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Are your ‘organic’ beauty products – Real or Fake?

By Grace Culhaci, Director Pure & Green Organics

Do you often wonder if the natural and organic claims beauty products make are real? Or do you wonder what these claims actually mean? If you feel confused or misled by all the organic hype then keep reading as we help you identify if it’s bona fide organic or just a fake.

Beauty products can shout their green claims from the rooftops but unless they have an organic certifiers logo on the front of their packs don’t listen! In the street if we need help we don’t just walk up to anyone wearing a t-shirt that says ‘I’m a policeman’, instead we look for someone wearing an official police badge. The same rule applies to organic beauty products – if you want real organic look out for the certifier’s logo.

This is so important because like t-shirts beauty brands can say whatever they like. Just one stroll past the beauty counter and we are pounded with a flood of natural and organic claims -   organic, certified organic; certified natural; 100% natural; made with organic ingredients; made with organic botanicals and no harmful chemicals.

But in reality what most of us don’t’ know is that the word ‘organic’ is used loosely. It’s designed to give the ‘impression’ that a product is certified organic but usually there is very little if anything natural or organic about it.

Like the different rankings within the police force there are many standards of organic certifications. In the police force the lowest level is the constable, then the sergeant and at the top is the commissioner.

With organic certification a similar hierarchy applies. At the lowest level of organic certification is the EcoCert logo from France, which will certify a product that can have as little as 10 percent organic ingredients and allows the use of synthetic ingredients. It’s like the ‘constable’ of organic certification.

At the sergent level are the ‘made with organic ingredients’ claims, this means that at least 70 percent of ingredients are certified organic. Although the certifiers logo cannot be displayed on the front of the products, the logo can only be displayed on the back.

If you want a beauty product that has the ultimate high-ranking status of a ‘commissioner’, then look out for the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) bud logo, NASAA or Organic Food Chain (OFC) logo.  When you see the ACO bud logo, NASAA or OFC logo it means your beauty products contain 95 percent or higher organic ingredients. No artificial fragrances or petrochemicals are allowed.

Pure & Green Organics is a great example of a genuine ‘organic’ product as it carries the ACO bud logo on the front of all its beauty products so you instantly identify its organic authenticity. The logo means the product has been endorsed by an official third-party certifier.

The bud logo guarantees a minimum of 95 percent ingredients are certified organic. Pure & Green Organics is also the only beauty brand to have all its products in its range including teeth, hair and body certified organic. In the beauty industry it sits at the top of the ‘organic’ hierarchy for certification.

So next time you want to find a product that is truly certified organic remember to look out for the certifiers logo. And if you want the best, look for the ACO, NASAA or OFC logo.  It is not enough for a product to just say ‘organic’ or have the word organic in its title. Due to the fact that there are no regulations to stop companies from using the word organic, the only way to tell if it’s real is to look for a certifier’s logo.

In Australia there are three certification bodies that can certify an organic cosmetic product, these are:

Organic Certifier ‘Certified Organic’ ‘Made with Organic’ Website
Minimum 95% organic ingredients. Remaining 5% must be naturally derived and/or non-toxic. Disallows synthetics.

Each bud logo has its own unique processor number (the one pictured belongs to Pure & Green Organics) and must be displayed on all product labels. You can enter this number into ACO’s website and instantly verify any claims made.

This logo is featured on back of approved products and means ‘made with certified organic ingredients”.

They are required to contain 70% or more organic ingredients with the remaining ingredients natural & compliant with strict requirements.  The organic percentage will appear in the XX part of the example logo.
Minimum 95% organic ingredients. Remaining 5% must be of agricultural origin.

While manufacturer’s are issued with a processor number, NASSA does not require it to be displayed on products. To verify organic claims you can  search the product’s name on the NASAA website.

70-95% organic ingredients. If products contains less than 95% organic ingredients then the NASAA logo cannot be used.
If this logo is on the front of the product then it has 95 percent certified organic ingredients.

This certifier does not require the processor number or logo to be displayed. Therefore it makes it very difficult to distinguish its certified organic status.

At least 70% of the ingredients are from organic production.

Any time you see these logos on the front of a product you can be assured it contains a minimum of 95 percent certified organic ingredients with the remainder 5 percent naturally sourced If your organic products have these logos on the back of the product or say ‘made with organics’ then generally only 70 percent of ingredients are certified organic.

If you can’t find a certification logo on a beauty product it’s likely it does not have a high enough percentage of organic ingredients to qualify for certification. Or it contains one or more ingredients that are toxic or harmful and cannot be classified as certified organic.

What’s also important to note is that the word ‘natural’ is used on beauty products and this does not mean organic. Usually products that claim to be chemical free still have ingredients that were grown with herbicides and pesticides. Again if you want something that is free from any chemicals go for organic and only buy products with a certifier’s logo.

So what’s so good about certified organic beauty products anyway? This in itself warrants its own article but the main thing to know is it offers an assurance that no dangerous toxic ingredients are lurking in your beauty products. Certified organic means only the best, most nourishing natural ingredients are used. No harsh detergents, synthetic preservatives or fillers are allowed. Only nature’s healing goodness is enclosed in the bottle.

Because there are so many false claims on the market Pure & Green Organics has made extra efforts to ensure its authenticity. It has the ACO logo on the front of its packaging which means it contains a minimum of 95 percent organic ingredients. The remaining small percentage (maximum 5 percent) of non-organic ingredients is naturally produced or natural with non-toxic preservatives or additives.

As an extra safety guarantee Pure & Green Organics has also become the only beauty brand to have its products endorsed by Planet Ark. This means that all ingredients are completely safe and  the products don’t impact the environment. It confirms that only the highest quality ingredients are used while also offering maximum value for money.

Both the ACO bud logo and our new Planet Ark endorsement show that we have become pioneers in the beauty industry creating one of the world’s most sustainable, truly organic beauty brands.

Further reading/purchase Pure & Green Products

You can find Pure & Green’s wonderful products by visiting this page within the Fishica website and read more about the author of this article and Pure & Green Organics by visiting their website