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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.

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To address this challenge, other certification bodies have stepped up to develop their own organic standards. “There is actually an alphabet soup of standards out there, some claiming natural, some things like ‘made with organics,’ some doing things like biodynamic certification,” notes Gill. And one of the largest of these certifiers is NSF International. “NSF is a certifying body, and it decided to put a standard together that says if you hit this calculation of 70% organic ingredients in your product and your nonorganic ingredients adhere to this very short list of what you can and can’t use in terms of how this ingredient is made, then you can go ahead and carry—not the USDA Organic seal—but the NSF seal of ‘made with certified organic ingredients,’ ” Gill explains.

Additional certification bodies, such as Oregon Tilth, and European options, such as Ecocert/Cosmos, also exist, each with their own rules about organic certification. But currently, the most recognized organic certification continues to be the USDA Organic option.

Skin care and organic

Some areas of the beauty realm seem to be more accommodating of organic claims and offerings. Fondots explains, “The skin care area has been more accepting of organic ingredients. It seems to predominate, and that’s logical because the point of organic is to avoid synthetic contaminants and toxins, so certainly skin care products are the obvious target area. All the beauty segments do certainly have an interest, but skin care seems to be leading the pack right now.”

Further explaining skin care’s tendency to lean more toward organic options, Patrick Anderson, Western regional sales manager, Terry Labs, comments: “Skin care [brands] seem to be more involved in organic ingredients due to the outcry for safer and less risky ingredients. This may be a natural evolution of [these brands] changing marketing approaches. The industry seems to be moving into more functional products with super fruits and natural ingredients that occur in nature, and the whole approach to feed your skin with natural ingredients makes for a natural move toward organic ingredients grown in nature.”

Pluses and minuses