How do ingredients in organic and natural skin care products differ?
This is a question I am often asked by my clients.
In order to shed some light on this controversial subject, I have put together this Q & A session.
ORGANIC AND NATURAL SKIN CARE
Q. There are a lot of personal care products that claim to be organic, can we trust them?
A. Sadly, a very common problem with organic products is that the formulas are not as organic as they claim to be. Many contain synthetic ingredients.
Even more shocking, many of the synthetic ingredients they contain are exactly the kinds of ingredients they proclaim not to include in their formulas.
The reason they get away with this, is because there is no governing body to regulate the organic skin care market.
Q. Are all synthetic ingredients automatically bad, and are all organic and natural ingredients good for the skin?
A. In all honesty, there is good and bad in each category.
You have to remember, there are many natural and organic ingredients that are not good for the skin.
Take essential oils for instance: Menthol, Eucalyptus, and Sandalwood are routinely included in natural and organic products.
However, research has clearly established these ingredients are known irritants. When the skin is irritated, it causes collagen to break down and hurts the skin’s ability to heal.
Q. Is there an approved organic international standard?
A: As of 2014, there are still no approved international standards for labelling natural skin care products as organic. Neither is there an agreed definition of the cosmetics industry.
However, the Soil Association in the UK are doing a really good job of implementing strict standards when it comes to labelling on personal care products.
Q. How do companies get away with claiming their products are organic, when they are clearly not?
A. Sadly, there are many companies that have created their own sets of guidelines for organic personal care products, and they charge a fee for manufacturers to obtain this seal of approval.
This leaves the door wide open for any brand to label their product “Organic” without any consequences, providing they are willing to pay a fee.
Q. If a personal care product has “natural skin care” or “organic” written on the label, does it reflect the quality of the product when it comes to addressing skin concerns?
A. As of 2015, there is no published or substantiated studies which have been able to prove that organic ingredients are superior to non-organic or synthetic ingredients.