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Organic Beauty: Where to Start?

June 14, 2007 by SheFindsTara
shefinds | Style

We all know the benefits of using organic beauty products — less toxins and irritants being absorbed into the body, the better you feel, the better your health. With the mass numbers of organic this and natural that, how is one supposed to weed through the labels to find what’s really and truly a verifiable organic beauty product?

Step One: Know that the term “natural” has no scientific bearing whatsoever. Do you know what most of the ingredients are on the label? If not, chances are you’re looking at something as toxic as the rest of the products on the shelf.

Step Two: Steer towards products labeled 100% Organic or Certified Organic. These are the only products legally allowed to carry the USDA Organic Seal. You can rest assured these products have been made safely, free from pesticides, sewage sludge, chemical fertilizers, etc. “Made with Organic” is usually a safe bet, but know these may only have about 70% organic materials. Anything less than that may have organic products listed on the ingredients label, but the product could contain as little as 1% organics.

Step Three: Know the bad ingredients, like methyl/proplylparaben (a preservative), sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate (a skin irritant that should be avoided by those with sensitive skin), phthalates and formaldehyde. You can find a full list of bad-for-you ingredients at the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database, Skin Deep. Another great resource is Paula Begoun’s ingredient directory that explains what things are in plain speak.

More from SheFinds: For more tips on how to go more green, plus product suggestions, check out the following posts and guides at SheFinds:

* Eco-Chic Beauty

* Our Favorite Eco Beauty Brands

* How to Choose an Organic Shampoo

* Eco-Chic Blog Finds

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