What does Natural, Organic and Science based really mean – it’s all in the label.
Learning how to distinguish between natural, organic and certified organic personal care products and those based on artificial ingredients lies in the ability to decipher labels. First, understand that a product labelled “natural, botanical or plant based” under Australian standards really means nothing; it is likely to contain quite a % of totally non-natural ingredients in the form of emulsifiers or preservatives.
Organics vs Natural
Organic farming is not just about chemical free agriculture. It is about the way the product ingredients have been grown, prepared, processed and packaged. Standards to achieve certification are internationally recognised and are assured through annual audits of all certified operators by an independent third party auditor.
Many companies highlight their natural ingredients, but to be sure that you are using truly organic products, look to see if the manufacturer can prove that it is certified organic.
Certified Organic products with one of the following logo’s on the container means that customers are assured that they are purchasing genuine organic products, free of synthetic chemicals and GMOs. These products will that have been organically certified with a leading independent certifying body:
ACO (Australian Certified Organic)
Products bearing the ACO logo (Australian Certified Organic) contain more than 95% certified organic ingredients with the remaining percentage being naturally produced plant or mineral products with strict processing criteria such as no GMOs or synthetic chemicals. ACO is Australia’s largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce and has over 1500 operators within its certification system.
IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements)
Products bearing the ACO/IFOAM logo (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) meet all of the requirements of ACO certification in addition to the standards set by IFOAM. IFOAM is the worldwide umbrella organisation for the organic movement, uniting more than 750 member organisations in 108 countries.
USDA(US Department of Agriculture)
Products bearing the USDA logo (United States Department of Agriculture) meet all of the requirements of standards of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). The USDA National Organic Program accredits private businesses, organisations, and state agencies to certify producers and handlers of agricultural products according to NOP regulations.
BFA (Biological Farmers of Australia)
Products bearing the BFA logo (Biological Farmers of Australia) meet all of the requirements of ACO and have a certificate issued. This allows them to use the BFA Approved Product bud logo and to confidently supply certified organic operators with products.
I use personal care products daily and “I’m ok” so why should I be concerned about using Certified Organic? I find that they are generally harder to source and are more expensive so why bother?
The answer is simple. Just a little bit of any of these chemicals everyday accumulates all over our body, not just in our skin. This slowly wears down many of the important processes and creates inflammation. We don’t see it and as it doesn’t jump out and say “HEY” – you only become aware when you have to visit the Doctor with your sore joints or chronic indigestion. Your skin becomes drier and more easily irritated. It’s harder and harder to find moisturisers and makeup that your skin can tolerate and you flush red so much more easily. You put this down to ageing and wonder why your mum wasn’t the same at your age. Well the reason is your body has had enough of chemicals which weren’t around when your mum was young. We are now seeing these sensitivities in the clinic in girls as young as 20. They have been using poor quality products since they started high school and now are having problems.
Science Based products
At this point if you want to change your skin you need some science… just switching to Certified Organic products will not do this, they will help your skin feel better however you are not likely to see change. What is needed here is delivery systems and ingredients which can travel to deep in the skin, enter the cell and effect change. The ingredients need the capacity to fight the inflammation, repair cells and build the immunity in the skin.
This calibre of products will not be labelled Certified Organic or Organic or even Natural as it is the Science and the research behind the product which is making the difference. Often many of the ingredients will be listed on the label as organic (such as the Osmosis MD range) and some of the ingredients will have long unpronounceable names, however these are there by necessity to help create the delivery systems or maintain the integrity of each ingredient.,
For more information on Organic Certification or GMO’s the Miessence website is very helpful. http://www.miessence.com/skincc/en/miessenceStory/whyOrganic
For more information on common specific ingredients found in personal care products please read our Toxic Chemical page.
Enjoy a healthier body, skin and therefore LIFE!