Weeding truly organic skincare products from the not-so-much can be an impossible task—unless you know what to look for on the ingredients label. But it’s not as cut and dry as you may think! Here are three surprising facts you find out when formulating organic skincare products that I wanted to share with you:
1. Water cannot be certified organic, except THIS type. Most people are surprised by that fact but it actually makes sense. In order for an ingredient to qualify as organic the source of the ingredient has to be certified by the USDA. Declaring a spring, well, river, brook, ocean or any other place where we get water to use in skincare organic is nearly impossible. There is an exception! Scented waters can be called organic if the plant or fruit component is certified organic. I admit that it is a little sneaky but just know that if you see something like “organic rose water,” only the rose is considered organic—the water is just coming along for the ride. So if a product is certified organic but it’s 100 percent “organic rosewater,” you now know that most of the product actually isn’t.
2. Seventy is the magic number to use the word “organic” (not including water). According to the USDA (and most of the other certifying companies), if a product contains less that 70 percent certified organic ingredients then the word “organic” can’t appear anywhere on the primary panel of the package. I’m sure that if we were to take a stroll to the nearest drugstore and walk the beauty aisles, it wouldn’t take long before we found a few organic law-breakers proudly proclaiming organic. Unfortunately the USDA has no authority over the production and labeling of beauty and personal care products [that is the reposnsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] so companies can (and will) do as they please.
3. Organic products will always cost more. Why? They’re high maintenance! From the source to final processing destination, all must be certified suitable to handle organic ingredients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), otherwise the ingredient doesn’t make the cut. Let’s use a rose extract as an example: The field where the rose is grown has to be certified by an accredited certifying body—a company that the USDA has approved capable of following their protocol to audit a field, factory, etc. that’s handling the organic ingredients. The handlers of the rose must also be certified as well as the building where the rose will be converted to an extract. Finally, the contract manufacturer where the rose extract will go into a product must also be certified to produce organic products. This all adds up and each one passes the extra costs onto the next guy ending with the consumers footing the bill!
READ MORE: Your Guide to Reading Organic and Natural Beauty Product Labels