This week 7th to 13th of May was an Organic Beauty and Wellbeing week. Unfortunately, I stumbled upon this information too late and therefore am only posting about it now, however, I think the point of any such week is to raise awareness and educate people rather than only to make changes that week. So for everybody who might’ve missed this week and it’s message keep reading.
WHY SHOULD WE USE ORGANIC BEAUTY PRODUCT?
What we put on our skin is as important as what we eat; it can nourish our bodies or it can harm it. Skin is the biggest organ in our body and absorbs everything we put on it or it gets in touch with and it is why we should be quite considered of what we put on our skin, especially as we use various cosmetics daily. Do you know what is in your cosmetics and how it affects you?
The mainstream cosmetics are often advertised as containing good for us ingredients or have attractive qualities, but what they don’t say is how they achieve these qualities. Many cosmetics products contain harmful chemicals; such as parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, fragrances, not even talking about pesticides used in farming some of the ingredients, that are then absorbed by our skin and end up in our bloodstream or get stuck inside our bodies causing irritation, allergies, cancer and other health problems. According to Soil Association from the 10,000 chemicals commonly used in our cosmetics, only 10% have safety data. Research shows that organic ingredients have higher levels of antioxidants than mainstream cosmetic products that lack the nourishment we require.
When thinking about environmental sustainability organic beauty is better as well. The production of our beauty products that can harm the environment with chemicals flushed in the waterways or in the local environment. However, what harms the environment more is when we wash the product of our skin it flushed into our waterways. Many chemical components used in the mainstream cosmetics doesn’t break in nature but rather accumulates and harms the ecosystem.
The big problem with beauty industry is that it is not regulated. When a company wants to hop along the natural and organic marketing train it can do that without actually proving it to anyone. The only way to make sure something really is organic is if they have independently certified organic certification. That is where few independent organic and natural certification bodies came into play. The few that I know of are Soil Association from the UK and Ecocert from France. To combat the problem with regulations in the beauty industry several European independent beauty certification organisations (Soil Association, Ecocert, ICEA, BDIH and Cosmebio) have come together to create a harmonised standardisation COSMOS which is a European wide cosmetic organic standard. It is owned and managed by a non-for profit international organisation. Since it’s founding in 2017 other certification bodies, including some out of EU, have joined to certify to the harmonised standard.
Each company that wished to have a COSMOS Organic or COSMOS Natural certification must be certified by an independent certification body, meaning one of the certification bodies following COSMOS standard. Each of these companies will be checked on their natural ingredients, no ingredients can be from endangered species, no GMO products and any chemicals must respect the principles of Green Chemistry. In addition, all ingredients should be biodegradable, water usage should comply with hygiene standards and they should report with their water and energy usage, as well as environmental waste management plans. All companies wishing to get the certification need to minimise their packaging and ensure it is environmentally friendly. Soil Association also reviews marketing messages to ensure there is no greenwashing.
This week beauty certification bodies want you to ask what your beauty products are made of for wider awareness of what is in your beauty products. I think it is an excellent campaign, similarly to “who made my clothes” and I encourage everybody to check their cosmetics box and review how many ingredients they can recognise. When I found this campaign I instantly started wondering whether the BIOselect eye cream I got from Crete was really certified organic, as it was a new brand for me, and had to go and check. To my happiness, it is certified by ICEA, which is one of the founding companies of COSMOS. That made me very happy and I liked using the cream even more since then, but more about the cream in another post.
You can find more about the campaign, about organic certifications and about organic beauty on Soil Association website, which I really recommend checking out! Also, check out the COSMOS website.
Do you use organic beauty products? If not are you interested what ingredients are in your beauty products? Let me know in the comment box below.