Organic ingredient question

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the.fee.fairy
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Organic ingredient question

Post: #200749 the.fee.fairy
Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:01 am

How does something get classified as organic? Especially in cosmetics - what is the standard? Does anyone know?

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Re: Organic ingredient question

Post: #200755 Green Aura
Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:31 am

Unfortunately there's no uniformity in organic registration. Each country/ region etc can set up their own so it can mean as much (or as little) as they want - some places accept more chemicals as acceptable and others fewer. The gold standard (at least used to be) our Soil Association.

I found this http://www.whyorganic.org/web/sa/saweb.nsf/a71fa2b6e2b6d3e980256a6c004542b4/09c73a034b80306580257149004cb42f?OpenDocument
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Re: Organic ingredient question

Post: #200797 citizentwiglet
Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:16 pm

It's surprising, isn't it - I was amazed to learn that weedkillers such as Roundup are classed as organic in some countries, and 'accepted' as organic by SAGS (not that you'd want to be putting it on your face.....).

I must say, I know nothing about organic cosmetics; I have a tough enough time trying to get pocket-friendly products that are BUAV approved and don't contain parabens, particularly bath stuff for the kids.
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Re: Organic ingredient question

Post: #200908 the.fee.fairy
Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:35 am

Ta very muchly.
I was reading the book 'Not Just A Pretty Face' (i think...) and i have an organic skincare recipes book, but there's some strange ingredients suggested sometimes.

I also get confused even with some of the fresh recipes, like the ones using yoghurt and fruit. If the yoghurt or fruit is not organic, then does that mean that the recipe isn't.

Its the same with companies like Lush and MMU. They make claims that they are as organic as possible, but then there are some chemical names used. If the ingredients are all latin names, for plants and oils etc, then are we to assume that the product is more organic than one using chemical names?

And...how does an oil, for example, become organic? What's the difference between an organic lavender oil and a non-organic one?

Lastly: What is the definition organic? The more i think about it, the more it makes my head spin! Like Zinc Oxide - its a naturally occuring mineral. I've seen the term organic used to mean that it will biodegrade, or that its grown/got without chemicals, but the something like zinc oxide is classed as a chemical.

I was doing somed research for an article that's supposed to be 250 words...i don't think i can write it!

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Re: Organic ingredient question

Post: #200915 Green Aura
Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:00 am

Course you can.

OK, where to start - the word "organic" can mean all sorts of different things - to a chemist it means anything based on hydrocarbons, to a farmer it means not using manufactured products such as fertilisers or pesticides etc.

In cosmetics (or in fact in anything labelled "organic" - in the farmers sense) some small amounts of certain stabilisers, preservatives etc which are not organic (don't know what the percentage is but the Soil Assoc website will tell you) can be included without affecting its organic status.

Labelling is pretty much internationally agreed, the US have some differences but most stick to INCI - so, for example, Lavender should be labelled Lavandula angustifoliain italics to show it's plant-based. Unfortunately they now also insist that any potential allergens are listed, so in Lavender that would be geranial, limonene and linalol (but it only needs to be included above a certain percentage.

Also some ingredients in cosmetics can be plant or lab-derived and I'm afraid there is no legislation to insist manufacturers state which. both would just be listed by the same INCI name.

Organic Lavender is the essential oil derived from plants grown under organically-certified conditions - but as I said previously that may differ quite widely depending on its source country.

Now go write your essay (or have I just done it :lol: )
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Re: Organic ingredient question

Post: #200981 the.fee.fairy
Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:54 pm

You have most definitely helped! I think i need to do a lot more research first...

Thank you so much!


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