Debra Lynn Dadd

Aveda

I want to make a comment about Aveda, which was sparked by reading an ingredient list on a bar of Aveda soap and also by a post I received today in which the reader wrote, "I think of Aveda as safe, natural and cruelty-free..."

I have mixed feelings about Aveda, and have for years.

They are doing many great things. Their website talks about using green ingredients (and explains what they mean by that), wind power, and their commitment to the environment, yet their products also contain ingredients that don't belong in a natural product.

While staying in a "green hotel" recently, I picked up the bar of Aveda soap in the bathroom that was offered to me as a guest. The wrapper was 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Good. It said it was "made with pure aroma from organically grown plants". Good. But it also contained many other ingredients that were more akin to a supermarket soap than a natural soap, such as propylene glycol, fragrance (usually this means artificial, and actually, no organic essential oils were listed on the ingredient list), trienthanolamine, tetrasodium EDTA, and Yellow 5. I didn't use this soap. I pulled my bar of natural soap out of my travel bag and used that.

To their credit, I see that Aveda is rethinking their ingredients and phasing out things like parabens and EDTA (you can read their ingredient policy at http://www.aveda.com/pdf/ourmission/
ingredients_policy.pdf
). I admire the direction they are going.

But the fact remains, at this moment there are Aveda products on the shelves that do contain some less than natural ingredients.

I'm not objecting to the fact that these products contain these ingredients, but rather to the fact that Aveda strives to have an image of being completely natural and eco-friendly. On their website, for example, they do not give the full ingredient list of their products, only the "key" green ingredients.

Contrast this with a company like Lush, for example, who sells products containing similar ingredients, but clearly indicates via color coding which ingredients are "natural/organic" and which are "safe synthetics" (see an example of this at http://usa.lush.com/cgi-bin/lushdb/062?expand=Soap). Lush is perfectly clear about their ingredients and they don't pretend to be a natural product. Lush products are also thought of by consumers as "natural" products because they are fresh and have some natural ingredients. The difference is that Lush doesn't promote their products as being natural.

I haven't recommended Aveda products over the years for this reason, and still won't add them to Debra's List. But I'm keeping my eye on them, because they are moving in the right direction.

Debra :-)


COMMENTS:

I'm in agreement about Aveda. Some of their hair products have a smell of plastic dolls...I've always wondered about that. Whan I heard that Aveda was bought by Estee Lauder (?)....I think that's right....I'm not so sure they're moving in any direction but supporting their bottom line. I believe they are getting LESS green than more green.

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: Yes, Aveda is owned by Estee Lauder, since 1995.


POSTED BY MOLLY UNDERWOOD :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 10/18/2007 6:40 PM


LOVE YOUR SITE WHERE I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH.

I HAVE MCS AS A RESULT OF AN INTOXICATION WHICH SEVERAL YEARS AGO LANDED ME IN THE HOSPITAL. I DID NOT PAY MUCH ATTENTION UNTIL I GRADUALLY GOT WORSE, AT WHICH POINT I BEGAN EDUCATING MYSELF ON THE ILLNESS. SO, I AM A RELATIVELY NEWCOMER WHEN IT COMES TO PURCHASING GREEN PRODUCTS, SO MY MOTO IS: "IF IN DOUBT, DON'T." I WRITE DOWN THE INGREDIENTS AND LOOK THEM UP IN THE INTERNET. IF THEY ARE SAFE, I ADD THEM TO MY LIST WHICH IS SLOWLY GROWING.

POSTED BY FELICITA CORDERO :: PUERTO RICO USA :: 10/18/2007 6:41 PM


What I know of Aveda. First, many essential oils or other derivatives are indeed from organic growers. I know a biodynamic farming couple in SW France who have sold to Aveda.

But second, checking the Environmental Working Group listings, i see that Aveda is owned by Estee Lauder, have not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics (though they don't test on animals), and none of the 79 products listed scored better than 2 on a scale of 0-10 with 10 worst.

I've compiled an "A-list" of items scoring 0 or 1, and many soaps or other products meet those criteria. Aveda doesn't.

Nothing's there on Lush products-- maybe someone can (carefully) submit their ingredients to EWG.

