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 The 3 Categories of Organic + Why they Matter

The 3 Categories of Organic + Why they Matter

Posted by Lindsey Holy on Apr 23rd 2018

Inesscents prides itself in creating the highest quality skin care products. We use only the purest ingredients which are void of additives and toxins. Your health and the health of our planet is our inspiration and motivation for doing what we do. It’s important to us as a company to educate and advocate for clean beauty - because what we put on our skin, has very real effects on our health and our planet.

Did you know, the body metabolizes what it absorbs through the skin into the blood stream, which is about 60% of what is applied to the skin? Or that millions of gallons of shampoo and other body care chemicals wash down bathtub drains into our waterways, and our drinking water? After coal-fired power plants, the top source of mercury pollution in the environment is the manufacture of shampoo and detergents.

There is no denying that the choices we make have an impact on our health and the world around us. We want to take a moment to explain the key points of what it means to be certified organic and clearly outline the differences between organic categories so you can make more informed decisions.

The Three Categories of Organic

  1. 100% Organic: This means that 100% of all the ingredients in the product are made from Organic materials. The singular legitimate organic standard for personal care products anywhere in the world is the USDA National Organic Program. Look for the USDA Organic seal. Companies can claim a product is 100% Organic but without the seal, they haven’t been tested or approved by the USDA.
  2. Organic: 95% or more of the ingredients must be Certified Organic. The remaining 5% (or less) non-organic ingredients are required to meet the criteria on the approved list of the non-organic ingredients allowed in organic products as determined by the USDA.
  3. Made with Organic or NSF: 70% or more of the product contains Certified Organic ingredients. All non-organic ingredients MUST be on the approved list of the non-organic ingredients allowed in organic products as determined by the USDA.

Read Your Labels - Terms to Watch Out For

  1. Organic Ingredients: If the term "organics ingredients" is on the packaging, but there are no certifying bodies listed, this means that the company is trying to work the organic angle without offering the benefits of a purely organic product. The term “Organic Ingredients” can be used in a company’s marketing with only one organic ingredient being present in the product(s). This is not always the case, but without an overseeing body you cannot know for sure.
  2. Natural: The cosmetics industry defines natural as: “ingredients derived from a natural substance”. A perfect example here is Cocamide DEA which is derived from the coconut tree hence the name cocamide. Cocamide DEA is made by reacting the mixture of fatty acids from coconut oil with diethanolamine. An assessment by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) listed the chemical Cocamide DEA as “known to cause cancer”. So even though Cocamide DEA is “derived from” coconut oil, does not mean that it’s safe!

There are exceptionally strict guidelines that certified companies are required to adhere to label their products as organic, and we have placed a lot of effort in obtaining and maintaining our status as an organic body care company. The organic certification process is not quick or easy to acquire. At a minimum, the process takes three to six months and must be completed before products can be marketed as organic.

It is our hope that this article presses you to read labels, educate yourselves and opt for organic! The health of our planet and everyone on it is a factor with each dollar you spend and each product you buy. Together, taking small intentional steps in the right direction we can create a safer, cleaner world right now and for generations to come.