Organic and Mineral Cosmetics
How Can you Tell if your Cosmetics are Really Natural?
Cosmetic manufacturers may try to fool you with their marketing, but the ingredients never lie.
Cosmetics are now required to list all ingredients in descending order of quantity in the product. By dividing the list into thirds, you’ll be able to see how the product stacks up:
- Top third = 90–95% of the product
- Middle third = 5–8% of the product
- Bottom third = 1–3% of the product
Compare the Labels
The best way to put this formula into perspective is to compare actual labels. For our example, we’ll take the ingredient list of a product marketed as "natural" and "organic” and compare it to a certified organic product.
Product #1 Non-Certified Cream
This label lists the first three ingredients (in order) as Water, Isopropyl Palmitate, and Apricot Kernel Oil. Our first red flag is that the bottom of the label says "Content: Apricot Oil (2.5%)" but Apricot Kernel Oil can be found at #3 on the list.
The law requires cosmetic manufacturers to list the ingredients in descending order. Therefore, everything listed after Apricot Oil makes up LESS than 2.5% of the volume.
So about 90% of this product is water and isopropyl palmitate. Isopropyl palmitate is an ester of isopropyl alcohol (synthetic alcohol) and palmitic acid (a fatty acid from palm oil). With links to skin irritations, dermatitis, and acne promoting properties, this is hardly the natural product we expected.
What else do we find in this product?
Products of chemical reactions of fatty acids and glycerol, these ingredients are mostly synthetic with minimal natural fatty acid added. They have been shown to cause allergies and dermatitis.
It also contains synthetic emulsifiers, known to potentially contain dangerous levels of ethylene oxide and dioxane, both known carcinogens.
Sodium Hydroxide is so highly corrosive, it’s also called Caustic Soda. The product also contains a synthetic version of Vitamin E, types of preservatives that have been associated with allergies, synthetic fragrance, and synthetic colours with potential carcinogenic properties.