Organic Or Natural Skincare

Natural Skin Concepts Tips: organic or natural skincare – a label war?

1. You are shopping and  find skin moisturizera with a label stating :

Skin Moisturizer containing Certified Organic Aloe, Shea butter and Jojoba” 

” Skin Cream made with certified organic ingredients.”

What does this label really mean ?
It means that this product must contain at least  equal or more than 70 % certified organic ingredients. If it does, then these products are allowed to display a certifying mark (USDA seal) or the percentage of organic content on the principal label.  However, the USDA seal cannot be used allover the package.

2. Another  example :  a skin cream  with less than 70 % organic ingredients – these products are often labeled as “organic skin care” . 

However – these creams cannot use the term certified organic or the USDA seal on their label. Only on their ingredient list they are allowed to identify specific ingredients that are organic.

3. Last but not least the third example – a beautifully packaged  organic skin  moisturizer in gel form OOPS – trouble again:   “gels”  contain  surfactants – this is in their  chemical nature. And a  surfactant cannot  be certified organic  one  (exception is Castile).  So,  in order to produce  a gel – one needs a surfactant – but by adding this to the end product it cannot  be labeled as certified organic.

So in the end you might have a product which contains a large percentage of the most beneficial certified organic ingredients – but it is eliminated from being labeled as certified organic.

Now, if  you look at  all the skin care products claiming to offer certified organic products – have you  ever asked  yourself how many of them can produce documentation of what is certified and not certified organic in their supply chain?   The result might be an airy silence!

Tip : the term “certified organic” means that the product has to be consisting of ingredients that meet strict certified organic standards throughout the entire harvesting, manufacturing and production process. To claim certified organic status, all the producers in the supply chain – ALL of them — must be certified organic producers. All steps  in the supply chain – ALL- must be certified organic producers ( and that means that all operations that produce the organic agricultural ingredients and raw components,   the handlers of such ingredients as well as the manufacturers of this final product must all be certified by an USDA-accredited organic certifying agent).

Good Advice (as complicated as it sounds):

The next time somebody tells you that the products are certified organic –  question them if each ingredient in that product is also certified organic or on the NOP (non organic product) list.  If they tell you that each ingredient is certified organic, ask them for an ingredient list and for verification that each one is certified organic.

Do not rely too much on classifications and terms  like organic or natural –  do your homework, read your labels, check ingredients lists,  learn about your skin type and find out what works for you.   As shown in the third example : you might miss out on a beneficial treatment gel , which really will improve your skin – just because you are only judging by the label !