It Says Organic - Can I Trust the Label?
Several years ago the new fad was to eat and use anything and everything organic. From organic paper towels to vegetables, if it was organic, it was good for you and Mother Earth. Naturally (no pun intended), it was not long before the cosmetics market joined the ranks of organic goodies. Organic materials used for personal care and cosmetics have long been in existence, but users have been few and actively looking for organic possibilities.
Once the organic boom was underway, everyone realized the possible benefits from using organic products and the desire for organic lotions, makeup, soaps, and other products grew. In 2002 the USDA created a label to stamp on organic foods. Soon after, all other products with organic or agricultural ingredients could apply for the label as well. The USDA had agents and specific processes that companies were to follow before being able to obtain the label.
However, in April of 2005 the USDA pulled the label from hundreds of thousands of products, including cosmetic and personal care items. No longer could a lip balm claim it was organic...at least, not by US government standards.
Though by now the organic boom has dissipated a great deal, there are still hundreds of websites and products that push organic skin care products. Many of them claim to be 100% organic. The problem with these items is that you have no way of knowing whether or not these skin care items truly are organic. They may have some organic ingredients or maybe even just one organic ingredient and the makers have decided that is enough to qualify. They then put out the product knowing that people will see their own organic claim and go ahead and buy it.
On the other hand, there are other companies, both large and small, that do make real 100% organic products. For some people with special skin conditions, labels provide an easier way of finding organic skin care products that are more likely to be accepted by their skin. The trick is finding out which ones. With no regulation, locating the real deal can become more than cumbersome. Seekers of true organic skin care products must work through products the old fashioned way of trial and error, checking and rechecking the ingredients.
You can find legitimate organic skin care makers if you know how to look. The USDA was not the only group to make a label for organic items. When at a website promoting organic skin care and hair products, look for labels that appear genuine. Ask the company about the label as well as the organization that has allowed them to use the label. Once you get some information from the company, you can turn to the organization. Contact them and ask if the company is indeed certified by them. Make sure they support the product the company is selling. If you receive any conflicting answers (such as the group deals in cosmetics and the company sells food), then you can begin questioning the relationship between the company and the organic supporting organization.
You can also ask the organization for their standards of endorsement for organic products. What percentage of the product must be organic in order for them to support it? 50%? 80%? 100%? How do they check the products the company makes to assure that the products are truthful to organic standards?
An extra possible point for the website is if you find more than one label. This means they have been examined by more than one organization. You can contact more than one organization, but usually if you get positive results from at least two different groups, there is a very good chance the company is indeed creating and selling organic skin care products.
It can be a tedious and sometimes exasperating process, but it will allow you to save money and frustration later on in avoiding fraudulent organic companies. This way you will be sure to buy the right products from the right company the first time around. Both you and your skin can be happy with your purchase.
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