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Organic Skin Care Myths

Organic skin care and organic makeup are the fastest growing segments in the beauty industry. They seems to be popping up everywhere as everyone wants a piece of the pie. No wonder that this phenomenon has produced a whole load of mythology around what organic means when it comes to skin care. Which is why I decided to go over some of my favorite organic skin care myths. I think it’s about time that we separate them from reality.

If it says “organic” or “natural” on the package, it’s a natural or organic product

Not necessarily. Especially when it says “natural”. First of all, the term “natural” bears no legal responsibility whatsoever, so plenty of unscrupulous manufacturers put it on concoctions full of synthetics, fragrances, colors, etc. Therefore to make sure you actually get natural or organic skin care, be sure to read the ingredients on the labels. (Here is a list of most common harmful ingredients in makeup and skin care products.)

Contains Organic Ingredients” means that it is a fully natural product

You wish. It could be a 99.9% chemical cocktail with a 0.1% of extract from something organic. So read the labels carefully. This is a very popular gimmick, especially with the big mainstream companies trying to get a piece of the “green” pie.

“Certified Organic” means the product contains only natural organic ingredients

There are many different certifications. Most only require that a certain percentage of ingredients are organic. They also vary in strictness of policing. In majority of cases it’s a voluntary honor system. However some labels carry more value, such as BDIH from Germany. That is one of the most respected organic certifications for cosmetics in the world. (Read more about organic certifications.)

Organic skin care is way more expensive

Depending on what you compare it to. You can get great organic BDIH certified Weleda creams for the same price or cheaper than many creams at the local beauty counter. Aubrey Organics makes high quality organic products that are often cheaper than the regular drug-store alternatives. Even the top of the line organic creams such as those by Dr. Hauschka are easily comparable in price to department store brands. Plus you can always make your own recipes from seasonal affordable organic ingredients. Not all organic skin care needs to be store bought. Put your “green” on, plus some imagination, and a bunch of parsley may become the organic skin care miracle of the year.

Organic skin care products are always effective

Let’s not fall into the other extreme. Just because something is organic doesn’t make it automatically good for everything. Organic carrot is organic. If I shredded it and sold it as a shampoo, it would be 100% organic, but hardly effective as a shampoo. There are good products and then there are bad products out there. Finding the product right for your specific situation is a trial and error process, just like most things in life.

Organic products do not contain allergens

If you are allergic to almonds and your new organic makeup contains 100% organic almond oil, you’ll be allergic to it. So while it contains far fewer synthetic allergens, if you have specific food allergies, always double check the ingredients.

I don’t need to read the labels because the skin care industry wouldn’t let me put anything potentially harmful on my skin.

Where do I start on that one? First of all, you really need to READ THIS BOOK. Or visit Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Or at least read about these most common offenders, and then check if they are present on your beauty counter. If after doing that you feel completely calm and relaxed about all the stuff you put on your skin, I can’t help you…

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15 comments

1 Simone { 09.10.08 at 11:56 am }

First of all, I love your blog it’s I love being educated in this area.
Thanks for this post, the marketplace is so confusing right now. Just so you know, I use a great shampoo called Yes to Carrots made with beta-carotene from carrots!

2 julena { 09.10.08 at 5:09 pm }

Simone: Glad you like it. A carrot shampoo — lol. I’m sure their cleansing formula is more intricate than mine :)

3 Anonymous { 09.15.08 at 12:15 pm }

All Things Eco Blog Carnival Volume Seventeen…

Welcome to the September 15th, 2008 edition of All Things Eco.

Be sure to Stumble the posts you like, or submit them to other social bookmarking services. Let’s promote each other, as well as this blog carnival.

This last hurricane was ridiculou…

4 Clara { 09.18.08 at 12:17 pm }

I’ve come to learn that for marketing purposes, the word ‘natural’ doesn’t mean a whole lot anymore.

5 Joanna { 09.22.08 at 7:22 am }

What a great post – most interesting and enlightening. It certainly makes you think before applying your make-up now.

6 Robyn Scott { 10.02.08 at 2:21 pm }

You have probably heard about the many benefits of Shea Butter. It is used for many different things such as dry skin, irritation, muscle aches, chapped lips, dry hair, and many more.

