.

Market analysts Mintel found that as standards for organic food are so tough, consumers believe the same is true for organic beauty products. When people see something labelled ‘organic’, 53 per cent expect it to be ‘free from chemicals’.

However, there is some protection for consumers. Misleading claims are illegal and Trading Standards is responsible for enforcing the cosmetics regulation, while the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has the authority to enforce the Codes of Advertising Practice.

But a search of the rulings section of the ASA website shows that in the past five years, only a handful relate to mislabelled organic beauty products.

With the £61.2 million UK organic health and beauty market growing — sales were up 20 per cent in 2016 — some firms may think it’s worth being economical with the truth when risks seem low and gains high.
Even actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop range — which claims to ‘nurture your skin with powerful organic ingredients’ — features some products that contain ingredients which are derived from petrochemicals

Even actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop range — which claims to ‘nurture your skin with powerful organic ingredients’ — features some products that contain ingredients which are derived from petrochemicals.

So, how can we know what we’re getting with organic beauty products? The Soil Association has teamed up with European certification bodies (BDIH, Cosmebio, Ecocert and ICEA) to develop the Cosmetic Organic Standard or COSMOS.

Since January new products requesting certification must be COSMOS approved.

This means at least 95 per cent of all ingredients must be organic if it says ‘made with organic’ ingredients, or 20 per cent for leave-on products and 10 per cent for rinse-off products.

The production process must also have a minimal impact on the environment, non-organic ingredients must have natural colours and fragrances, and petrochemicals must be restricted. Jen Collins, Soil Association beauty campaign manager, says you should be suspicious of certain products.

‘It’s very hard to make organic haircare because you need detergent ingredients to make an effective shampoo,’ she says.

She also advises scrutinising sun protection claimed to be organic — they often contain ingredients that not only wouldn’t be certified organic, but could also cause allergies, skin irritation and even have an impact on hormone levels.

But on the plus side, Jen says organic make-up is often certified as such.

Can’t be bothered to read the label? See the box above for our list of organic saints and sinners.


SINNER: Boots Beautiful Hair Moisturise & Nourish Shampoo, £2.85

The bottle states ‘added organic argan oil’, but contains only a tiny amount. At the same time it has six ingredients that wouldn’t be permitted in a certified organic shampoo, and some may be bad for the environment.

Boots says: ‘Our labelling complies with European Cosmetics Regulations.’

SAINT: Urtekram Nordic Birch Shampoo for Dry Hair, £4.85,

Made by Scandinavia’s largest organic wholesaler, this shampoo, which uses aloe vera and glycerine to moisturise hair, is certified organic by COSMOS.


SINNER: Faith In Nature Raspberry & Cranberry Shower Gel & Bath Foam, £5.49, Holland & Barrett

The packaging claims ‘Certified Organic Ingredients’, but only three of the total 17 are organic.

A spokesman said: ‘All of our Faith In Nature hair care, shower, bath, hand wash, skincare and Humphrey’s Corner baby range has a minimum of 99 per cent naturally derived ingredients.

‘We make every effort to ensure our packaging is clearly labelled. We take great care in selecting what goes into our products, which are independently safety tested in line with European cosmetics and toiletries regulations.’

SAINT: Bentley Organic Revitalising Body Wash with Cinnamon, Sweet Orange and Clove Bud, £4.15,

The organic arm of a soapmaker established in the 1800s makes this body wash, which is part of a range certified by COSMOS and also adheres to company policy that products should be ‘of the Earth, not costing the Earth’.


SINNER: Coola Pina Colada Sun Screen Spray SPF30, £32, Space NK

SAYS it’s made with ‘70%+ certified organic ingredients’, but it contains five that wouldn’t pass muster in a certified organic formulation, including some that could disrupt hormones, cause allergies and affect the neurological development of babies.

A spokesman said: ‘All of COOLA’s organic sunscreens are formulated with over 70 per cent organic ingredients in accordance with the California Organic Products Act (COPA).

‘The ingredients mentioned by the Soil Association are, in fact, sunscreen active ingredients, among the limited number allowed by the FDA for UVA/UVB protection. Knowing this, we work hard to ensure almost every ingredient, other than the sunscreen active ingredients, are organic.’

SAINT: Green People Organic Children’s Sun Lotion SPF30 Scent Free, £16.16,

A non-irritating, non-greasy, non-scented sun cream that offers broad spectrum sun protection, is suitable for those with sensitive skin and sufferers of prickly heat. COSMOS-certified.


SINNER: Dr Organic Organic Dead Sea Mineral Night Cream, £9.29, Holland & Barrett

CONTAINS two ingredients that would not be permitted in a certified organic or natural product. So suggesting, as the name does, that it’s a wholly organic product is misleading.

Michael Lightowlers, Dr Organic marketing director, said: ‘Sea Mineral Night Cream states on the packaging this product contains a minimum of 70 per cent organic ingredients to help inform a consumer’s buying choices.’

SAINT: Odylique Avocado 24-Hour Replenishing Cream, £22,

Certified organic by COSMOS, this rich cream contains cold-pressed avocado and olive oils, plus sea buckthorn and horsetail to aid skin regeneration.


