What to Watch for in Uncertified Organic Beauty Products

You spot an ‘organic’ beauty product at the store. It smells great. The ingredients seem organic. The price is perfect. But you can’t find a certification logo on this organic beauty product. So how can you tell if this organic beauty buy is really organic? To spot greenwashing (packaging or marketing that insists those products are organic when they aren’t) on labels, here is a list of ingredients that uncertified organic beauty products shouldn’t have, according to certification bodies.

Phthalates or Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
What it does? It helps nail varnishes from becoming brittle and fragrances to last longer.
Possible side effects: they are known as ‘hormone disruptors’ because they mimic oestrogen so they can cause endocrine-related health problems and more.
This ingredient is typically found in beauty products, such as: nail varnishes, falsely labelled organic beauty products, such as fragrances, and more.

Anything ending in –Paraben or Parabens
What it does? It’s a preservative.
Possible side effects: Because of this oestrogen mimic’s cancer-causing potential, certified organic beauty products avoid them. However, studies have yet to find a strong link between parabens and cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.
This ingredient is typically found in beauty products, such as: deodorants (though most of the ones sold now don’t use parabens anymore but check the label); shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial cleansers and more.

PEGs (Polyethylene glycols)
What it does?
PEGs are petroleum-based water-soluble liquids or waxy solids that are commonly used to thicken cosmetics and more.
Possible side effects: PEGs are normally found with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are carcinogenic.
This ingredient is typically found in beauty products, such as: creams, cleansers and more

For other ingredients you shouldn’t find in uncertified organic beauty products, check out the Natrue’s and the Soil Association’s list.

And remember, the possible side effects are just that: possible. Research is constantly being done and may give a more definite answer to the side effects of some ingredients, such as parabens and PEGs. So when it comes to organic beauty products and their ingredients, it’s about what is considered organic and how safe ingredients are to use with the knowledge we have now.

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Christina, editor of Evolving Beauty

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