In a kickoff segment, we introduced three types of eco-friendly beauty products: natural, vegan, and organic.
In this article, we go into more detail about organic cosmetics and suggest organic brands and products for the curious or full-on organic lifestyle.
Photo by Lauren Hammond, courtesy of Flickr.com
Here’s the skinny on “organic”: Organic beauty products come in all shapes and sizes. Some are 100% organic, while others are partially formulated with organic ingredients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate organic cosmetics. However, because many cosmetic products contain agricultural ingredients (plants and plant byproducts) that are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), some products may feature the USDA-certified organic label.
If the USDA certifies a cosmetic product, a brand is eligible to use the USDA logo and imprint any of three types of labeling on its packaging: “100% organic,” “organic” (at least 95% of its ingredients), or “made with organic ingredients” (at least 70% of its ingredients). If, however, a product contains less than 70% organic ingredients, it may still list its ingredients as “organic,” but cannot print the USDA organic logo on its packaging. If a product does not contain any U.S. agricultural products, it can still receive an organic label from a private- or market-standardizing organization for products that are earth-friendly, contain foreign organic ingredients, biodynamic, or otherwise environmentally sustainable. Some examples of alternative certifications are the Oregon Tilth Organic logo and the European Union’s new Organic logo.
Some divine organic cosmetics that smell great and produce outstanding results are Eminence Organics beauty products, like its Chai Berry Mineral Illuminator. This pressed mineral powder works with all skin types and illuminates the skin for a light to medium highlight. In additional to natural minerals, the Chai Berry Mineral Illuminator features jojoba seed oil for its naturally-occurring antimicrobial and oil-balancing properties, rosemary extract for its astringent qualities, acai berry fruit extract as a rich source of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, and green tea leaf extract for its ability to neutralize UV light and fight inflammation.
Another beautifully green and organic company is Ecco Bella, which also offers natural and vegan products. We love their Hair and Scalp Therapy Conditioner with Green Tea and Neem for its organic ingredients, like safflower oil and extracts of nettle, horsetail, comfrey, green tea, and burdock. Its essential oils relieve dry, itchy, flaky scalps and help restore balance in overly stressed skin.
We also love Ecco Bella’s moisturizing Flower Color Lipsticks with its healthy blend of vegetable waxes, mineral pigments, and organic calendula, chamomile, and jojoba oils.They go on creamy and won’t feather or leave lips flakey or chapped. They are also free of fragrance, preservatives, petroleum, and FD&C dyes. Many colors are vegan, as well.
Because 100% organic cosmetic, hair, nail, and skincare products are free of toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides, these products contain very few downsides for consumers.
Price can be a sore point for organic consumers, however, because organic ingredients typically cost more to produce (although their long-term benefits are said to actually reduce costs). Shop strategically, always read ingredient lists, and checkout GreenOptions.com for great deals.
Remember, choosing the safest product usually boils down to your expected level of exposure. If you wear lipgloss 365 days of the year, you may want to go for an organic brand. If you wear a super dramatic eye shadow only one or two days a year, consider buying conventional, natural, or vegan products instead.
Most importantly, always educate yourself to make the healthiest choices for your needs, desired look, and budget.
Photo by Aussie Girl, courtesy of Flickr.com