Everyone's talking about going green. From the house you live in, what you eat, to what you wear, and what you put on your body, it seems like every brand has a natural, organic or certified organic collection or product you need to know about. By choosing organic and natural skin care products and ingredients you can avoid numerous synthetic chemicals and neurotoxins entering the bloodstream which can lead to health problems. You can download the newly launched free, downloadable consumer guide to the Australian Certified Organic Standard here for more details on regulations.
As consumers become more educated about the environment, climate change and their health, it's only natural that there has been surge in buying natural and organic skin care products. In fact according to the Australian Organic Ltd (formerly Biological Farmers of Australia), organics is one of Australia’s top 5 growth industries as supermarkets and shoppers embrace the trend. But before you buy, it's important to know the rules and regulations around claiming to be natural, organic and certified organic. Here's an over view of the terms surrounding natural and organic skincare...
Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Research shows that within 20-30 minutes of putting something onto our skin, it can be picked up in the blood stream, and that up to 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream - so it makes sense to be careful about what is in skin care and beauty products. When looking at the ingredients, consumers should question the integrity of ingredients in skin care products. How do you know if a product is a truly natural or organic healthy alternative?
For a skin care product to be allowed to call itself organic, it should it be formulated using all natural ingredients.It must be free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, genetic modification and petroleum derivatives and contain between 70-95 percent of organic ingredients. Organic is a label reserved for ingredients grown without the use of pesticides or other potentially harmful chemicals. The skin care product must be certified by a registered certifying body such as the ACO (Australian Certified Organic), NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia), ECOCERT (a French certifying body) or the OFC (Organic Food Chain). Then, and only then, should it carry a "Made with organic ingredients" statement.
A certified organic skin care product must meet strict guidelines from a national or international governing body to receive registration, and Australian Certified Organic is one of the highest organic certifications in the world. While these standards differ from country to country, in Australia the ACO states for a product to be able to call itself certified organic, it must contain at least 95 percent organic content. The formula should be free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, genetic modification and petroleum derivatives.
Natural refers to anything that grows naturally, or is not man-made in a laboratory. However in Australia there are no regulations surrounding the use of the word. However, it is generally agreed that natural beauty and skin care products should feature at least 90 percent of naturally-derived ingredients and be free from all synthetics. There is no policing on this though, so check ingredients and packaging carefully.
If in doubt check you packaging for a list of ingredients - if the ingredients list looks more like a chemistry class than a biology class, chances are the product may not be so natural after all. If there is no endorsement logo, be wary about the validity of the claims.
You can check out the Environmental Working Group’s website, Skin Deep, to check out the toxicity profile of the ingredients in your skincare here. The core of 'Skin Deep' is an electronic product database that contains ingredients in 65,361 products. You can view detailed information on these products from online retailers, manufacturers through to product packaging.
You can download the newly launched free, downloadable consumer guide to the Australian Certified Organic Standard here. The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, is nation's leading organic certifier. You can find out more about them here