A customer recently asked us straight up "does your Complexion bar clear acne?" We could have said "Sure, it's a pimple busting miracle." Or "My sister-in-law tried it and had great results." Or we could have said "It contains Anise essential oil which is known to be an anti-epileptic, anti-hysteric, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, aperient, carminative, cordial, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, insecticide, sedative, stimulant and vermifuge." (I'll admit, I had to look that one up!). Our answer, however, is always the same:
"Our soap doesn't cure any diseases. It simply cleans."
That's it. Our soap cleans. It's an awesome, rocking, amazing, skin-loving soap that smells and feels awesome and cleans your skin. It doesn't feed the hungry. It doesn't cure cancer. It doesn't make your arthritis go away. It's soap, not a magic pill. :-)
Also, making any such claims is strictly against the FDA's Cosmetic Act (which is as much fun to read as one might imagine). As per the FDA, a drugs "... are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and/or are articles intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body." (under section 201(g)(1)(B) and/or (g)(1)(C) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B) and/or (g)(1)(C)])
So the law is pretty clear. Anytime anybody makes a claim that either a product or a single ingredient used in that product "makes wrinkles disappear", "helps against insomnia, spider veins, acne, prevents sun burn, heartburn" is making an unlawful drug claim. We don't want to do that. For a couple of reasons: we don't want to mislead our customers and we most certainly don't ever receive one of these warning letters from the FDA like these folks here.
We've all seen claims such as "Eucalyptus oil functions as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial ingredient. The oil is also a skin-conditioning agent used to treat skin infections and help alleviate skin irritation.” - and everybody seems to be doing it. Looking at Etsy, Amazon and on people's websites, claims like the ones we posted above are every.where.
I get it. It's a great marketing angle but unfortunately, that's all it is. Marketing. Words. Not evidence.
What does this mean for North Country Soapworks?
We don't want to mislead our customers. We're not making any claims. We simply list our amazing ingredients and will proudly tell you that we follow FDA guidelines and that our all-natural products rock!