What is Organic Beauty?

Skincare is a confusing space with the term organic being thrown left right and centre. Organic Beauty is generally defined as products that contain organically grown ingredients free from pesticides. However, multiple things make organic skincare truly ‘organic’:

  • No GM (genetically modified) ingredients 
  • No controversial chemicals  
  • No parabens or phthalates 
  • No synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances 
  • No nanoparticles 
  • Certified sustainable palm oil ingredients 
  • Recycled and recyclable packaging where possible; and
  • no animal testing has been done in the making of the product.

Are all organic beauty products the same? 

The term ‘organic’ is unregulated in skincare and beauty products in Australia. As with food, the only way to know if the product is truly organic is to look for a certification logo. A product may have certified organic ingredients, but not have a formula fully approved to the organic standards. 

How can you tell the difference?

The ingredients are listed in order of concentration. If you don’t understand what the first few ingredients are then chances are they aren’t going to be natural or organic. Several controversial chemicals can be found in non-organic beauty products.

Organic Standards follow a ‘precautionary principle’, which means when there is scientific evidence an ingredient or process might pose an environmental or health risk, they are not allowed. In many cases, natural alternatives are available however may be more expensive. But how much is your health worth? Arguably a small price to pay.

What is the difference between natural and organic? 

The main difference between natural and organic is how the base plant material has been grown. You can still have a natural lavender oil that has been extracted from lavender sprayed with conventional pesticides and herbicides. However, when you buy the certified organic counterpart, you can rest assured that the lavender has been grown without synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, and GMOs. 

What’s the fuss about palm oil? 

Palm oil is an interesting crop. Per hectare, it is the highest yielding oil crop far outcompeting soy, rapeseed, and palm oil. It is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. It can only be grown within 10 degrees of the equator in tropical regions. It receives a bad rep as it has been linked to extensive rainforest clearing to make way for mass plantations and the connected wildlife and forest destruction. 

Palm oil derivatives are used extensively in cosmetics products. There are over 200 different terms they can be referred to in the ingredients as anything from C19, Caprylyl glycol, cetearyl alcohol, cocoa oil, emulsifiers 422-495, fatty acids, glycerine, sodium laureth suphate (SLS), and more!

Within organic beauty products, all palm oil derivatives must be organically or sustainably produced and sourced. Just another reason to buy certified organic!

Want to learn more?

Check out these other articles:

Image credits – Shutterstock.

Other What is Organic? you may like...

Many don’t know about the origins of the luxurious treat chocolate. To understand where chocolate comes from, we need to travel to the Equator.
Winemaking is the process in which wine grapes are turned into wine. But not all wine is made equal. Organic wine is made with organic grapes. Organic grape-growing and winemaking does not involve the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilisers.
anic textiles are grown without toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and genetic modification. Lots of different fibres can be organic, such as hemp, flax (linen), jute, silk and wool. However, organic cotton is one of the most commonly used materials in fashion and textiles.
When you buy organic animal feed, you choose to provide safe, nutritious food to your animals. Organic animal feed is grown with no added synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
We speak to Australian Organic Limited CEO, Niki Ford, to learn more about the newly appointed Organics Industry Advisory Group and what it means for Australia.
As part of organic standards in Australia, certified organic livestock must be free to range – but what exactly does this mean?
Learn more about the organic standards that are used to certify organic brands and businesses and the certification process in Australia.
When you choose certified organic, you’re making a better choice for your health, the environment and supporting those working behind the scenes.
Do you know that in Australia there is a difference between 'Certified Organic' and simply 'Organic'? Learn more about what certified organic means including the benefits to humans, animals and the environment.
Want to start living organically but not sure where to begin? Here's a few tips and easy ways you can start living a more organic lifestyle today!