Distinguishing Between Real and Impostor 'Organic' Skincare

Distinguishing Between Real and Impostor 'Organic' Skincare

A few years ago, finding organic food and skincare products used to be a nightmare. However, these days there's a natural version of almost any product you can imagine.

Why is this so? Consumers are increasingly more concerned about their health, environment, food, hair and skin. They want to make the best choices for their family and themselves.  They are more selective and looking for skincare that reflects the same values and choices. However, there is a downside to this new shift. A good number of products with 'organic' on the label are impostors.

HOW DOES THIS EVEN HAPPEN?

Unfortunately, U.S. cosmetics law allows companies to label their product "natural" even when it contains less than 1% natural ingredients.  The same problem exists for labeling "organic".  Claiming a product is "natural" or "organic" when, in fact, it contains a great deal of synthetic chemicals is called "greenwashing".   

Consumers suffer because they are not getting what they paid for; it's even worse when they spend a lot more than the products are worth!

In late 2011, the Center for Environmental Health sued over 20 cosmetics companies for using false organic labeling. The lawsuit claimed that many popular brands offered "organic" products that contained negligible amounts of organic ingredients alongside several conventional components. Some of them didn't contain any organic ingredients at all.

In California, the law states that any personal care product labeled as organic must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. However, CEH's research confirmed that some of the biggest "organic" brands didn't meet that standard!

To overcome this challenge and and ensure you only get the best skincare products, you need to pay close attention to skincare labels and know how to read the signs of greenwashing. 

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How to tell real from fake organic products

1) IDEALLY, YOU WANT SKINCARE THAT IS BOTH NATURAL AND ORGANIC

Here's what those terms mean in the skincare business:

Natural SkincareIs made using plant-based ingredients (sometimes called botanicals).  Genuinely natural skincare should not contain any synthetic chemical ingredients.

Organic SkincareIs also made using plant-based Ingredients. It is different because it has entirely green production. This higher standard includes avoiding exposure of ingredients to chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. It also restricts production to using organic ingredients and production must use organic methods (such as hand crafting, small batches, and low heat) to ensure ingredient integrity.  

2) MAKE SURE THE ORGANIC INGREDIENTS RANK HIGH ON THE LABEL

The law requires that ingredients in personal care products should appear on the ingredient list in order of concentration. Scanning the list shows you how organic a product is. If the organic ingredients are near the end of the list, they don't make up much of the product.

3)  Look For An Organic Certification Stamp or USDA Organic Labeling

To avoid falling into the trap of fake 'organic' products, check for a certification stamp on the label. Such certifications give you peace of mind that you're using genuinely organic skincare.

4) Beware Of Harmful Ingredients

Remember, the presence of organic ingredients in a product doesn't mean it doesn't contain harmful ones. Pay closer attention to products that claim to be "natural", "all-natural", or "organic".

The definition of these terms is flexible and unverified; thus, they could mean anything. 

You're better off trusting companies like Sole Toscana that acknowledge the widespread inconsistencies in the skincare industry.  We've made it our mission to provide healthy, well-researched, and genuinely organic products.

With love,

​The Sole Toscana Beauty Team