So it seems like everyone is buzzing about the benefits of organic things these days. I’ll admit, my family is all about organic foods; Trader Joes anyone? But organic makeup seems to just be making its way to your local mall. Toting a heavy price-tag and boasting health benefits, organic makeup seems pretty legit.
But the Katie Couric in me has decided to investigate just how legit this organic makeup is.
First off, let’s make this Organic 101 for a second and define what it means to be organic. Organic products are products that are produced without pesticides or other chemicals. They are also produced in a way that is environmentally friendly, as toxins are not released into the air. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has now made standards that regulate which foods can be deemed organic. Although usually more expensive, organic foods can be better for you, so the same should be true for organic makeup right? Turns out, not so much.
I decided to check out my best friend, Sephora, to see just what organic products they offer. Sephora is stocked with three “organic” brands: Care by Stella McCartney, Juice Beauty and NVEY Eco. Each brand claims to be pure, luxurious, and certified organic. Looking through their products they look pretty great: Care is big on moisturizing skincare and NVEY has some really pretty eyeshadow kits.
Too bad that upon further research the term organic kinda seems like a hoax…
According to OrganicConsumers.org (yeah it’s a .org so I trust it) it turns out there are no standards for organic beauty products! The Organic Consumers Association is doing its best to alert buyers that “certified” labels are not actually set to a specific government standard unless they actually say “USDA Certified.” Unless these products are certified with that specific label, they often still contain the same chemicals as their non-Organic counterparts. Oftentimes the carcinogenic chemical 1,4-Dioxide is still put in makeup products falsely labeled as organic. These products claim to be certified but they are often certified by lax regulations.
Unfortunately, none of the makeup brands on Sephora are USDA certified and thus are not recommended by the Organic Consumer Association. (Shame on you Stella McCartney!)
I guess the bottom line is: if you’re gonna buy organic makeup be aware that many make false claims and are often equivalent to regular or natural makeup lines. Stay in the know and save your dough!