What does the USDA Organic Seal mean on grooming products? You'll be surprised!

The Organic Seal on grooming products means.... SOAP!

Recently we were asked: “earthbath is natural, so why doesn’t earthbath have the USDA Organic Seal?” It’s a question that occasionally comes across our desk, and it’s a great one that we’re only too happy to answer!

Even though we love to buy and eat organic produce, and we use the most natural ingredients we can find in our products, we don’t want the USDA Organic Seal (as it stands now) for our grooming products and neither should you. Huh? How can this be, you ask? Well, it’s a bit counter-intuitive but to the best of our knowledge, in order for a grooming product to have the USDA Organic Seal, the grooming solution must contain 100% organic SOAP.

And we give you our unconditional promise that we’ll never put soap into any earthbath product. Soap dries out animals’ skin and coats, leaves residue in the fur that can cause irritation and allergies, and it will wash off topical flea applications. The cleansing agents used in earthbath shampoos are gentle, hypo-allergenic, renewable coconut-based non-soap cleansers, which are excellent at cleansing, without drying out the skin or coat.

In addition, a dog’s skin is very close to a neutral pH, and significantly more alkaline than human skin, so the kind of shampoo you use on your dog should be much more neutral in pH than the typical pH value of shampoo formulated for human hair (“pH balanced” shampoos for humans are around 4.5-5.5, making them much more acidic, and ultimately very irritating to a dog’s coat and skin). Over time, acidic shampoos also strip away the hair’s protective qualities, removing valuable oil from the coat and skin, resulting in dry, irritated skin and a dull coat. Never use human shampoo on your dog… even though it’s okay to use your dog’s shampoo (as long as it’s earthbath 🙂 ) on your hair – the alkalinic nature of earthbath shampoo will not hurt your hair, and in fact, is milder than the mildest baby shampoo! All of earthbath shampoos are formulated with a pH as close to 7.0 as possible.

Did you know that no government agency regulates use of the term “organic” when it comes to skin care products? Although the USDA enforces a strict standard when it comes to food labeled as organic, the same isn’t true for grooming products, which are notoriously poorly regulated. So what does this mean for you? Well, mostly that if you pick up a product that says it’s organic, that label means absolutely nothing. There’s no regulatory process, so bald-faced lies from manufacturers are all over the place. The item could have no organic, or even “natural,” ingredients in it. Just something to consider when you’re purchasing hair and skin care products for yourself, as well as for your pets! We are hoping the legislation will change to meet the stringent requirements that governs food! But in the meantime, earthbath products do meet the USDA “made with organic ingredients” requirements and we are well down the path to achieving a coveted organic certification used in the environmentally innovative European Union!

See our FAQ for even more details on these topics and more.

Thanks for asking and encouraging us to do all we can to ensure we are on the cutting edge of the most natural, organic products and certifications available. Stay tuned for updates!