Get the Facts Before Purchasing “Natural” and “Organic” Skincare Products
The words alone are alluring: natural and organic. How could you go wrong with products labeled as “natural” or “organic,” right? But are the ingredients in your beauty products really what you think? Unfortunately many products are marketed unethically, misleading consumers to believe products labeled as “natural” and organic” only contain plant and mineral ingredients. Further confusing the matter is the fact that the FDA does not regulate beauty products as strictly as many believe. It is, therefore, up to you to be a discerning buyer when considering natural or organic skincare products. But, don’t worry – you are not alone. We are here to help you become an informed beauty consumer and avoid skincare products with harmful chemicals and toxic ingredients.
Let’s bust some common “natural” and “organic” skincare myths:
1. Myth: Natural Means Hypoallergenic.
Many believe that buying natural skincare means the product does not contain any allergens. Those with particularly sensitive skin might be shocked to find out that this can be untrue.
Truth: Hypoallergenic and Natural Are Not Synonymous
It is important to understand that hypoallergenic and natural are not synonymous. For instance, some consumers may be highly allergic to seemingly harmless natural ingredients like shea butter. Before buying and using a new skincare product, make sure to read the labels thoroughly. Be on the lookout for ingredients on the allergen list that have been known to trigger your sensitive skin, and if you have had reactions to skincare products in the past, always perform a “patch test” by applying a small amount of product to the back side of your wrist and waiting 48 hours to see if a reaction occurs.
2. Myth: Natural Always Means All-Natural.
Terms like “natural” and “organic” may imply to consumers that products are without any artificial ingredients. Some companies use these beauty “buzzwords” to entice customers, even if products are not entirely natural. Truth: Beauty Products Labeled Natural Are Not Necessarily All-Natural.
Truth: Beauty Products Labeled Natural Are Not Necessarily All-Natural
The words “herbal,” “natural,” and even “organic” on cosmetic labels have no legal definition. Additionally, personal care products are not regulated in the same way as food products that claim to be “natural” and “organic.” Due to this lax regulation, many skincare products have the words “natural” or “organic” in their names or on their labels, but in actuality they can contain synthetic chemicals.
3. Myth: Organic Products Fail to Perform.
To date there has not been any research to prove that organic or natural skincare products perform better, or worse, than others.
Truth: Organic Products Can Perform Even Better Than Non-Organic
The Stemology line is the proof that natural and intelligently organic skincare products can perform just as well – and dare we say even better! – than the chemically loaded skincare brands on the market. The proof is in the science. And while the effectiveness of organic products remains subjective from consumer to consumer, looking for skincare brands that put their products to the test in independent studies and then report those results can help clarify actual product results from hollow marketing claims.
4. Myth: Skincare Products Can Be 100% Organic.
There are varying standards on the labels “natural” and “organic” for beauty products, each with its own criteria. And while there are multiple agencies tasked with providing protocol for organic labeling, one key ingredient is always excluded when calculating the percentage of organic ingredients – water.
Truth: No Skincare Product That Contains Water Can Be 100% Organic
Under the National Organic Program (NOP) policy, water cannot be certified as organic. Processors and manufacturers of various organic products must exclude water when calculating the percentage of organically produced ingredients for labeling and certification reasons.
5. Myth: “Intelligently Organic” Is A Buzzword
Stemology products are labeled “intelligently organic whenever possible” which is not a commonly heard term in the skincare industry.
Truth: Intelligently Organic Is A More Ethical Term
For a skincare product to be labeled organic each ingredient should be certified “organic.” Although Stemology has a number of certified organic ingredients in our products, not all of them are available in an organic form, and water cannot be certified as organic. Because water is a key ingredient in all of our products, we feel it is unethical to label our products “organic skincare.” We are not striving to have 100% certified organic products as our main thrust; we are striving to create the most efficacious skincare products on the market while utilizing the latest technologies, and all natural ingredients and will opt for organic wherever possible - but we will not label our products as organic unless they truly are.
There are many environmental and health benefits to using products with natural or organic ingredients. Ultimately, it remains up to you as the consumer to make the best skincare choice for the earth and yourself.Sources: Women’s Health, Food and Drug Administration, Ladies Home Journal, Organic Consumers, Organic.About.com