First of all, you need to know that the words «natural» and «organic» in the case of cosmetics are not exactly synonymous. Natural has the right to be called any cosmetics, which includes natural, not synthetic ingredients, nothing more. While organic cosmetics are so called not just because natural ingredients were used in its creation. All stages of the production of such cosmetics should be natural: from planting plant seeds to harvesting and their final processing. It is rightly believed that this is the only way to avoid getting potentially dangerous substances and carcinogens into cosmetics as much as possible.
Raw materials for the production of organic cosmetics should be grown from seeds that have not been genetically modified. The soil on which raw materials are grown is fertilized only with the help of organic fertilizers – compost and manure. Weeds are weeded by hand, and pests are destroyed by predatory insects and birds. Diseased plants are treated only with herbal preparations. And when processing carefully grown raw materials, it is forbidden to use any chemical preservatives, synthetic stabilizers, dyes, flavors, substances obtained by gene modifications. Raw materials for the production of organic cosmetics, if necessary, are processed with the help of natural preservatives: essential and vegetable oils, acids, salt and sugar. Both dyes and flavors must also be natural. The same is true for stabilizers, which in organic cosmetics are pectins derived from fruits, guar gum, agar-agar and others. And, most importantly, all the ingredients of eco-cosmetics must have the appropriate eco-certificates.
There are several world certification systems for organic cosmetics, of which ICEA AIAB (Italy), BDIH (Germany) and one of the strictest standards is BIO ECOCERT (France). The French standard was adopted in 2002.
Organic cosmetics and personal care products marked with the BIO sign contain:
— at least 95% natural ingredients from all ingredients (including water);
— at least 10% organic ingredients from all ingredients (including water);
— at least 95% organic ingredients from all plant ingredients.
It is noteworthy that, according to the standards, water is not subject to certification. Seaweed and sea salt are not considered organic ingredients, even if they are natural.
One of the main questions that skeptics ask: are there really ecologically clean areas in the world where you can grow components for organic cosmetics? Imagine, yes. There are still enough such places in Greece, where plants are grown for cosmetics of a number of European eco-brands.
What are the external distinguishing features of real organic cosmetics?
White or colorless makeup, as there are no dyes.
Pharmacy or herbal smell, while not always pleasant. The exception is fruit and floral scents, if there are essential oils in the composition.
Cleansers, such as soap, shampoo, etc., almost do not foam, since they do not contain foaming chemicals.
Liquid products can be delaminated, since chemical thickeners and emulsifiers are not used in their compositions (to return the product to its original properties, the bottle will have to be thoroughly shaken before each use).
The label of organic cosmetics always contains a complete list of components, and a certificate is indicated.
Short shelf life. This is due to the fact that organic cosmetics do not contain artificial preservatives.