Organic Skin Care Ingredients – The product label
Organic Skin Care Ingredients. Do you know what to look when shopping for organic skin care or a natural skin care product? Are you new to using an organic or natural product instead of using a conventional product?
Below is information on what to look for when shopping for active, high quality “REAL” organic and natural ingredients.
There are still a huge number of us who are not sure what ingredients are particularly toxic in our personal care products. The difficult part when choosing a natural and organic skin care beauty product is the understanding of what is on the label, and how to make a well-informed buying decision. Uncertainty surrounds many ingredients routinely used in skincare products. Twenty years ago, we would have worried less about this, because the skin was thought to be a barrier to chemicals entering the body.
These days, however, we know things get in – hence the use of nicotine patches, hormone patches, and analgesic patches.
The legal framework surrounding skincare hasn’t quite caught up, and the testing of things that go into your body via your skin is not as stringent as the testing of things that you eat. It is also important to be extra careful with products for babies and small children, kilo for kilo; they are exposed to more contaminants in everyday products than adults. Look at boric acid found in bottom creams, bronopol (often listed as 2-brono-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-diol) found in baby wipes.
Throughout the site, there is plenty of advice on the product brands that we have personally evaluated. If you have any questions or you need any further assistance on organic skin care ingredients, write to us on our contact page and we will endeavor to get back to you as soon as possible.
How to make an informed decision on the right organic skin care product for you?
It is important to look at and understand the organic skin care ingredients that are listing on the label.
Below are some guidelines.
How pure is the product? What percentage are plant and organic essential oils? Are the ingredients from a natural source, certified organic, or are they synthetic? Approximately the top third of the ingredients usually take up 90- 95% of the product, the middle third about 5-8% and the bottom third, 1-3%. The ingredients on the label are listed in quantity order, the first ingredient is the largest.
What methods have been used to extract ingredients? There are several ways to extract oil from a plant. It can be extracted with a solvent (butylene or propylene glycols, acetone, and other petroleum derivatives) which leaves toxic residues in the products, or by extremely high heat, which destroys the botanical properties associated with the plant.
Refined oils are poorer quality than unrefined cold pressed oils in their natural state. Look at pressed vegetable organic oils where extraction occurs without heat or the use of preservatives such as avocado, macadamia, jojoba, coconut, olive oil.
Look at dried herbs that have been infused. This maintains medicinal and nutrient properties of these herbs e.g. calendula, chamomile, olive leaf, green tea, rosemary, Gotu kola.
Look at organic essential oils and floral waters that are extracted by steam distillation which retain their therapeutic properties e.g. lime, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, peppermint.
How much water (aqua, distilled water ) is watering down the product? We know that water is a filler and is not an active ingredient. BUT, Aloe Vera is, incredibly, 99% to 99.5% water! Infusions and extracts that are in the base of many products that are not oil or alcohol-based require water to make infusions. Water also carries nutrients that oil cannot carry. Minerals, polysaccharides, many antioxidants, and tannins are all water soluble. Toners and hydrosols are also infused with water. Always choose facial mask products that come in a dry form. The ingredients will stay fresh longer and they do not have any water or preservatives in them, which we love!
How natural is a product? Watch out for products that are called natural but may only have 1 or 2 ingredients that are natural; the product is not totally natural. If it says “organic” or “natural” on the package, it’s not necessarily a natural or organic product. Especially when it says “natural”. First of all, the term “natural” bears no legal responsibility whatsoever, so plenty of unscrupulous manufacturers put it on concoctions full of synthetics, fragrances, colors, etc. Therefore to make sure you actually get natural or organic skin care, be sure to read the ingredients on the labels.
If a product says that contains organic ingredients it does not necessarily mean that it is a fully natural product. It could mean that it is a 99.9% chemical cocktail with a 0.1% of extract from something organic. So read the labels carefully. This is a very popular gimmick, especially with the big mainstream companies trying to get a piece of the “green” pie.
Is there synthetic or toxic ingredients present? Have ingredients been treated with a synthetic ingredient to get a final ingredient? E.g. derived from a chemical name followed by the natural ingredient.
