Those of you who know me a little better than my presence here on Deviant Art would know that I feel strongly about attempting to buy all natural products, products that don't test on animals and when I can afford it organic products. My research for a project last year really opened my eyes to the cosmetic industry and just how much harmful crap goes into products that we (women mostly) willingly slap on our skin on a daily basis. As such, I'm always actively trying to learn more about organic and natural products as well as the stuff that goes into the none natural stuff.
Recently, more and more companies are jumping on the band wagon of going all natural - which is great, don't get me wrong but I thought I would quote some information I found in a recent magazine all about organic cosmetics and how to live green etc, as there are certain terms that can be used that imply natural ingredients when really there is very little at all.
The following text is from the first issue of Organic Beauty magazine:
Cosmetic companies throw a lot of terms on their labels to convince you that they're the cleanest and the greenest. Here's how to decode the hype:
The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture, which sets the standard for how organic ingredients are grown and certified) says that these products "must contain only organically produced ingredients" -- This is the gold standard in purity - almost impossible to find.
These products may display the USDA organic seal and must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients. The rest of the ingredient list has to be "nonagricultural" ingredients approved for use by the FDA, or non-organic plants that aren't commercially available in an organic form. This is a pretty good guarantee, as a company that is working that hard to find organic ingredients is probably also closely vetting its synthetic ingredient choices.
Made with Organic Ingredients
USDA says that products bearing this phrase must contain at least 70% organic ingrediets but must not display the organic seal. This is where you can run into problems: A body lotion may say "made if organic herbs" - but what does the other 30 percent of the product contain?
Less that 70% Organic Ingredients
These products cannot use the term "organic" anywhere on the main label, but they can identify any specific ingredients that have been organically produced in the ingredient list.
There's no federal regulation behind this term, so even products that are 99% synthetic chemicals can claim it
For a product to be labeled "hypoallergenic", all a company has to do is avoid using a handful of the most common known allergens. But they can use any number of ingredients that haven't been studied for their allergy-causing potential, and they are not required to test the product (on animals or humans) before it hits store shelves to prove it won't give you any kind of reaction
The last 2 really blow my mind and that is why I wanted to share this with you, I've always wondered what this "Hypoallergenic" word means and regarded its use with some cynicism - turned out I was right to. So a company can legally not test to make sure that their product is safe for you to use on a daily basis and not only that but give customers the impression that it is some how more gentle and formulated for sensitive skin.
A couple of 100 years ago they used to use mercury and other harmful chemicals to whiten their skin, thinking it was safe to do so - now we know that they were wrong - in another 100 years or maybe less - how many of us will start to see the adverse effects of all the chemicals poured into these products for the sake of beauty?
Anyway, I'm getting off my soap box here, I'm not trying to convince anyone to go all natural or organic, I just wanted to share this information so that hopefully more people will be able to buy products and look at them with a clear understanding of what is going into them.
I'd love to hear your comments and opinions on this matter.