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Deciphering Organic, Part 1

By: Leslie Lyon and Marilyn Patterson
Posted: January 29, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Processing. Many of the guidelines deal with harmful impurities that could be present during processing. A botanical oil that has been extracted with a petroleum solvent, such as hexane, is not allowed because some hexane could remain in the oil, while the same botanical oil that is cold-pressed is allowed. An example would be extra virgin olive oil, which is always cold-pressed, as opposed to a cheaper grade of olive oil that would probably have been solvent extracted. Many ingredients that start out with plant material are still not allowed because the process that they undergo creates toxic or carcinogenic side products, or the ingredient that it is reacted with is toxic or carcinogenic and will remain as a contaminant in the ingredient. North American governments do regulate the amount of toxic or carcinogenic impurities that are allowed to remain in an ingredient.

Meet your clients’ needs

For spa professionals to offer their clients the natural, organic or green cosmetic products that are being demanded, they must ensure that the these products have undergone a thorough evaluation in order to be certain that they will truly meet the needs of their clients. If there is a valid certification logo, the rest of the promotion and advertising budget can be devoted to a product’s unique features. In the very near future, you may need to explain to your clients why one product line without certification is better than one with certification, and your credibility will depend upon this. More information about how to determine this will be provided in Part 2 of this article, which will be published in the March 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

To learn more about the difference between organic and natural, read the article "Organic and Natural: Caveat Emptor,” which originally ran in the April 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine.