Thursday, January 26, 2012

Green Beauty Product Labels

If you are planning on going green with your makeup, then these are the trustworthy labels you want to see on beauty products:
  • USDA Organic certified
  • Paraben/Phthalates/PCB-free
  • BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics
  • Whole Foods Premium Body Care Seal
  • Biodynamic
  • IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standard
USDA Organic certified is the most trustworthy, especially on foods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also regulates food ingredients found in cosmetics. Plant-derived ingredients and essential oils are not regulated and ingredients like honey, avocado, cinnamon and other foods are regulated. The USDA only has jurisdiction over farm-raised ingredients, meaning, not all beauty product ingredients are regulated under this program.

The term "organic," as it appears on beauty labels, has four variations.
  1. 100% Organic: The product must contain only organically produced food ingredients, and the label will display the USDA Organic seal.
  2. Organic: The product must contain at least 95% organically produced food ingredients, and the label will display the USDA Organic seal.
  3. Made with Organic Ingredients: The product must contain at least 70% organically produced food ingredients. While the front of the product can list up to three organic ingredients or one organic food group, the label will not have the USDA Organic seal. Individual ingredients on a product's ingredient list will be labeled as "organic".
  4. Organic Ingredients: Products which contain less than 70% organically produced food ingredients can only include organic ingredients on its ingredients list, but these products cannot display the USDA Organic seal.
Paraben/Phthalates/PCB-free means there are no traces of these harsh chemicals. Parabens are especially found in shampoos. Phthalates are used to soften plastics. PCB refers to the plastic used in a bottle. These three have been linked to cancer.

BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics is an independent German certification association (Association of German Industries and Trading Firm) that regulates health care products, food supplements and personal hygiene products, including cosmetics.

To gain BDIH certification, brands must use natural (not synthetic) raw materials such as: plant oils, herbal extracts, essential oils, fats and waxes. The ecological impact of each product also plays an important role in certification. More than 2,000 natural cosmetics are certified BDIH in Europe and North America.

Whole Foods Premium Body Care Seal Whole Foods regulates their own self-certification of cosmetic products that contain safe, gentle ingredients and are free from synthetic dyes and fragrances and harsh chemicals. Sunscreen is made with chemical-free alternatives zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Look for the premium Body Care seal in the Whole Body section of your local Whole Foods store.

Biodynamic is holistic in its approach to farming and food production. No artificial fertilizers or pesticides are used. Instead, farmers seek to achieve a natural harmony with the earth through an acute awareness of how weather and climate patterns and elements of nature (like the sun, earth, and air) work together to create a harmonious balance.

IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standard requires that all food ingredients be organic and that the company follow a strict set of eco-friendly guidelines, including use of recycled and fair trade materials and production methods with small environmental impact. The first IOS Natural & Organic certified company, Eaurganic, launched in 2008.

Source: The Daily Green


Anonymous said...

Wow great post! Do you know of any brands that meet all these certifications...or at least most of them?

Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ashley

Great Blog, and thanks for your passion.

I just got off the phone with a USDA certifier and well they are still in the grey area for actual jurisdiction over body care products.

Anyhow - can you clarify anymore on the usage of Organic in a say a business name... i.e. XYZ Organics. But they do not use the or have the USDA seal. But do have organic agri. ingredients.... - this is all so confusing.

Jessie Henn said...

Green product labels also mean that the product or foods are organic, or 100% free of chemicals. A non-toxic, eco-friendly, biodegradable label doesn’t necessarily mean that it is safe to use. It is still your sole responsibility, as a buyer, to check the ingredients and the company’s profile to ensure the health of your family.