The misuse and abuse the word “organic”
The current chaotic phenomena of misuse & abuse the word and phrases of “organic”, “organic” “organic cosmetics” or “organic skincare” etc., is like a wild grass spreading all over the organic beauty product industry. This sad reality of “organic without integrity” is not due to the fact of lacking standards or regulations for the organic beauty products. In fact, USDA organic & ECOCERT do have a set of very clear USDA organic NOP standard and ECOCERT Natural & Organic Cosmetics standard to regulate the certified organic cosmetics. Thus, as a consumer, how do you identify a true organic beauty product from a misleading and mislabeling organic beauty products? What are the pitfalls that you need to be aware of when you are trying to buy an organic cosmetics?
Organic DOES NOT EQUAL certified organic
Consumers need to understand that when a cosmetic product is labelled “organic”, it doesn’t mean such product has been certified and verified by USDA organic agency, if you do not see any organic seal of approval from USDA organic or Ecocert on the packaging. This type of manufacturer/brand owner self-claimed organic products may has not gone through either the USDA organic or ECOCERT organic certification process. There is maybe no organic traceability being established. In plain English, it may not be “organic”.
One or two organic ingredients in the formula does not make a product ‘organic’
Another phenomena of misuse, abuse & misleading ‘organic labelling practice’ is claiming the whole cosmetics is ‘organic’ due to the fact that the product contains only few organic ingredients (not necessary certified by USDA organic) in the formula. This also is do not meet the USDA organic (NOP) & ECOCERT Natural & Organic Cosmo Standards.
“Organic” or “organics” is part of the brand name does not mean the brand products are all organic
Another most commonly seen misleading organic labelling practice is using the ‘organic’ or ‘organics’ as part of the name brand or the company/website name, such as “ABC Organics” or “XYZOrganics.com”. When consumers see a brand named called “ABC Organics”, it is easily to mistaken and think that every product from this “ABC Organics” company or from this website is ALL organic. This is type of organic labeling does not meet USDA organic (NOP) standard. To label the brand name with the word “organics” on a cosmetics packaging or label is not permitted by the USDA organic (NOP) certification standard if a product is not certified organic. See a proper & honest organic labelling example below. The certified organic blush called Blushing from Shera Organics, LLC (www.Sheraorganics.com), and its organic content is only a 75% organic, therefore they only label their name brand the word ‘Shera’ on the packaging of Blushing. They do not include the word “organics” in the packaging although the official title of the brand name is Shera Organics. The other certified organic rose blush from Shera Organics, LLC is USDA organic certified as the 95% – 100% organic content blush cosmetics. Therefore they label the product with the USDA organic seal and label the packaging ‘organic’.
INSERT an Example image
So, how to verify the organic cosmetics that you want to purchase is really a true certified organic cosmetics?
The verifying steps is just as simple as 1-2-3.
You can do this verifying process in few clicks from your own computer. The steps are as the following:
Look for the USDA organic seal or Ecocert seal on the organic cosmetics’ packaging. Please note that the official USDA organic seal only comes in two color scheme, the green and brown two color tone and the black color tone. The Ecocert seal can be in many different color tones but the widely used color tones are red, black, white or green depends on how much the manufacturer wants the color tone of the seal to match their packaging design.
Once you have identified the organic seal of approval from USDA organic or ECOCERT on the cosmetics packaging, you will need to look for the certain text near or around the organic seal on the packaging. As for the USDA organic cosmetics, make sure the contact info of the brand owner/manufacturer is included in the text and right below the contact info, within this text, the agency that administrated the organic certification for this organic cosmetics must be displayed also. So the text should read like “Certified Organic by CCOF” or “Certified Organic by QAI” etc. As for Ecocert, every Ecocert certified organic or natural cosmetics is required to display the following text on the packaging or on the label in addition the organic content info. (See sample image below). The text read:Organic cosmetic certified by ECOCERT Green life, according to ECOCERT standard available at http://cosmetic.ecocert.com
The final step, is the most important step – that I called it “straight to source” step. To verify the name brand manufacturer really is an USDA organic or Ecocert organic certified eneity, you need to : from the step 2 above, you already know this organic cosmetics is ‘Certified Organic by CCOF or by QAI. All you need to do is to go to CCOF or QAI’s official web site to search the profile of the brand owner/manufacturer that you are trying to verify. You also can go to ECOCERT’s official web site to check. If the brand owner/manufacturer in fact is ECOCERT certified, it will be listed on ECOCERT certified brand owner/manufacturer list.
Only when you have done the above 3 steps, you can positively assure that the organic cosmetics in your hand is a TRUE Certified Organic cosmetics. That’s why if you are willing to spend more money for organic cosmetics, it is better to buy the organic cosmetic products bear the USDA organic or Ecocert seals.