What are organic skin care products made of, and are they healthy for us?
In our search for the best hair and skin, we often end up considering products termed “organic.” According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, anything organic is derived from living organisms. In other words, it comes from a plant or animal. Most people believe organic or natural skin care products and hair care products are gentler and healthier than fabricated products – partly because they are made of the same type of natural matter as skin.
What makes a product organic? In the U.S., use of the word “organic” to describe a product is regulated by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The organization’s National Organic Program is based on the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) passed by Congress in 1990.
The NOP says skin care and cosmetics manufacturers can use the term “organic” to describe a product only if 95 percent of the ingredients are produced organically, without using conventional pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Animal matter used in organic products must be from animals fed organic feed and given access to the outdoors, and growth hormones and antibiotics are not allowed.
If a product has at least 70 percent organic ingredients, it can use the phrase “made with organic ingredients” on the label and use as many as three organic ingredients or food groups on the principal display panel. Products with less than 70 percent organic ingredients cannot use the term “organic” in marketing, except to identify individual ingredients as organic.
Some men’s skin care products, like other products, use words other than organic on the labels, including natural, free-range and hormone-free. Those claims might be true, but the products do not necessarily meet the USDA standards for organic products. Labeling of organic products is also governed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Support of Organic Skin Care Products
Although the USDA and FDA do not make judgments about the health value or effectiveness of organic or natural skin care products (other than safety), many people through the ages have used natural substances to maintain the outer health of their bodies, and the results have been supported both by anecdotal evidence and scientific studies.
As early as the 4th millennium B.C. in the Middle East and China, people were creating skin care treatments from plant and animal substances. According to Wikipedia, Egyptians used many natural skin care treatments. One treatment included “bullock’s bile, whipped ostrich eggs, olive oil, dough and resin, mixed with milk.”
If you have questions about the effectiveness of a specific novel skin care product, do a little research on the ingredients and ask others who have used the product to determine whether it’s right for you, or find a distributor you trust who has already done the research.