With all the organic skin care available today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when searching for the healthiest products. By the end of 2009, organic personal care sales are expected to rise to 20 billion. That’s a huge motivation for companies to join the “organic” band wagon.
Many consumers assume “organic” always means gentle, safe and healthy. Hundreds of soaps, shampoos and creams claim to be organic, but their labels can be confusing and misleading. So how “organic” are the skin care products that are claiming to be organic? Take the time and be a label reader. Choose products that are “certified organic” which means:
That the plants have been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent state or private organizations and include a legitimate seal or stamp.
Avoidance of most synthetic chemical inputs (fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, etc.), genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and use of sewage sludge.
Farmland use that has been free from chemicals for a number of years and have ongoing site inspections.
Record keeping (audit trail)of farming practices is also required.
Can products be certified organic and still contain harmful chemicals? Most people think the U.S. Government regulates the cosmetic industry but the scary truth is that they leave that regulation up to the cosmetics companies themselves. Always read the label to see what the all the ingredients are. Many times the product will say certified organic but contain some toxic ingredients. The top 6 nastiest chemicals used in abundance in skin care are:
Lead and other heavy metals
These are just a few of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products. The FDA publishes that “cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority.”
Luckily, there are many alternatives when searching for healthier body care products. Ingredients that include certified organic plant oils, fruits, butters (shea, avocado, cocoa) and herbs feed your skin with nutrients. Your skin has over 1 billion pores and absorbs anything you put on it. Keeping chemicals out of the skin care mix only makes sense and leads to a healthier body and planet.