What is the Essence of the Natural Products Association Natural Standard?

The NPA natural standard is based on natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability.

  • Natural Ingredients: A product labeled "natural" should be made up of only, or at least almost only, natural ingredients and be manufactured with appropriate processes to maintain ingredient purity.
  • A product must be made of at least 95% truly natural ingredients, or ingredients that are derived from natural sources (excludes water).
  • Ingredients must come from a purposeful, renewable/ plentiful source found in nature (flora, fauna, and mineral) with absolutely no petroleum compounds.
  • Unnatural ingredients are used only when viable natural alternative ingredients are unavailable and only when there are absolutely no suspected potential human health risks.
  • No processes that significantly or adversely alter the purity or effect of the natural ingredients.  
  • Safety: A product labeled "natural" should avoid any ingredient with a suspected human health risk.
  • Responsibility: A product labeled "natural" should use no animal testing in its development.
  • Sustainability: A product labeled "natural" should use biodegradable ingredients and the most environmentally sensitive packaging.

What the NPA Standard Means:

For Consumers: The Standard will help consumers become more educated about ingredients and processes considered natural. It gives consumers the information needed to easily identify which personal care products meet the standard for natural, and allows them to make the best decisions when choosing products.

For the Industry: The Natural Products Association Standard for Personal Care Products will helps the industry produce and bring to market personal care products that meet the definition of natural created by the industry's oldest and largest trade association for natural products. It gives manufacturers, suppliers and retailers the information and tools needed to maintain high levels of consistency among products labeled "natural," as well as inform consumers about how to identify truly natural personal care products.

The NPA has a strict protocol:

  • Every product is certified for a 2-year period. When time is up, it needs to go through the certification process again and respond to the latest NPA standards.
  • The NPA has a strict protocol when evaluating the product formula, labels and packaging. They also do onsite visits. Monitoring is the job of the NPA. EVERY ingredient batch has to have the certification. EVERY production batch should pass the QA inspection including the microbiological test.