When we think “organic,” most of us think of stocking our grocery carts with fresh, healthy food. But there’s a whole world of certified organic beauty products out there. You’ve just got to know what to look for—and why it’s so important.
Why choose organic in the bathroom?
It simply doesn’t make sense to eat organic and not use organic beauty and personal care products. Like organic foods, organic personal care products are produced without the use of synthetic preservatives, noxious pesticides, petrochemicals, or genetically modified organisms. Why’s this important? Skincare product ingredients can be absorbed into our bodies through our skin.
It’s also vital to remember that the plants used to formulate personal care products (everything from cotton to coconut to chamomile) are crops, just like the plants used in food products. Organic crops are better for the health of the planet and the people involved in the farming and manufacturing processes—using less water, building healthy ecosystems, reducing pollution, protecting the health of farmers, and promoting healthy soil.
Organic products to look for
Skincare and hair care
Organic versions of your daily products, from shampoo to sunscreen, can be found at natural health retailers.
Organic makeup products can easily be substituted for conventional versions—so stock up on organic lip gloss, bronzer, foundation and tinted moisturizer, mascara, and much more.
Baby care and kids’ products
Babies and children have a greater susceptibility to environmental toxins, as kiddos have a higher surface-area-to-body-weight ratio, and their reproductive and endocrine systems are still developing. Thankfully, there are plenty of organic products to choose from, like diaper cream, wipes, shampoo, lotion, and more.
Nonorganic cotton is an extremely polluting crop. The body care sections of natural health retailers boast organic cotton swabs, cotton rounds, and cotton balls
U.S. Organic Certifications
by Lisa Truesdale
To be certain that the beauty products you buy are truly organic, choose ones that are certified by a reputable organization.
These are homegrown seals and standards to look for.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the use of the term “organic” on agricultural products. So cosmetics, body care products, and personal care products containing agricultural ingredients can earn organic certification through the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). The NOP uses independent certifying agencies like Americert or Ecocert.
USDA Organic labeling categories for these products are the same as for organic foods. (Fun fact: The percentages given don’t include water or salt.)
100 percent organic: These products contain only organically produced ingredients and list the certifying agent’s name and address. You’ll spot the distinctive green-and-white USDA Organic seal on them.
Organic: These products contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. Products with this certification
also list the certifying agent’s info and sport the USDA Organic seal.
Made with organic ingredients: These products contain at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients. Their main label can highlight up to three of the organic ingredients. Again, they must list the certifying agent’s name and address, but you won’t see the USDA Organic seal on them.
Products that contain less than 70 percent organic ingredients can’t use the term “organic” on their main label; however, they can list USDA-certified organic ingredients in the ingredients list. You won’t see a USDA Organic seal or a certifying agent’s details on these products.
NSF “contains organic ingredients”
Products bearing this seal are certified to an American National Standard designed specifically for personal care products. Officially called “NSF/ANSI 305,” the standard has requirements around organic materials and processes (including independent verification of the organic content of every certified product), while still allowing some of the chemical processing that’s required to create certain personal care products.
Products with this blue-and-white seal contain at least 70 percent organic content by weight.