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The Lure of Organic Ingredients

By: Abby Penning
Posted: March 28, 2013, from the April 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Professional skin care is moving into more functional products with super fruits and natural ingredients.

Professional skin care is moving into more functional products with super fruits and natural ingredients.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of GCI magazine ( and is being reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

In the development of beauty products today, the inclusion of organic ingredients is an option that more and more brand owners are considering. With the natural trend on a continuing climb and more clients seeking out products that aren’t genuinely natural, the relatively more regulated organic industry has drawn a lot of attention and interest. However, there are a variety of considerations when it comes to an organic beauty product—it isn’t as easy as just affixing a certification logo or adding “organic” to the name and calling it a day.

The challenge

“When it comes to ingredients, the standard set forth by the U.S. government—and this is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)—has sort of taken this under its wing,” says David Fondots, vice president, sales and marketing, Extracts & Ingredients, Ltd. “Some years ago, the USDA established what is called the National Organic Program (NOP). Its purpose is to ensure the integrity of proclaimed organic products in the United States and also globally.”

However, the USDA Organic certification is sometimes seen as problematic for beauty brands and ingredients. “At the end of the day, when it comes to organic, you are going to find the organic law itself, the NOP, was originally written as a food standard. So the majority of allowable nonorganic ingredients are noncosmetic,” comments Sundeep Gill, vice president, R&D, Sun Deep Cosmetics, Inc. “Very little has to do with cosmetics/personal care. It is actually engineered mostly for food, so many, many things you find on there are meant for baking or for agriculture, and they really have nothing to do with what we do here in personal care. We must search for similar technologies used in the organic food industry to give us the desired stability and usability that we demand in the personal care market.”