Organic skin care is becoming big business. When you are choosing skin care, personal care and cosmetic products, you should become a label detective. This is the only way to ensure you purchase honest and truly natural and organic skin care products.
# 1: Learn To Read Product Labels
Be aware of the Rule of Thirds:
The top third of the ingredients label generally lists the ingredients that comprise around 90-98% of the product. Most of this is usually water. Read on to find out why this matters!
The middle third generally represents approximately 5-8% of the product.
The bottom third represents around 1-3%.
# 2: ‘Natural’ skin care is not always natural.
There are two definitions of the world natural.
The dictionary definition: “Existing in or, formed by, nature”. The cosmetic industry definition: “Any ingredient derived from a natural substance”.
Manufacturers commonly use the world ‘natural’ on labels to deceive consumers. For example, “Cocamide-DEA derived from coconut oil”.
Cocamide-DEA may well be from coconut oil, but a synthetic chemical called diethanolamine is used in the extraction process. It is known to cause cancer. An ingredient is not really natural if it has been processed in this way.
# 3: Organic doesn’t mean what you think.
An organic certification on a product label is the only way to guarantee the integrity of a product. The definition of certified organic is as follows:
“An independent third party guarantee of an organic claim”.
Always look for a logo that guarantees the product’s integrity.
Certified organic products must contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients excluding water and salt/minerals, with a small allowance for natural, non-organic ingredients that must comply with very stringent processing criteria.
There are two definitions of organic:
Organic chemistry is concerned with substances that contain carbon. Carbon is present in all living things. Legally, the cosmetics industry is allowed to label any product that contains carbon as ‘organic’. So if it contains petrol, it is organic.
Methylparaben is derived from petrochemicals, which are derived from crude oil, which is derived from living matter. It is a widely used preservative in organic skin care products such as body creams, body wash and deodorants:
So effectively methylparaben can legally be labelled as organic. Now, it is worth noting that a recent study reported traces of methylparaben in human breast cancer tumors.
The second definition of organic is, “The sustainable system of agriculture that uses natural substances & methods to create healthy nutrient rich and fertile soils”
# 4: How much water is in the product?
In personal communication with a leading industry expert, I was told what can actually be meant when companies put ‘73% Organic’ on their labels. Basically manufacturers can place a few organic teabags in a vat of water and let them infuse into the water.
Because the water constitutes 70+ percent of the overall product, the manufacturer is allowed to claim that the product is 73% organic at the top of the label (remember # 1 in this article?).
If you removed the water, the actual organic content of those fancy herbal infusions would probably be less than 0.05% of the total product.
# 5: Be aware of inconsistent labeling standards
In some countries, ingredients that are not allowed in certified organic foods ARE allowed in certified organic personal care and cosmetic products. This represents a lack of continuity or consistency in labeling standards.
How can food and cosmetics products have the same certified organic logo when ingredients that are allowed personal care and cosmetics are not allowed in food? Remember that if it’s on your skin, you’re drinking it!
# 6: Miracle ingredients don’t exist
Vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, active copper and other ingredients may be touted as miracle ingredients. The fact is that there is no miracle ingredient for the skin or hair, just as there is no magic pill for curing illness and disease.
The quality of the skin is a function of feeding the body and skin high quality nutrients over time and keeping the toxin levels of the body as low as possible.
When you use high quality, certified organic products, ALL the ingredients are active. They are ALL beneficial and they all feed the skin.
# 7: If it harms lab animals it will harm you!
If you read books by Dr Sherry Rogers, M.D, you will discover that in order to give a rat cancer or Parkinson’s Disease, it is injected with some of the very same chemicals that you will find in your cleverly labelled organic skin care, personal care and cosmetic products.
Certified Organic personal care products and cosmetics 100% free of ALL synthetic chemicals are available from an Australian Certified Organic company which has passed the stringent USDA Certified Organic standards for food. What this means to you, the consumer, is that the products are guaranteed synthetic chemical free.
Dave Hompes is a complementary health practitioner who has a special interest in toxins and detoxification.