A definition for organic cosmetics

Well there is a huge debate about what the ‘organic‘ word means and if it is worth or not  investing time and money in products organic certified. Are they really more effective and safer?


I hope that my vision on organic cosmetics will help people to make sense of the meaning behind and perhaps consider trying organic cosmetics as a result.

For me, the word organic is misleading and should be replaced by ‘non-toxic‘. Let me explain you why.

Let’s first look at the most basic definition of ‘organic’. I will focus on the ‘chemistry’ definition from Oxforddictionaries  as I think it is the most appropriate one for cosmetics (http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/organic)


1- relating to or derived from living matter:

organic soils

Chemistry relating to or denoting compounds containing carbon (other than simple binary compounds and salts) and chiefly or ultimately of biological origin. Compare with inorganic.

So in this case, almost every cosmetic product is organic as most of the ingredients are derived from living matter, in one way or another.

Let me give you an example:

Colourants are said to be derived from herbs however their use and effects on your body is questioned by experts. There are hundreds of colorants created in laboratories and used in cosmetics but a large majority of them are still await testing and have not yet their safety approved or even studied.

So from a living matter (herbs), laboratories change them into synthetic and petrochemical colorants.

They are used in your cosmetic products (and many other everyday products, including baby toys… – but that’s another subject) and their effects are not tested… yet.

This is why for me, focusing on certified organic products gives me the reassurance that the ingredients used are non-toxic and therefore safe enough to use.

If all the big brands were using ingredients that are non-toxic and had been tested thoroughly as non-dangerous, I wouldn’t have the need to buy ‘organic’ cosmetics.

Now, are certified organic (or non-toxic) cosmetics less dangerous? My opinion is yes. Using natural ingredients that you find in nature provided a lower risk of it being harmful. Of course, one can still argue that certain non-toxic products can be harmful.  And it is true as well.

For instance, certain essential oils may cause sun sensitivity such as Bergamot, especially when they are not diluted enough or used in tanning lotions or creams in fairly large quantities. They might cause burning and skin damage.

But if you look at the market, you will not find any tanning lotions or creams using sun sensitive essential oils as key ingredients. However if you create your own beauty products, you should be aware of it and not use them.

For me, it is a matter of staying informed and knowing what works or not for you. Knowing what is in your cosmetic products are for me as important as knowing what you put in your mouth. And organic cosmetic products allow me to achieve this.

I would love to know what other people think about organic vs non-organic cosmetics. Leave a comment below!

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