I’m reading a great book at the moment called Toxic Beauty by Dawn Mellowship. It is a thorough investigation into the chemicals used in beauty and cosmetic products, the effects of these ingredients on our health and the alternative beauty options out there.
I thought I’d share Mellowship’s list of the top ten certified organic product ranges. Most of them are UK or US based – there’s also one Australian brand. The book was published in 2009 so it should be fairly up to date however I’m sure it’s not exhaustive.
All of the brands listed below are certified organic and some are 100% organic. In the US organic certification is awarded by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture); in the UK the Soil Association is the main organic certifier as well as the BDAA (Biodynamic Agricultural Association).
1. Terressentails (USA) www.terressentials.com
2. Beyond Organic Skincare (UK) www.beyondskincare.co.uk
3. Eselle (UK) www.eselle.co.uk
4. Spiezia (UK) www.spieziaorganics.com
5. Balm Balm (UK) www.balmbalm.com
6. Dr Bronner’s (USA) www.drbronner.com
7. Nui (Australia) www.nuicoconut.com
8. Organic Blessings (USA) www.organic-blessings.com
9. Nature’s Paradise (USA) www.naturesparadiseorganics.com
10. Sensibility Soaps (USA) www.sensibilitysoaps.com
FYI until 2008 there was no real legislation in the UK or EU providing guidelines on cosmetic products and production in the cosmetic and personal care industry. The Soil Association, launched in 1946 to regulate organic farming, extended its remit to provide a voluntary standards and certification process for cosmetic companies. Products containing at least 95% organic ingredients can be labelled organic; those with no less than 70% organic ingredients may state that they “are made with x% organic ingredients”.
The 2008 Cosmetic Products Safety Regulations was established in UK law as part of an EU directive requiring cosmetic products to undergo a safety assessment before they’re put on the market. This is a step in the right direction for cosmetics regulation; however it’s only a small step. For example, although brands are now required to list the ingredients of products they do not have to list the materials and processes used in the preparation of the product. Then there’s the issue of organic or ‘natural’ authenticity. Accreditation by the SA or other bodies is a voluntary process. Numerous brands who are not accredited still label their products as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ when they contain far less than the 95% required by the SA for organic certification and likely contain many synthetic ingredients.
Some of the brands listed above I’ve heard of; some I haven’t. I’d love to hear if any of you have tried any of these and have any product recommendations. Please leave a comment. I’d love your insight.