Why should I buy organic skincare products?
Many high street cosmetics products have a long list of ingredients, most of which you can't even pronounce. These are all the chemicals which are included in the products many of which are artificial fragrances, preservatives, additives and colourants. Many of these chemicals can be harsh on the skin, making conditions like eczema and psoriasis worse, and there is also evidence that some of these chemicals are carcinogenic to lab animals and have caused hormone imbalances as well. This does not mean that they are harmful to us in the quantities contained in cosmetics products, but many people prefer to avoid them for these reasons.
Natural and organic skincare products on the other hand tend to avoid these chemicals and instead use more natural ingredients, such as plant and seed extracts. In many cases the benefits of these natural ingredients are superior to their chemical alternatives as well.
What does "natural" and "organic" mean?
A product can call itself "natural" if it contains at least some naturally derived ingredients. However the amount they must contain to call themselves "natural" is not controlled, so some products claiming to be "natural" or "botanical" actually contain minimal amounts of natural ingredients.
"Organic" is a term used to describe how these natural ingredients are grown. Organic farming avoids the use of chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, many of which are damaging to the environment, and can be absorbed into the plants as well thereby entering the food chain. "Organic" skincare products contain ingredients that are grown organically, but again there is little regulation on the minimum quantities needed for something to be able to call itself "organic".
Why certification is important
In order to help consumers make informed decisions about what products they are buying, a number of organic certification bodies have grown up around the world. They have different criteria about what a product must be to meet their particular standard, but they all have a common goal - making sure that only those products which contain significant amounts of natural organic ingredients can carry their certification. Many of the products we sell are certified by one or more of these certification bodies. Each certification body has its own symbol, which will be shown on the product's page. To help you understand what these certifications and symbols mean, here is a list of the main bodies.
The Soil Association is a British certification body which has strict criteria about what products can carry their logo. This covers not only the ingredients they contain, but they must also "meet environmental standards for packaging and manufacturing, and use approved 'green chemistry' processes when modifying ingredients". The Soil Association, along with four other European bodies, have developed the Cosmetics Organic Standard, or Cosmos-standard, to harmonise organic standards. To be given this certification 95% of a product’s agro-ingredients and 20% of the entire product must be organic. If an ingredient is available organically, it must be used.
Ecocert has been certifying products for over 20 years and has grown to become one of the leading organic certification bodies worldwide. It is another member of the Cosmos-standard, so products have to meet the same strict selection criteria.
BDIH is a German certification body which certifies cosmetics products across Europe. It is well established and follows strict guidelines around ingredients and manufacturing processes. It is also a member of the Cosmos-standard.
The Vegan Society is not an organic certification body, but has its' own criteria for certifying which products are suitable for Vegans. Products which meet their criteria can display the Vegan Society Trademark.
100% Organic and 100% Natural
Some products contain only natural or organic products and can therefore call themselves 100% Organic and/or 100% Natural. These products are shown in the links below.
Country of Origin
All of the products we stock have a country of origin flag which shows you where they come from.