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Liz Thompson
Liz Thompson

Organic Cosmetics Not as Safe as They Claim (and Other Half Truths)

Creative Commons License Photo credit: jaja_1985

Organic cosmetics have their tried and true followers and their naysayers. Critics claim that because some organic cosmetics manufacturers are dishonest about the greenness of their products buying organic cosmetics may not be worth it.  But let’s put things into proper perspective.  One bad apple does not necessarily spoil the whole bunch. 

One such critic recently called organic cosmetics a hoax and went on to say, “Although usually more expensive, organic foods can be better for you, so the same should be true for organic makeup right? Turns out, not so much.â€

Not all organic cosmetics are created equally.  This is a fact, as it is with many other consumables, like dairy products, meats and household cleaners.  But does this mean we should lump all of these items in one basket and sum them up as worthless?  Not by a long shot.

With organic cosmetics, like most things, you will have the quality, safe and truthful brands and the greenwashed versions that contain toxins along with their organic ingredients.  The reason for the phony advertising is simple…cheaper production and longer shelf life.  Bigger profits.

So, yes, it is sad that many cosmetics manufacturers are dishonest about the safety of their products.  But choosing not to buy organic cosmetics because some companies are making false claims is the equivalent of not buying organic milk because a couple of “organic†milk producers are not adhering to organic certification standards.  And cosmetics products that carry the USDA organic label are certified using the same criteria as for organic food.  As Terri Bly of The Nature of Beauty put it “cosmetics are not fruit - you have more choices than organic and commercial. With cosmetics, there are synthetic ingredients, natural ingredients, and organic ingredients. You might think of it as having a choice between organically grown grapes, conventionally grown grapes, and plastic grapesâ€.

The term “organic cosmetics†has come to imply safe and pure.  Organic ingredients are grown and produced without the use of toxins and are safer and purer than their conventionally grown counter parts.  But this does not hold any real value if the product they are in also contains harmful synthetic ingredients.  Much like fresh organically grown lettuce is no longer a healthy salad when doused in chemically preserved salad dressing.

As of yet, the US government has very flimsy standards regarding the regulation of safety in cosmetics, so it is up to us as consumers to protect ourselves.  The bottom line is really that you need to know which ingredients are harmful and read your labels.

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I believe that the organic beauty industry should be governed better than what it is now. If strict policies are enforced the "greenwashed" products would disappear and consumers would be able to buy these products without any concerns.

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DECN (Hangzhou) Trade Co., Ltd. is a group of cosmetic company in China and wholesale import organic cosmetics from Europe and sale to our local market., has always advocated a life concept of “Beauty from Organics â€, upheld the corporate spirits of “integrity, pragmatism, innovation and responsibilityâ€, stuck to the principle of “fair trading†and been committed to bringing the European top organic cosmetics into China.

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