SINNER: Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial Masque, £103,

While the Goop website claims the beauty products they sell ‘go beyond all natural, beyond non-toxic, beyond greenwashing to be truly good for you’, this product contains two ingredients derived from petrochemicals.

Goop said: ‘Our philosophy is to ensure that ingredients linked to health harm are not found in our products. This is not an exact science.’

SAINT: Intelligent Nutrients Detoxifying Glycolic Gel, £40,

Certified by the Soil Association, this gel contains the same alpha hydroxy acid as the Goop one, but without the petrochemical ingredients.

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More About our Hand Sanitisers

hand sanitizer
As one of our best-selling products we thought we’d take some time to tell you all about our Hand Sanitiser range.

The Range

Our sanitisers come in three variations; Aloe Vera, Lemon & Mother and Baby – all serving their own unique purpose:

  • Aloe Vera for a moisturising clean
  • Lemon providing an organic citrus scented clean
  • Mother and Baby offering cleaning suitable for both parent and child: perfect for when on the move!

As with all Bentley Organic products, our hand sanitiser range is certified organic by the Soil Association, and is additionally all approved Vegan by the Vegan society.

Why Bentley Organic?

So why use Bentley Organic hand sanitisers over other ones available? Well, for 50ml you can get 125 applications per bottle – meaning that this product keeps giving. The size also makes it a perfect accompaniment for travel and life on the move, an ideal handbag accessory! These products are all paraben, alcohol and SLS free and use a unique formulation to function as effectively as other, non-certified, products on the market. This unique formulation means that they are as gentle on your hands as they are tough on nasties, killing 99.9% of germs.

Award Winner

Don’t just take our word for it, our Mother & Baby Hand Sanitiser has won multiple awards and keeps going from strength to strength!

hand sanitizer


Interested? Click on this link to find out more, check out our buy page to try it for yourself.

Stay Fresh with Our Gentle Feminine Wash

Feminine Care

Stay Fresh with Our Gentle Feminine Wash

Following the recent launch of our Feminine Wash, which was a great success, we’ve been inspired to share with you some more information on one of the newest products in our Body Care range.

Plant based Ingredients

Staying true to our love of all things organic, this mild intimate wash is formulated with 85% organic ingredients. Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Lavender combine to help cleanse, refresh and soothe gentle skin, working to ensure you freshness all day long. Free from: SLS, SLES, Parabens, Alcohol, Artificial colours & Synthetic fragrance this product lacks the common ‘nasties’ you often find in non-organic formulations – ensuring only the best for your intimate area.

Dermatologically and gynaecologically approved

Our gentle Feminine Wash has been subject to, and certified by, rigorous standards of the British Soil Association, guaranteeing our organic integrity and ensuring we provide you with high quality certified products without the high cost. Both Dermatologically and Gynaecologically approved, you can be sure that we’ve tailored this product to suit the needs of intimate hygiene.

Award winning product

We’re pleased to say that we’re not the only ones who think this product is fantastic. Voted FreeFrom Skincare Award’s gold winner in the ‘Fresh and Fragrant’ category (2015), Feminine Wash offers just that – freshness for your delicate skin.

Try it now!

With an RRP of £6.30 we are continuing to provide you with affordable certified organic products to make organic lifestyle choices more widely available.
Try it now! Click here
Interested in purchasing this product as a Retailer or Distributor? We have marketing materials available for you upon request!
Any questions? Send us an email on

Chill Out This Summer – SunSoothe After Sun


Cool it this summer with our award winning SunSoothe After Sun

Here at Bentley Organic™ we’re pleased to announce our most recent award winner… The Beauty Shortlist Awards 2016 winner of the ‘Best Body Lotion’, SunSoothe After Sun Lotion is here to help you keep cool this summer!

The award

Voted UK’s Number 1 Natural Beauty Blog, the Beauty Shortlist Awards are an independent and consumer trusted award board, with no allegiance to any brands or companies. Judging takes the form of an exhaustive process of testing and ranking the products over a 6-month period, ensuring the highest quality of winners.

The facts

Formulated with organic Aloe Vera, Apricot Kernel Oil and Shea Butter to soothe, calm and hydrate skin, Sunsoothe is a lightweight formula suitable for the whole family. Apply the after sun lotion liberally to restore your cool.
Our lotion is dermatologically approved, so you know your skin is in good hands. And that’s not all… Made with 85% organic ingredients and free from; parabens, benzoates, phenoxyethanol, petrochemicals, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, benzyl alcohol and sodium benzoate, SunSoothe After Sun is just as good to the Earth as it is to you. Don’t just take our word for it! This product is certified Organic by the Soil Association and registered with the Vegan Society.
With an RRP of £6.45 we remain true to our mission of providing high quality, affordable products to our customers. Premium products, without the premium price tag.

The product

Try it now! Follow this link to our Buy page
Whether you’re a consumer, retailer or distributor there’ll be all the information you need to stock up on SunSoothe Aftersun, as well as a range of our other products.
We also have marketing material available for both distributor and retailer alike.
Any questions? Send us an email at
For more information on the Beauty Shortlist Awards click here