Organic Skin Care

In the age of gluten free dog food and famine food-organic skincare products seem rather tame. Whatever your views on the latest trends, the question still remains, does it have merit?

What is organic?

Organic, most often used to denote organic farming or organic foods, refers to a form of agriculture that relies on biodiversity and sustainable cycles of crop rotation composting and biological pest control. The term organic has become politicized in recent years as the market has increased rapidly since the 1990s, as many became divided on whether organic was in fact, healthier, or tasted better for their extra cost.

Definitions

Unfortunately, regulatory definitions matter-when it comes to organic, because they define what people can put on their labels. In Canada, labelling regulations for cosmetic products fall under the purview of Health Canada, but they do not have guidelines at this time about the terms "organic" or "natural" for personal care products at this time. This means that manufacturers and advertisers are free to use this label using their own interpretation of the term.

Natural vs. Synthetic Ingredients

Similar to foods, in cosmetics, natural is not synonymous with safer or better. It is not worse either, but each ingredient must be evaluated on its own merit. As an example, peppermint, lemon, lime, and lavender are all natural, but can cause irritation, sun sensitivity, or allergic reactions, and are generally considered undesirable.

Does it mean that organic products are bad?

No, there are likely to be many quality organic products as there are to be with traditional products. Organic products should be evaluated on its own merit just as any other cosmetic product should be. It's important to understand that in the context of cosmetics, however, the term organic is a marketing term rather than a safety or regulatory term.

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