Organic Skin Products – Skin Care Labels That Lie
So you’ve decided that natural, organic skin care is the best choice. Wise decision! But is that cleverly packaged, natural-sounding beauty product really organic? The labeling of organic skin care products is confusing at best and deceiving at worst.
To begin with, it’s a fact that organic products cost more. While the added cost may be justified, you want to be sure that you actually get what you pay for.
The term “organic” pertains to the farming practices used to grow plants. The term is relevant to skin care when plant ingredients are part of the product formulation. Organic personal care contains some, but not necessarily all, organically grown ingredients.
In the United States, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organically grown crops are produced without…
• Conventional pesticides
• Synthetic fertilizers
• GMO (genetically modified organisms)
• Sewage sludge
• Ionizing radiation
No additional chemicals may be used in the manufacture or distribution of the product.
The best indication of organic ingredients (in the US) is the presence or absence of the USDA Organic Seal. The seal is a green and white circle, surrounded by a thin brown outer ring. It reads: USDA Organic.
The wording on the package may include one of the following…
* 100% Organic – This, together with the USDA seal indicates the product is made from entirely organic ingredients.
* Organic – This term, combined with the seal signifies the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients.
* Made With Organic Ingredients – This indicates the product contains at least 70% organic ingredients. The organic seal will not be present.
To add another twist, some products may not be eligible for the organic designation. Some ingredients, such as water, are not certifiable. Therefore, products that contain a large amount of water, such as shampoos and soaps, may not qualify.
Another point to consider comes down to a choice between non-toxic and organic ingredients. Due to current labeling standards, an organically-certified product may actually contain potentially harmful ingredients. Unless the product is 100% organic, it may include controversial chemicals such as parabens.
Some companies offer non-toxic products that are not necessarily entirely organic. In such cases, safety of the ingredients takes precedence. While 100% organic is ideal, it’s not always possible. An all-natural product is preferable to a partially organic product that contains toxic synthetic ingredients.