Every day it seems like we are increasingly reading, hearing or watching reports about the harmful effects of toxic chemicals in conventional cosmetics. The influx of studies linking toxic chemicals to a wide array of neurological and/or life threatening diseases has encouraged more and more people to seek organic alternatives that deliver the same expected results without the high risk.
Unfortunately this growing awareness of organic and toxin-free lifestyle has encouraged many corporate giants to falsely promote products by simply incorporating organic labeling to boost their sales. The coercion of health conscious consumers to make purchases of products from “trusted brands” which they believe to be reputable is perhaps the lowest form of capitalistic trickery.
When visiting your favorite Sephora or local drugstore, you’ll no doubt encounter a plethora of personal care products boasting claims of all natural and 100% organic. But what separates one from the others? Below we discuss the key elements of truly organic vs. labeled organic, how to spot the difference, and where to purchase with confidence.
- Where was it Made?
On the back and at the very bottom of nearly every product or package you’ll find a phrase that reads: “Made in (This Town and Country) and / or “Distributed by (So and So). But did you know that a good portion of small brands are actually owned and distributed by corporate giants? A product that once prided itself on being completely natural and cruelty-free may no longer fall into those categories once ownership is relinquished. Make the time to peruse the aisles and do a little internet research prior to purchasing.
- What Constitutes Organic?
Federal Law permits the labeling of products as “100% Organic” if 70- 95 percent of the ingredients meet their requirements. If the product contains less than 70 percent organic substances, the word “organic” can appear only in the ingredients section of the label. You should understand this organic ranking to get authentic and quality organic products. Understanding what manufacturers are trying to tell or hide in their product labels will help you in staying away from products making bogus claims. Unscrupulous manufacturers can misrepresent facts, market counterfeit products, or use ‘Organic’ or ‘All Natural’ labels in violation of USDA guidelines. You should always opt for organic deodorants and body care products with more than 95 percent organic substance.
While selecting products that bear the USDA Certified Organic Seal is usually the best place to start as they likely go through extra lengths to display such certifications, you should still be very clear that organic seal of approval by USDA doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get truly organic products. If you don’t understand the ingredients, do some online research to find out exactly what it is you are buying.
- How Does the Brand Align Itself?
You’ll read more than once in our blog posts about tapping into that information super-highway known as the Internet. Research brands, read their reviews, see what online or physical retailers carry their products. As a truly natural and 100% organic brand ourselves, you can be sure that PuraBela will never be available for purchase in a major big box chain that also carries products that utilize animals in lab testing or aluminums in their deodorants. A brand with real integrity will be extremely cautious with the retailers they align themselves with. PuraBela measures its success by the quality of its ingredients and its impact on people, animals and the environment, not by the number of sales it generates, and while this may mean less money, it also means healthier lives.
- Start Here
There are literally thousands of online and physical marketplaces committed to providing only the best natural products to their consumers. A simple Google search of “natural products” will turn up quite a few results of places to purchase quality brands. Some major players that we like which are known for their strict product submission standards and guidelines are listed below:
Perhaps the greatest market of all is the one in your own backyard. Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs aren’t just for produce, jams or framed pictures of oddly named sock puppets. Many independent and local natural product vendors are also selling at these markets – we should know, that’s how PuraBela got its start!
Use these links to find one in your area: