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How Can You Be Sure That Cosmetics Are Organic?
If you were to listen to the dozens of horror stories that surround the use of ingredients such as aluminum, emulsifiers and preservatives in the regular lines of makeup and cosmetics, you would be tempted to let your face go naked, but there is an alternative to letting the world seeing the natural you. Although the effects of long-term exposure to the chemicals used in cosmetics are not yet known, there is speculation that they can cause cancer and premature memory loss. This has driven many people to choose the natural/organic route and has been the driving force behind the organic cosmetic industry, making it very easy to find and purchase organic makeup these days.
The problem is that even if something is labeled as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, it may not be. Something that claims to have 100% organic essential oils could have non-organic agents in it such as emulsifiers, preservatives and foaming agents and only the essential oils are organic, usually because there are no organic equivalents to them. ‘Natural’ can be anything from all natural ingredients to one natural extract in amongst a collection of many chemicals and otherwise un-natural ingredients. It is used as a very loose term and shouldn’t be readily believed.
So how do you figure out if an organic or natural product is really what it says it is? There are several different ways to ensure that you are getting quality cosmetics, actually. If you are willing to order in from the United Kingdom, one true way of finding out if the cosmetics you are considering buying are in fact organic is to look for The Soil Association’s symbol on products.
The Soil Association is an organization in the UK that runs an organic certification scheme that companies pay to be a part of. In order for the companies to be allowed to use the symbol on their products, they have to comply with certain rules. The Soil Association does allow for a percentage of non-organic ingredients because some of the cosmetic formulas require them, however, it does specify that they have to be non-genetically modified and only used if an organic alternative is not available. They also have a restricted list of chemicals that they have deemed damaging to either human health or the environment.
For those of you who would rather get your products locally, it takes a little bit more work. As there is no global certification process just yet, if you want to buy from a company outside of the UK, you will have to do a little old fashioned research. Read up on the company and feel free to ask questions. Most companies have pamphlets or websites that explain their policies and ingredients. If there is a lack of information, ask the company questions. If they don’t answer, chances are their products are not as natural as they claim to be and you should probably move on to another company.
The Internet is a great place to research the companies and find out what their competition and customers are saying about them. There may even be reviews on their products and ingredients. In cases where you don’t know what an ingredient is, either ask the company or research that as well. It’s your skin and if you are concerned enough about it to think of switching to organic products, its worth a little time spent to find out exactly what you’re using.
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