By Nerissa Low, Founder of Liht Organics (USDA certified organic products)
As consumers are becoming health and environmentally conscious, they are making smarter choices with what they put on their skin.
But this has sparked a wave of brands using buzzwords like ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ interchangeably. And they couldn’t be more different.
Does organic make-up really exist? What does this actually mean for the health-conscious buyer?
What Is Organic Make-up?
Organic makeup means it’s created with ingredients that don’t contain synthetic, herbicides, or GMs in their growth. Organic ingredients are certified and sourced from farms with certifications that they don’t use chemicals and synthetic ingredients whilst farming.
What Is The Difference Between ‘Natural’ and ‘Organic’?
When it comes to makeup labels such as natural and organic, there is a big difference. Organic ingredients must meet certain criteria and be certified, while natural is not regulated – every company regulates them on their own.
The label “natural makeup,” covers a very broad spectrum of makeup products that use ingredients found in nature – but are not necessarily organic too. As an example, honey and beeswax are natural ingredients but can’t be certified as organic in the US.
And yet, lots of brands and companies are throwing around words such as organic, but only those that have the right certifications are genuine – and it takes a lot to get certified.
What Does It Take for a Brand to Call Themselves Organic?
Organic make-up can only be classified as such if it has the required certifications – the USDA organic certification, for example, is one of the most widely recognised certifications in the world.
Without such a certification, a brand cannot carry the label ‘organic’ or display the USDA Organic Seal.
To be eligible for the label, the make-up product must be made of ingredients that meet the standards for the term organic – including their production, handling, processing, and labelling!
Once they meet these standards, they can be classified into four categories:
● 100% Organic – Only organically produced ingredients were used in the making of products. Note that this excludes water and salt, as these can’t be produced organically.
● Organic – At least 95% of ingredients were produced organically (except water and salt). The rest must consist of nonagricultural substances that are not available in organic form.
● Made with organic ingredients – At least 70% of ingredients are of organic origin.
● Less than 70% organic ingredients – Such products cannot display the term organic anywhere but are allowed to list which of their ingredients are certified as organic on their information list.
The 100% organic and organic labelled products must display the seal and the name/address of the certifying agent, while the last two are NOT allowed to display those.
The Issue of Greenwashing
There are many brands that will cleverly use words like organic, natural, herbal, eco-friendly, and earth-friendly in their brand names, but in reality, they do not use natural or organic ingredients at all.
This practice is known as greenwashing and is very deceiving if you don’t know what to look for. Basically, brands will label their product as natural or organic but in reality, they will only use a small percentage of a natural or organic ingredient.
Because of such practices, it’s important to read the labels.
What to Look Out for When Searching for a Genuinely Organic Brand
People should always check the back of the product and read all the ingredients on the label. Usually, natural and organic products are also NOT allowed to:
● Be tested on animals
● Use products of animal origin (beeswax, carmine, honey, etc.)
● Use nanoparticles, parabens, or other synthetic products
The way the ingredients are listed tells a lot about how transparent the brand is – go for organic brands with labels and certifications, and those that list all ingredients clearly and reveal percentages.
At Liht Organics (Living in Her Time), we seek to provide organic make-up that is not just safe and beneficial for your skin and body, but is also cruelty-free, vegan, and made with a large amount of certified organic ingredients – for the guilt-free make-up you deserve.