POSTED BY P E :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 10/22/2007 11:46 PM


I respect what is said here but being an aveda user for 15 years. they have a few products that are 100% organic like be curly shampoo. they have never said all natural. They do say that when possible they replace synthetic with organic. Most products are 97 % organic. They are a company who can tell you where each ingredient comes from. From soil to bottle and sell it at an affordable rate while having very little if no affect on the enviroment. can you say that about your "natural soap" that may have natural ingredients but what did they pollute to make it? Also their bottom line I am sure is smaller then other professional products which are synthetic but do nothing for the world we live in. So they make money yes don't we all but they do it with a conscience which is a company I will continue to support.
thanks

POSTED BY MECHELE :: IDAHO USA :: 01/28/2008 10:36 AM


Aveda is the most amazing product I know of. I have used their shampoos, conditioners, color, make-up, skin, etc my entire life. I love how they also have green bags, jewerly, and clothes. Not only that, but their comforting tea is to die for. It's the only tea I drink. I love Aveda, it is green in every way. Recyclable, can reuse cases,etc. I love how the water content is low so we get more bang for our buck. I also love how they help tribes and other communities internationally by consuming their organic plants.

Aveda is a top-notch "green" product and makes not only our hair and skin beautiful, but the earth too. :)

Sincerely,
An All-aveda girl.

POSTED BY S.C. :: MICHIGAN USA :: 12/01/2008 1:34 PM


Hi - wasn't there recently a change in the percentage of "Organic" ingredients requirement, in order for a product to be labeled "Organic"? I remember being upset about this - I think it used to be that each product contained 95% organic ingredients, but this has been LOWERED by FDA standards, and is now set at 90% - the other 5% or 10% being allowed as non-organic IF nothing else is AVAILABLE as ORGANIC to put into the product.

What I had subsequently read as being an objection TO this is (1) not only wondering where the impetus had come from FOR this (except to allow more egregious materials into organics for profit's sake), but also (2) the concern that something non-organic could be allowed IF the company CHANGED an ingredient to one where a substitute is not available in organic form (they would be doing this to keep costs down) - can't give you chemical/ingredients specific to this, but if one had been using Product A and there was an organic ingredient available to replace that with, the manufacturer would have had to use it...no matter the expense. Now, to keep expenses down, the manufacturer could switch to Product B, cheaper and nothing on the market organic to have to replace this new non-organic alternative with, and lo! The product would then be less than desirable, but still falling within the organic labeling Federal guidelines.

Am not happy with this lowering of Organic labeling standards! And I have to say I don't trust the FDA very much, given the history of their oversight and often, I think, conflict of interest problems - not sure exactly what the problem is! No doubt lobbyists for industry have alot to do with it! Les from Hawaii

POSTED BY LESLIE ADAMS :: HAWAII USA :: 12/03/2008 3:36 PM


Speaking from a cosmetic chemistry perspective with an emphasis in organic products, Aveda is no different than a retail product bought and sold at Wal-Mart. The active ingredient concentration is abysmal, there is very little about the product(s) that is green or organic. It is all an illusion. Do not be deceived, it is all marketing. i.e. the shepherd leading the sheep.

There are plenty of high performance, high quality, truly organic companies our there, but Aveda is not one of them.

POSTED BY SM1171 :: TEXAS USA :: 01/20/2009 7:46 AM


I bought an Aveda lip balm with sunscreen about a year and a half ago. I could not read the fine print ingredients so I looked them up online when I got home. The sunscreen ingredient was one that was banned by the EU countries as being suspected of causing cancer. I took it back and they refunded my money, no problem.

POSTED BY MM :: NEW HAMPSHIRE USA :: 02/10/2009 5:07 AM


Personally, I cannot wear most Aveda products at all, as they give me a terrible headache. That is due to their incredibly high levels of fragrance. A woman at our workplace (which is scent-free) uses Aveda shampoo because a co-worker told her the products were natural and so would not bother others. Wrong! Use caution with Aveda if you have sensitivities, is my recommendation.

P.S. Debra, why can't I post this without giving a state when I live in Canada? Am I missing something? :-)

POSTED BY LAURA :: WASHINGTON CANADA :: 02/11/2009 2:13 PM


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