Shea Butter is made from the kernel of the Karite tree. Before it is made, the Karite tree produces a fruit. It is a green-orange fruit which is about the size of an apricot. It is deliciously sweet, and high in vitamin C and other nutrients. When the fruit is eaten, there is a kernel left over. This is what is used to make the Shea Butter that we love for our skin!

Shea Butter is more than just great for your skin. Knowing that it is safe enough to eat is important. You no longer have to worry about which kind of cream and moisturizer you can use for your baby’s sensitive skin, your chapped lips, or even your face. It is something that can be used for a ton of different things. Thanks, Mother Nature!

For more information about Shea Butter, please visit Purely Shea at http://www.purelyshea.com/

7 Sara Merlin { 10.02.08 at 2:48 pm }

I have found a new skin care line that states “it’s so pure you can eat it”.
It’s based on completely pure and Organic oils. I was first worried to put oils on my skin but have learnt different..My God! It’s fantastic.
My skin has never been so clear and my “dry skin days” are over.
Check it out: http://www.marikasbeautyoils.com

8 sandy { 10.15.08 at 12:46 pm }

I really can’t imagine eating my makeup. Well, I guess I do eat my lipstick without realizing it, LOL.

I found a few other cool organic make-up article on the web that readers of this blog might like too:

http://www.thestarpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081003/LIFESTYLE/810030305

http://www.life123.com/article_FullStory/Organic-Makeup_1205353479908.html

9 Manuela { 11.17.08 at 5:14 am }

I have been looking for some information on organic beauty products – thanks for providing the tips that I needed. Great site aswell.

10 Deanna Vazquez { 01.19.09 at 6:56 pm }

It really does go to show that not all chemicals are bad and not all natural ingredients are good.

One must read the label and do the homework to understand what is in the product and whether it is something we want to put on our skin (or in our bodies)!

Some natural ingredients (especially essential oils like peppermint, lemon balm, peru balsam – they are extremely irritating) and most chemicals are best kept off the skin, but sometimes they are necessary to ensuring a product is safer for us than if they didn’t contain them (eg. a preservative).

A healthy balance is what it is all about – read the label and be aware of what you are putting on your skin. Go for natural skin care, but be sure you are getting something effective, not just a pretty botanical soup. Also, be sure the product is well preserved so that you don’t end up with germ-contaminated products on your face!

11 Melisa { 10.11.09 at 11:13 am }

Healthy ingredients listed on the label should be very important to consumers. Unfortunately, big commercial manufacturers slap marketing words around so people “think” they are good for you.

Sypport smaller companies like Lady Emily among others that don’t use fancy, expensive advertisements and packaging!

12 beth { 11.09.10 at 5:34 am }

Yes sadly there are lots of harmful ingredients which we unknowingly put on our skin every day – but with a little thought and a little reading of labels we can help ourselves to be healthier and greener ! Once you get into the natural and organic trend it is really so much better !

13 bethb { 11.11.10 at 8:35 am }

yes clara Iagree – the word natural is used way too loosely – thanks for the information and articles on your site – very helpful.

14 erin { 06.20.11 at 9:41 am }

Hi,
I have a question. I’ve heard that a few of the larger organic skincare companies get some of their bulk organic ingredients (Jojoba, beeswax and olive oil are three of the big ones) purchased overseas (like China, Chile, etc..). How can we be sure these ingredients are truly organic? And how can the USDA certify something organic if the ingredients come from another country? If it’s coming from Europe I’d feel okay about it because I know they’re pretty stringent against chemical use there when it comes to labeling organic (and even non organic), but does the USDA do inspections on farms overseas? How does the USDA know if X or Y government isn’t just slapping on some organic labeling, without it being organic at all? I’ve traveled quite a bit, and know that some countries use pesticides that haven’t been used in the U.S. (or Europe) in 30 years.
I do make a lot of my own skincare (yogurt face masks, papya peels, etc..), but would like to find a company that lists where the ingredients are sourced.
Thanks,
Erin :-)

15 Allura Adelson { 01.17.12 at 11:38 am }

Don’t you just love it when the ingredients on your skincare read like a list of yummy foods? Education is so important, which is why I started my own blog, BestOrganicBeauty.com. Between all of us we can spread the message far and wide! You’re doing a great job!

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