Organic skin care is fast becoming a very big business in the country today. This is even predicted to flourish exponentially in the years to come due to the resurging trend in using natural or organic products.
However, you must be extremely cautious whenever you are choosing your skin care and cosmetic products because there are a lot of products out there claiming to be 100% organic (or natural) even if they are not! The only way to be sure that you are purchasing natural and organic skin care products is to be more vigilant in choosing what you buy. As always, the right information can be your best ally. To help you become a more discerning consumer, here are some things that you absolutely need to know.
Read Product Labels – Generally speaking, you should always read product labels before deciding on what products to buy. You must also be aware of the so-called “Rule of Thirds”. This rule states that the top third of the ingredients listed in the label comprise the bulk of the product (approximately 90 to 98%). The middle third makes up approximately 5-8% of the product while the bottom third represents only around 1-3% of the total product.
Understand that natural skin care is not always natural. If there is one word that is most commonly abused in the cosmetic and skin care industry, it would be the word “natural”. This word is often used by skin care product manufacturers to trick their consumers into buying their products and thus rake in immense profits for the company! For the record, there are two definitions of the word “natural”. The dictionary defines it as “anything existing in or formed by nature” while the cosmetic industry defines the word as “any ingredient derived from a natural substance”. Now, there is a significant difference in those two definitions!
A classic example of this is the use of Cocamide-DEA in some skin care products. This ingredient is widely used as a foaming agent in bath products (shampoos and hand soaps) and as an emulsifying agent in cosmetics. Cocamide-DEA is touted as a natural ingredient since it is derived from coconut oil. However, since a synthetic chemical called diethanolamine is used in the extraction process, the ingredient cannot be considered natural anymore. According to studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program in 1998, the extensive use of products containing DEA can even lead to cancer!
Is it really organic? Like the word “natural”, the word “organic” is also used extensively by cosmetic manufacturers to their advantage. To be sure that you are purchasing a “certified organic” product, you should always look for the organic certification on the product label.
But what really is a certified organic product? In the cosmetic industry, a product is certified as organic if it is made up of at least 95% organic ingredients (water and salt/minerals excluded). A small amount of natural, non-organic ingredients can be allowed but this must comply with some very stringent criteria before being approved.
However, please note that the industry can legally label any product that contains carbon as “organic”. Take methylparaben, a popular preservative found in many organic skin care products, as an example. Methylparaben is derived from the petrochemicals in crude oil. But since it is originally derived from living matter, the cosmetic industry can legally claim it as organic. I don’t mean to frighten you here but a recent study reportedly found traces of methylparaben in human breast cancer tumors.
Basically, these are just some of the matters you need to look into if you are considering to go organic. Natural and/or organic skin care products are definitely more skin-friendly but you need to know the various practices and tricks used by skin product manufacturers so that you won’t fall for them.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Skin Care [http://skin-care-guideto.com