TKE/NATURAL & ORGANIC page 1
What Does Natural and Organic Mean On Product Labels?
Nowhere does the idea of “natural” or “organic” take a more gratuitous bruising than in the skin care industry.
If we look at the term “natural” we would probably define it as “existing in, or formed by nature; not artificial”. Many labels have long lists of chemical names, some followed by the phrase “derived from …” (some natural substance). This is misleading for consumers.
When chemicals such as Cocamide DEA or Sodium Hydroxysultaine are followed by the words “derived from coconut oil” the consumer is led to believe that these synthetic chemicals must be natural. While this may be true in some cases, it is ultimately irrelevant because what you end up with after the chemical processing is usually anything but natural or pure.
To create Cocamide DEA, a foaming agent found in some shampoos, requires the addition of a synthetic chemical known carcinogen, Diethanolamine – DEA, to the coconut oil. It is therefore no longer natural, or safe!
If we look at the term “organic” on a label, we ususally think it means “grown and cultivated without the use of chemicals”. That is the conclusion most skin care companies would like us to come to.
Some companies are cynically using the chemistry definition of “organic” – meaning a compound that contains a carbon atom. Carbon is found in anything that has ever lived. By using this definition of organic, they are saying that a toxic petrochemical preservative called Methyl Paraben is “organic” because it was formed from rotten leaves that rotted over thousands of years to become crude oil, which was then used to make this preservative.
An increasing number of companies are now claiming to use “organic” herbs in their products. But, what about the rest of the ingredients? Are they safe? Isn’t there an authority that governs the use of the term “organic” on labels? The simple answer is NO.
However there are a number of international bodies that do maintain a strict standard of requirements to adorn the right to display their affirmation of authentication of true “Certified Organic”. Searching for products with the logo of a certifying body on the label is the only way you can guarantee the organic authenticity and integrity of every ingredient in the product. Without this, the organic claim means nothing, as it cannot be verified.