If you are shopping for organic body products, you may find the following information helpful, or interesting, at the least. According to the FDA’s consumer guidelines, they do not regulate many of the terms that cosmetic companies use for promotional purposes, “organic” is one of them.
You Are Being Taken Advantage Of
When it comes to food, there are strict guidelines that farmers and ranchers must adhere to, if they want to use that term on the front of their package. But, those guidelines do not apply to cosmetics. Many companies that use the term are simply taking advantage of us.
The value of the terms “organic” and “natural” are in making them desirable to the consumer. There may be no “real” value to that consumer. If you want to know what you’re getting, then you need to learn how to read the list of ingredients.
It Can Be Difficult
That can be difficult for the average consumer to do, since companies are required to use the “International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients”. Some companies will also include the more common names, in parentheses or, in some cases, on their websites.
For example, organic body products containing Shea butter, which is highly beneficial for treating dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and other conditions, must list the ingredient as “Butyrospermum Parkii”. Shea butter is derived from the pits of the fruit of African “Tree of Life”. It is a staple of African pharmacology, due to its potent healing abilities.
You Don’t always Get The Highest Quality
Of course, not all manufacturers of organic body products provide the highest quality of this healing cream. Most Shea butter products contain added fragrances. Whether an added fragrance is synthetic or naturally occurring, it can cause allergic reactions. But, even creams that are labeled “fragrance-free” may contain added fragrances. Read the label carefully and if you don’t know what something is, don’t buy it until you have time to look it up.
Free Of Artificial Preservatives
Organic body products should be free of artificial preservatives. Natural vitamin E is effective for prolonging the shelf life of natural oils like Shea butter. It is, however, more expensive than artificial preservatives, so most companies don’t use it.
Some Organic Compounds Are Not Safe
There are some compounds that are organics, but are still not safe to use on the skin. For example, oxybenzone and benzophenone are considered organics. They are used as sunscreens, as ingredients in preservatives or fragrances. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), they are probable human carcinogens. Studies have shown that they damage the DNA of cells, when exposed to sunlight.
You Have To Protect Yourself
So, it should be easy for you to see that organic body products are not necessarily safe. It’s a sad thing, but consumers have to protect themselves. Regulating agencies can do very little. They have tried to create clear definitions of terms used by cosmetic companies, but their attempts have not stood up in court. The legal system is on the side of the industry; not the side of the consumer.
A good place to start is to look for companies that have signed the EWG’s “Compact for Safe Cosmetics”. Your skin will thank you.