What Does “Organic” Mean?

What Does “Organic” Mean?

More and more, consumers are demanding that their skin care products are made naturally with organic ingredients.  Often times, products might carry a “natural” label or an “organic” label.  It’s important to know the difference between the two and what to look for when choosing organic skin care products. 

The difference between natural and organic is that the label “natural” is not regulated by the government in any way.  However, the ‘organic’ label is very much regulated and is mainly concerned with how the ingredients are grown and processed.  A third party certifier is required to inspect farms and facilities annually in order to receive the “organic’ label.  These ingredients must be grown and processed without the use of toxic materials, such as pesticides and fertilizers. 

The USDA has 4 levels of organic labeling and it is important to know the difference between each.  The first level is 100% Organic and this label can be displayed on the front of the product.  The next label is Organic.  This means that only 95% of the ingredients used in making the product are organic.  The third level is Made with Organic Ingredients.  This means that at least 70% of the ingredients are organic and can be stated on the front of the product.  And the last category is Less than 70% and can only be labeled near the ingredient list. 

It’s important for consumers to educate themselves on the difference between natural and organic, so they are choosing the products that are truly organic.  This means reading labels and ingredients.  The Organic Trade Association also has a list of organic products.