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Herbal Extracts


Organic Or Not?

Part 1

Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded. -- GOETHE.

Natural and organic cosmetics abound everywhere: they seem to flourish in health food stores, spas and even grocery stores. If you are into organic food, you know how good a natural and organic way of life is for you and your family. It's safer for your health by keeping chemical and other toxic hazards away from you. However, there is no regulation in the US for "natural and organic" personal care products. You will find here how cosmetic companies trick you and still put cancerogenous and hormone-disrupting ingredients in their 90% organic personal care products. Protect yourself: learn how not to be tricked anymore.

Natural or organic personal care products abound in health food stores and spas. Very attractive packaging, very convincing claims about how natural and organic each product is…Altogether, you believe what you see and you go for this "95% organic shampoo" full of herbal extracts and essential oils. Plus you bought it in your preferred Health Food store, so it can only be really natural and organic and good for you. Right?

Sorry to have to disappoint you, but the truth about "organic" and "natural" cosmetic products is that it is NOT. If you prefer to see the world through pink-colored glasses, then read no further. For those of you who are interested in knowing more, here is the deal: a lot of products you buy in health food stores are no better than pharmacies' or grocery stores' cosmetics. Sad! But this is how it is. It's time to take off these nice pink-colored glasses and face reality! Luckily, more and more people are aware of the tricks big cosmetic companies use to make you buy their products. By knowing these tricks, you can become much more knowledgeable about what to avoid when you need to buy a shampoo, an anti-aging cream or a toothpaste. Being more selective about what you want and buy will push cosmetic companies toward a safer and more truthful and ethical Organic Cosmetic market.

In most cases the "organic" or "natural" claim that you will find on shampoos, skin care and cosmetics is based on the presence in the product of floral waters or essential oils. But there is no regulation in the USA controlling the use of "organic" or "natural" in labeling of personal care products. The door is wide open for all kind of abuses and false claims. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is still working a program for organic certification of cosmetic products. For now, most cosmetic brands take advantage of the lack of regulation and label their product "organic" or "natural". So when you buy a "90%" organic cosmetics" product it really means nothing. A big well-known natural cosmetic company (we won't give you its name because we think they really embarrassed themselves and showed their real intention: abusing and fooling their consumers) even tried to include water in their products in their "90% organic" claim. I am sure you are aware that the majority of cosmetics and especially shampoos are mostly made of water, then every single shampoo would be at least 70% organic, based on its water! The real danger is that these "pseudo-organic" products can, and in many cases, do contain the same chemical ingredients which you find in personal care products from your local "traditional" pharmacy. Take a look at the labels. It is more than likely that you will find components like Cocamide-DEA and PEG. And if you don't find these you will definitely find all kind of parabens, which are widely used preservatives for foods and cosmetics. They are all cancerogenous elements and the fact that there is organic floral water in your favorite shampoo does not make it any safer than Johnson & Johnson shampoo which you are trying to avoid so hard. So are you paying premium for something real? To further trick customers, some companies list Cocamide-DEA as a natural ingredient because it is derived from coconut oil. While it is true, what they don't tell you is that it can also generate nitrosamines. These chemicals are potent carcinogens which are known to penetrate human skin. It isn't used directly as a cosmetic ingredient, but like dioxane (another cancerogenous chemical), it can be accidentally formed by interaction between specific ingredients during the production of a cosmetic product. This is just one small example!

The top 5 reasons why you want to avoid cosmetics with such toxic chemicals

The concentration of toxic chemicals like cocamide-DEA, PEG or parabens is generally low in the cosmetic product, so you will find them listed in the middle or at the end of the ingredient list (ingredients on the INCI list are given by order of decreasing concentration). So, why should you care about small quantities of chemicals? After all, you rinse your shampoo and you just use your moisturizer once or twice a day. It's not like eating food full of pesticides and meat loaded with antibiotics and hormones three or four times a day.

Here is why you want to avoid chemical cosmetics:

  1. your skin is extremely permeable. This is particularly important for leave-on cosmetic products like hair dyes, facial creams and make-up. One scientific study showed that 13% of the cosmetic preservative butylate hydroxytoluene (BHT) and 49% of the carcinogenic pesticide DTT (found in cosmetic containing lanolin) is absorbed through the skin! It's also for the same exact reason that birth control patches or stop smoking patches, which you stick on your skin, work ...
  2. if you use a small amount of a toxic chemical everyday for your entire life, it's going to accumulate in the tissues and organs of your body. This chemical pollution of your body is called Body Burden. (To learn more about Body Burden, read our article "Why organic?")
  3. Recent scientific studies show that these chemicals are toxic even at very low doses
  4. some of these chemicals may be the culprits of this vast epidemics of infertility. If you don't want to have to go through infertility and IVF clinics to be able to have children, you're better off avoiding chemical personal care
  5. if you are pregnant or if you are breast-feeding, your baby is exposed -through you- to these chemicals which have even worse effects on a young developing organism
The very presence of these toxic ingredients defeats the purpose of including natural or organic components given that they are either toxic or synthesized by toxic chemical reactions. That why some "natural and organic" personal care products are as unhealthy, and potentially dangerous, as mainstream cosmetics.

How can you know if a "natural or organic" product is real or fake?

In the US, you actually CANNOT! Unless you start educating yourself about cosmetic ingredients. But who wants to spend time researching what each ingredient is and what's its impact on people's health? We are all so busy! However, by educating yourself, you actually invest time in your health! And what is more precious than your health? You can have billions of dollars, it won't help you much if you have cancer The alternative is to use products which organic name or label is backed by a standard.

Such label has been created by the European leader of Organic Certification: Ecocert. Accepted and trusted throughout Europe and Canada, Ecocert has created specific labels for organic cosmetics called "Cosmebio". This pioneer initiative helps to prevent what we are now facing in the US. It also stimulates the development of a truly natural and organic cosmetic market.

The Cosmebio program is a far reaching standard concerned with the products as a whole and not just components. It establishes a list of cosmetic ingredients certified organic based on their origin, the physical or chemical transformations they underwent and their safety for our health as well as the environment. It also establishes a list of toxic ingredients prohibited from being used in certified organic product. And finally, they even regulate the way each ingredient is produced, to make sure there is no toxic chemical residue. This label certifies that the product is safe for your health as well as for the environment (which ultimately translated into safety for you!).

Protect yourself and your family: go for certified organic personal care products from Europe.

If you care about your health, your family's and your kids', choose certified organic personal care products. Reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals by carefully choosing what you use on your skin, body and hair. Don't jeopardize your health anymore with fake organic cosmetics, use Ecocert certified organic products from Europe. You can trust Nature Purity because we only sell products we use ourselves and we are expert in researching what is good and what is dangerous in terms of ingredients. We care for our health: we choose true natural and organic personal care.