When we search for safe cosmetics, often the words organic or natural come to mind. From shopping for essential oils to buying non-toxic beauty and skin care items, we constantly see the terms “natural,” “organic,” and “wild-crafted.” What do they all mean, is there any difference, and why is it such confusing caca?!
The three terms have different meanings any savvy shopper should know before investing in “safe” cosmetics. For crops to be certified “organic,” they must be grown on land free of prohibited icky stuff for a minimum of three years. (Just 3? But pesticide residue remains??) The agricultural methods must follow national organic standards to qualify for certification. Compost can’t be made from sewage sludge or municipal solid waste (yuck). Wow, unnatural cosmetics are allowed to be complete crap!
Now after this, the criteria for certified organic becomes more fuzzy. Different regulatory bodies have different rules for certification. Three labeling categories for organic exist including the following: “100 percent organic,” “organic,” and “made with organic ingredients.”
To be 100 percent organic, ingredients must be only organically produced, but this excludes salt and water. To be “organic,” 95 percent of the ingredients must be organically produced. Finally, “made with organic” means at least 70 percent of the ingredients are organically produced. This is definitely some confusing caca!
Natural cosmetic criteria is more flexible but TOO flexible. Rather, consumer safety is considered which allows certain questionable cleansers and preservatives. However, most troublesome ingredients are not used in natural cosmetics. Basically, you can have 1% of a natural ingredient in a base of total crap and call it “natural”, not cool!
Wild-crafted ingredients refer to gathering plants in their natural habitat. No chemical additives or manufacturer interference is involved in this process. Often wild-crafting is done sustainably with a plant being replanted when one is removed or leaving a plant and taking flowers or other elements as needed. Usually respect is shown to endangered species. This is good stuff, but how to know?
A review of the terms proved, what we always secretly suspected, organic is not necessarily better. Any type of water can be used in organic products, which might include waste water (ugh) although unlikely. The criteria varies for both organic and natural cosmetics. It sounds like a way to boost prices while not actually assuring sustainability or safety.
What totally confusing caca!