photo by Nancy~ in AZ (Flickr CC)

A: Organic cosmetics are made from natural, plant-based ingredients from certified organic plantations. If they aren’t vegan, they still don’t contain any substances that come from dead animals, but ingredients such as honey and milk protein may be used in their composition.

The amount of harsh substances like parabens and SLS that non-organic cosmetics often contain, is approved as safe, but things aren’t that simple. If you use many cosmetics one after the other, like a cleansing gel, mask, toner and then cream, the combined amount will often exceed approved, safe levels.

Also, producers are not obliged to inform consumers about all dangerous compounds their cosmetics may contain; some substances may be categorized as “impurities”, rather than ingredients that have to be specified. Among these compounds, you can find formaldehyde, petrochemicals, as well as mercury and dioxins, which have been connected to cancer. Organic cosmetics are free of any hazardous substances.

Organic cosmetics also often come in environment-friendly packaging like glass and recyclable or biodegradable packages, unlike many of their non-organic cousins.

Artificial cosmetics may not be animal-friendly. Although the EU banned testing cosmetics on animals, producers can still use ingredients that have been tested on them. This procedure is a cruel and shady business. You can watch a short clip on animal testing in the cosmetics industry below:

PETA presents Testing… One, Two, Three

When buying a certified organic products, you can be sure that they are cruelty-free.

Because there are no regulations about putting words like “natural”, “herbal”, etc. on labels, it’s very easy to confuse real organic cosmetics with fake ones. Always look for one of these certificates on the package. These products are carefully tested in order to be certified as organic and then periodically controlled to keep their certification.

If you have any questions about environmental issues or anything else relating to the site and topics we cover on Greenfudge, just Ask Joanna.

About The Author: Joanna

Green Directory Representative and Contributor at Greenfudge. org. Hi! I grew up in the North-East of Poland, in the heart of Europe's last remaining primeval forest. This inspired me to feel inseparable from nature. Apart from being an environmentalist and animal lover, I am also a conductor, singer, composer and lyricist. I train Taekwon-do ITF and learn Chinese (Mandarin). Follow the links below to discover my music! I am currently working on my album and writing a novel. You are welcome to write me with any questions about the GreenFudge site! :) Twitter @amatajo


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