You’ve probably noticed the hype and organic products on the shelves. But what is organic skincare exactly? Are organic products better than cheaper products at the drugstore? That’s what we’ll be discussing.
Organic skincare ingredients follow the same criteria as organic foods. In the US, the USDA sets the growing and labeling requirements for organic products. And it starts on the farm.
The USDA highly regulates organic farming, and farmers have a lot of rules to follow. They aren’t allowed to use GMOs (genetically modified organisms), synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, animal growth hormones, sewage sludge, or irradiation.
They even have to keep non-organic products separate from organic products. And they are subject to a yearly inspection to make sure all the rules are followed.
So if a product says, USDA Organic, you can be sure it really is. For skincare ingredients, then you know that those ingredients are really organic and don’t contain any haphazard chemicals you might not otherwise know about.
What I especially love about organic ingredients is their sustainability for the earth. Farmers are required to rotate crops to let the soil replenish between crops and other requirements that help the earth. Not only are these products good for us but good for our planet.
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Organic Ingredients In Cosmetics and Skin Care
That’s all well and good right? You can know that individual ingredients are organic. But the USDA doesn’t regulate cosmetics and skincare, the FDA does.
The FDA doesn’t define ‘organic’ for skincare products in general. Ingredients that are claimed to be organic have to pass the USDA rules for organic labeling. And it’s almost impossible to have a cosmetic or skincare product that is absolutely, completely made from organic ingredients.
Makers might add emulsifiers to give it a pleasant consistency and the proper preservative (even natural) to keep harmful bacteria or fungi from growing. That doesn’t mean it’s bad for you, they still have to use safe ingredients. And keep you safe.
Even if you make your own skincare products, you’ll need a natural preservative, at minimum, or risk skin infections. Vitamin E (tocopherols), for instance, is a good preservative for oils or fats. Benzoic acid, sorbic acid, dehydroacetic acid, and benzyl alcohol are good natural preservatives for many other products. And they are on the ECOcert certification list as approved for natural or organic products.
ECOcert is one certification on a label that will help you know the product meets certain criteria for labeling as natural or organic.
- For ‘natural’ labeling, they have to be of 99% natural origin.
- For ‘organic’ labeling, they have to have 95% minimum of the plants it contains be organic and at least 20% organic ingredients are in the total formula. This could mean that water or minerals are a bigger part of the formulation (according to ECOcert).
Is ‘Natural’ As Good As Organic?
No, it isn’t the same. Products labeled ‘natural’ aren’t regulated by the FDA. They haven’t even established a definition of what ‘natural’ means on a label. But even though there isn’t a definition, they do consider ‘natural’ as meaning nothing artificial or synthetic has been added to the product.
This usually applies to food, but it’s the same for skincare products. Since no entity is regulating the term ‘natural’, you really need to trust the brand you are purchasing if they state they use ‘natural’ ingredients.
A pomegranate is natural but if they add pesticides to keep the bugs away, it’s definitely not organic.
I have some brands I trust which I’ll share with you in another article.
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Yes, organic is better than cheaper products at the drugstore! Even natural products at the drugstore are better than other products if you trust the brand is following guidelines and not putting out misleading or false information on their labels.
If you care about sustainability for the earth, then using as many organic products as possible is a biologically responsible decision.
Using skincare products with organic ingredients really does help you lighten your load of potentially dangerous or harmful (even cancer-causing) chemicals in your body. I really believe in organic as a preventive measure to keep you healthier and also looking healthier.
What is organic skincare? Now you have a better idea and hopefully, make more informed decisions for your skincare regimen.
If you have any comments, I’d love to hear them! Please leave comments or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!