The 2020 Guide to Organic Beauty
Numerous high street brands market their products as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ but there is little that is actually natural or organic about them. The UK law makes it OK for skincare companies to claim their products to be organic with only a small percentage of the ingredients actually being sourced organically. So what does this mean for the consumer?
This deceptive marketing makes it difficult for the average consumer to distinguish what is truly organic. We have put together a quick FAQ to help you better understand when you are buying organic products and when you are being duped by a clever marketing campaign.
How To Tell If Products Are Organic?
It is actually legal to market cosmetic products as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ even when natural or organic ingredients make up only a tiny percentage of the overall content. The best way to combat deception is through checking the product certification. The Soil Association is one of the most well known certifications for organic products. It ensures that all formulations with their certification follow organic standards both in terms of ingredients and the production process.
To help consumers distinguish between the two we argue that certification needs enforcing through regulation. This means that only companies that have an organic certification are allowed to call themselves natural and organic. This means we won’t have to relying on companies to voluntarily certify (as Odylique has done since our launch on 2003).
Odlyique is supporting an Organic Trade Board initiative to change the law and protect both consumers and the brands who are doing things properly. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the Soil Association symbol or another certificate of organic integrity to ensure you really are getting what you pay for.
How do you get Soil Association certified?
To obtain organic certification for a product, and be able to call the product “Organic XXX” a minimum of 95% of all ingredients must be certified organic. Where insufficient organically grown ingredients exist, the Soil Association will approve products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients (such as our Shampoo) but they cannot be labelled “organic”. If the product mainly consists of minerals (such as in our Maca Mask which has a large proportion of green clay which can’t be deemed organic as it doesn’t “grow”, then products can be approved at a lower organic percentage. The remaining ingredients, however, are also subject to strict rules. Substances suspected of being toxic to humans or the environment are not allowed, neither are genetically modified ingredients.
Are there other organic certifications?
The other most well known standard is Ecocert (from France) which requires a minimum 10% of organic ingredients (this is under review and may be increased to 20% for some product types). Once a product has met that minimum, though, the manufacturer is not obliged to use organic quality for further ingredients. This is a major difference to the SA which stipulates that you have to use organic quality if it’s available. It also makes for quite big quality differences when you’re talking about expensive ingredients like rose. Bans on potentially toxic or environmentally harmful ingredients like parabens and petrochemicals are comparable to the Soil Association’s.
Another popular health & beauty standard is BDIH (from Germany) which certifies natural rather than organic products.
The UK has a couple of other certifications including Organic Farmers & Growers and the Organic Food Federation which are similar to the Soil Association standards, but a little more relaxed on organic content. Demeter certifies products that contain ingredients grown according to biodynamic agriculture rules.
So, Why support organic farming?
Organic farming uses 45% less energy than non-organic farming methods and produces 40% less greenhouse gases than conventional farming techniques. What’s not to like?! Just imagine how much carbon we could cut if the whole of the UK converted to organic farming (at the moment organic agriculture represents just 4% of the UK’s farmed area).
Organic farming, whether using manure or leguminous cover crops to defend against pests and promote healthy plant growth, has also been found to be the best farming technique in terms of providing the healthiest and most nourishing crops. Organically grown plants feature far higher levels and greater varieties of vitamins, minerals, nutrients when compared to the crops produced via the use of pesticides and herbicides.
Want To Try Our Products?
We only source the kindest ingredients from trusted suppliers who don’t practice unethical or cruel methods of farming, which is why we are able to label every single one of our products cruelty free!
Use code: OrganicBeauty20 at the checkout for 20% off your order! – *Limited to one use per customer*
We also offer a wide range of samples for those of you that would rather try a smaller quantity before purchasing the full item!
If you’d like any more advice on choosing organic, please do email us – firstname.lastname@example.org, add your question as a comment below, or call 01638 491022 – we’re here to help!
Organic farming represents around 4% of the farmed area and is based upon the concept of sustainability utilising the farm’s own resources http://www.ukagriculture.com/uk_farming.cfm