Let’s Get Clear on Clean, Natural and Organic Skincare Labelling
Natural, organic, cruelty-free, vegan, clean and green, product labels can be blocked up with adjectives and buzzwords but do you know what these words mean? Well, let’s get clear on skin care labelling.
Natural skin care refers to ingredients that have come from nature – herbs, essential oils and minerals, along with animal-derived products such as beeswax.
Vegan skin care products do not contain any animal or animal-derived ingredients and they are also free from animal testing. For a full list of animal-derived products see PETA.org.
Organic means the ingredients were organically farmed – so, no pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilisers or GMO’s are used.
How do you know you’re getting what the label states? The best way is to go with a product that has certification. There are many different certifiers across the globe. However, the main ones in Australia are COSMOS, an international standard for natural and organic cosmetics and Australian Certified Organic.
To meet certification requirements COSMOS Organic require the product to contain a minimum of 95% certified organic or animal-based ingredients. However, at least 20% of the total product, which includes water, salts and minerals must be organic.
There should also be no genetically modified or irradiated ingredients, no nanoparticles and no animal testing. Animal products can be used but no dead animal parts.
The COSMOS Natural standard states the natural ingredients that can be used in order to meet certification. It also stipulates how they may be processed and that the percentage of natural ingredients must be listed.
Australian Certified Organic certifies organic products that contain a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients. If the product says it’s made with organic ingredients then it needs to contain 70–95% certified organic ingredients, not including salt and water, with the remainder from approved non-organic sources.
And while we’re at it, parabens, phthalates, PEGs, ethanolamines, BHT and BHA are all considered to be harmful ingredients. Staying away from these will keep you in the clean skin care department.
It’s important to become familiar with ingredients used in the beauty industry and to look at what’s in the product you’re purchasing. Relying on the terms and phrases used on the front of the label is no guarantee that you’re getting a chemical-free product. Companies can say whatever they want and considering the increased interest and desire for natural products, the not-so-natural ones are taking advantage of that.
And why choose clean beauty? Your skin is your largest organ. Considering it absorbs what you put on it, don’t you want your skin to have a healthy and safe diet? Not to mention the benefits to the environment by not using chemicals in the production of those ingredients.
We've all heard of 'organic skincare', 'natural skincare' and 'cruelty-free skincare', but what does 'clean beauty' mean and how does it differ?