Premium Beauty News - What is NPA’s role in the certification of natural personal care products?

NPA CEO, John Gay

John Gay - Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the Natural Products Association is the largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. NPA represents over 1,900 members accounting for more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health and beauty aids.

Among its many activities, NPA provides several self-regulatory quality assurance programs, including a good manufacturing practices certification for dietary supplement manufacturers and the NPA Natural Seal, the first and only natural certification in the U.S. Every day, NPA helps millions of people find truly natural personal care and home care products, awarding the NPA Natural Seal to products that are certified as 95 percent natural.

NPA-certified products appear in more than 85,000 stores nationwide, ranging from independent retailers to some of the largest chains in the country. More than 500 personal care products and ingredients from more than 45 companies, both large and small, have been certified natural by NPA. You can get a complete list of products at

Premium Beauty News - How are the audits conducted?

NPA Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Dr. Cara Welch

Dr. Cara Welch - Each certified product or ingredient undergoes a third-party certification by a qualified auditor. NPA staff collects all the required documentation and provides complete packets for the auditor who then examines each submission and provides for NPA an audit report approving, if applicable, the certification.

Premium Beauty News - NATRUE and NSF International recently announced they are cooperating to create an internationally harmonized US standard. They argue that such a standard would allow all stakeholders to take part to discussions?

Dr. Cara Welch - The NPA Natural Standard was written by collaborating manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the natural personal care industry. We launched the Natural Seal program to define the term “natural” in the US personal care industry for manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

We believe a second natural standard will actually work to confuse the U.S. consumer as to what is a truly natural personal care product. We understand the importance for international harmonization and had previously worked toward an agreement with NATRUE in order to simplify the audit process for manufacturers looking to certify under both standards. At this point, however, NPA will continue to develop and grow our Natural Seal program and strengthen the natural personal care product industry.

Premium Beauty News - As far as personal care products are concerned, what are your projects for the future?

John Gay - NPA will continue to build on its success with the NPA Natural Seal program, continuing to certify more products and ingredients for the industry and consumers. NPA also advocates for the rights of consumers to have access to these and other products that benefit their health.

Each year, NPA hosts Natural Products Day in Washington, D.C. This year, we expect more than 150 retailers and manufacturers to join us on April 6. Natural Products Day provides an opportunity for NPA members and others in the industry to meet with members of Congress. For more information, visit