Identifying natural beauty

1 Look carefully at the list of ingredients:

  • Is the ingredients list comprehensive?
  • One or two natural ingredients in the ingredients list does not make a “natural” product.

2 Just because a product has the word “natural” in the name doesn’t mean it necessarily contains mostly natural ingredients.

3 If the product claims to be organic, check it has accreditation from an independent third party organisation, such as BioGro or ECOCERT.

4 If what’s on offer sounds too good to be true (e.g. price), it probably is.

5 Research the company you are buying products from:

  • Do they have integrity?
  • Is the brand up-front with the consumer?
  • Is the brand committed to ethical, cultural and environmental sustainability?

6 There is a common misconception that if an ingredient has a chemical sounding name it must be synthetic and not natural. However, many natural ingredients have names that sound technical.

Everything nature creates has a chemical classification and under International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) regulations, all cosmetic ingredients are required to be listed using their chemical names. An example of this is hyaluaronic acid – it’s a biological active derived from a lactic acid fermentation in wheat.

7 Chemical processing of organic raw materials to produce functional ingredients using petrochemical and synthesised reactants is permitted by natural and certified organic standards.

For example, coco betaine, lauryl betaine, fatty acids and cetyl alcohol are all permitted for use in certified organic products by the widely respected Soil Association in the UK.

Recognising reputable organic cosmetic products

1 Be very aware of the term “organic” – at this point any cosmetic company can call any product organic, which means nothing! Even products jammed with synthetic chemicals call themselves organic.

2 “Made with organic ingredients” is purely a marketing term and does not mean the product meets organic standards. The product can have as little as 1 per cent organic material.

3 Have a look at the ingredient list – if a product lists organic ingredients, followed by Ammonium lauryl sulfate, or parabens for example – it is clearly not “certified organic”.

4 “Certified organic” is represented by an international organic symbol on the front of a product – this means the whole product has been audited and approved.

5 Look for the black and white AsureQuality logo – on the front of products – this is internationally recognised, so you can trust it.

6 Products that meet organic status, must clearly show their organic registration on the front of the product – this is a registration number which confirms the product has been fully audited.