Preservatives are important in a product as they stop bacteria forming and keeping the products fresh. As we know artificial preservatives (parabens) are not good for your health. It is important to look for natural preserving systems that are safe e.g. sugars, plant alcohol, herbal extracts, Vitamin E, plant oils, essential oils.
Artificial Colours or Fragrances. Gorgeous scents can be very enticing and often influence our beauty and personal care purchases. Artificial colours have no therapeutic value other than increasing the product’s visual appeal. These colours can actually act as irritants and unnecessarily upset the skin.
Chemical foaming agents. These are used in most shampoos and body washes and may contain toxic substances such as Nitrosamines. Look at alternatives e.g. Yucca Cactus Extract, Decyl Glucoside (derived for maize) and polyglucoside.
Choose products that have the cruelty-free logo. Some products contain beeswax, milk, honey, propolis, and royal jelly and are considered by us to be not harmful to the animal. The source of organic beeswax is from suppliers where no stress or suffering is caused to the bees. They live beautiful peaceful lives where they are treated with respect.
The pros and cons of certified organic beauty products.
There is a number of organic certifier’s worldwide and each one certifies beauty products to a different set of standards. Some permit just 10% organic ingredients, while others demand a high level, up to 95%.
The Term – Certified Organic, is applied to foods and product ingredients grown and processed without the use of synthetically produced chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides or pesticides and is free from antibiotics and growth hormones. Organic products are not genetically engineered or manipulated.
In Australia, the following organizations certify organic products:- OFC (Organic Food Chain), NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture) ACO (Australian Certified Organic), OGA (Organic Growers of Australia).
Certified Organic status is very difficult and expensive to achieve for a skincare brand, as there is added farming, production and certification costs which result in the end product being more expensive than a conventional product, so be prepared to pay more.
Look for products that are certified organic by organizations that are recognized and who follow strict guidelines. Look for the words ‘cold pressed’ and ‘organic’ on labels. Always look for the words “essential oil” instead of “fragrance”. For companies to be certified, all ingredients must be derived from a natural source.
Tip – Look for the * little star after the ingredients on your labels, these will tell you if the ingredient is certified organic.
Eco and sustainable packaging.
Protecting your health means not picking products that use plastic packaging as it can leech into the products which you are applying to your skin. It is absorbing these plasticizers which have been linked to lowered fertility rates and other health problems. Avoid excess packaging to protect the environment. It is important that the packaging contributes to the longer shelf life of the product because organic skin care does not contain harsh synthetic preservatives, packaging has to help in protecting the ingredients from contamination.
One of the most popular packaging materials for natural cosmetics is glass. Glass is a non-porous and inert material, which is good for the lifespan of the formulations. And it is recyclable, making it a popular “green” choice.
Aluminum jars (with protective resin) are also popular because they are recyclable, and because they squeeze the product out and don’t refill with air — thus minimizing contamination.
As most of the brands use powerful active ingredients with natural ingredients to preserve them, they are packaged in airless serum pump dispensers to protect them from light, air and to ensure maximum hygiene.
The worst packaging from a preservation point of view is the open jars where you have to put your finger in to get the cream out. You effectively transfer the bacteria from your hands into the jar. Not to mention continuous air exposure. If you have such a product, use a spatula, store it in a cool environment, and always wash your hands!
sources- refer to www.beautydirectory.com.au. look at the cosmetic safety database, skin-deep.
Using Organic beauty products – some tips.
Organic beauty products are more concentrated, and the essential oils are powerful in the smallest amounts. A little goes a long way. To prevent using too much you may like to apply your product to damp skin.
You will find that products are extremely gentle but highly effective. Use a washcloth to remove cleansers and it should be used only be you. You will not need to use cotton wool. A washcloth will also give you a little bit of exfoliation and you will achieve a better result from the use of your cleanser.
Organic beauty products should be stored below 25°C in a dry environment. Protect from direct sunlight. Do not store below 5°C.
If you come across any eyebrow-raising ingredients that are on the label search for them on Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, an independent resource of personal care product safety information.