Ok, as a consumer I’m sure you’ve been seeing the natural, organic and vegan trend sweeping the nation. From food to skin care, makeup and hair care, “natural” products are the new thing and the industry is being exposed for using harsh chemicals. But, are these companies following a trend as a marketing ploy or do they actually do something more than what we’re used to? What is actually defined as natural, organic and vegan? Should you really make the switch? Let’s clear things up for you guys.
First, let’s define the word organic. The two main definitions that pop up when you type in organic are ‘relating to or derived from living matter’ and ‘produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents’.
In order for a beauty product to be certified organic, it has to have a certified organic seal from the USDA. All products are certified organic through the USDA. If a product is certified organic, it is free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and other non-organic substances.
There are four labeling categories when it comes to being USDA certified organic; 100% organic, organic, made with organic***, and specific organic ingredients. This information is coming directly from the USDA website.
100% Organic- Any product that contains 100% organic ingredients.
Organic- Any product that contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. Up to 5% of the ingredients may be non-organic.
Made With Organic “_____”- Any product that includes at least 70% organically produced ingredients. The organic seal will not be included on these products.
Specific Organic Ingredients- Any product that includes less than 70% organic ingredients. Specified organic ingredients will be listed in the ingredients section. The organic seal will not be included on these products.
Important to know: The FDA does not regulate the terms “organic”, “vegan” and “natural”.
A product that is labelled “vegan” contains no ingredients that are made with animal byproducts. Just because a product is vegan, does not mean it is organic or cruelty free. The product would need the organic and cruelty free stamps in order to be considered in that group as well.
As far as the word natural goes, there is no real backing behind it. It is more so a marketing word than anything else. It alludes to a product being organic and makes you think the product is better because it’s there. Remember, there is no regulation when it comes to the term natural.
The Bottom Line…
So, the bottom line here is; know your facts. Learn how to decipher between marketing ploys and actual certified organic ingredients. Also, just because something is organic doesn’t mean it’s automatically better than something that is not. The way I look at it is, if it works great and is natural that’s a double bonus. I'm not going to go recommend to you a foundation that is organic if it sucks. But I will recommend it to you if it's amazing and the bonus is it's also organic. To put it into other terms, when we’re sick we sometimes try natural remedies to help ourselves feel better. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t cut it and you really need medicine from your doctor.
As always, I highly recommend doing your research before purchasing. I’ll be the first to admit, cute packaging and what seems to be good claims on the label gets the best of us sometimes. But, I would advise you to see the proven facts and studies behind a product. If a product has actual scientific research and proven clinical studies behind it, I'd say that’s when you’re best off. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions on the purpose of certain ingredients in products. Like, why the heck do I need parabens in my skin care or why should I be using this blueberry scrub all over my face? Why is peach great for my skin complexion and what is the purpose of silicone's in my makeup?
Important to Know: A product that says it has been ‘dermatologist tested’ means that it was tested by a dermatologist. That’s it. It doesn’t mean it’s dermatologist approved it just went through a study. See where they’re tricking ya?
So, with that being said, the next time you’re out shopping I can guarantee you you’ll think of me and my little blog post as you’re scoping out the certifications and ingredients list of a product. You’re welcome.
The beauty world is honestly so complicated these days. If I can do anything, I hope I can help educate and keep it real with you guys. I’m just here to help make your lives easier.