All That Glitters Ain’t Good

February 16, 2010

I’ve just learned that all my body products are full of toxins. Great. So now I’m faced with the task of replacing them. Where to begin? Well since my “regular” items aren’t good, I must need to look for things that say “natural” or “organic”, right? I mean, that would be the obvious solution.

So I went to Target to look for some different brands to try. (If I have to replace every product I use, I’ve gotta go somewhere affordable!) They have one aisle in the body section that stocks their more health-conscious brands. Right away I found two that looked good – expansive product lines, in pretty bottles, that touted to have “natural” or “organic” ingredients. Sounds good, right?

Wrong! One thing I’ve learned is just because something is natural, that does not mean it’s good for you. Tar and petrolatum are natural products, but you don’t want to rub those on your skin. The other problem is the cosmetics industry is self-regulating. There is not an agency in place that polices the claims that companies make on their products. The USDA has a National Organic Standards Board, but it does not have the same control over personal body care products, as it does over food/products.

I also learned that a product only has to contain a few ingredients that are organic, in order to call itself “organic”. The real benefit comes with things that are labeled “100% organic” or that have the USDA Organic seal on it, which means it has met certain guidelines in a certification process. But even when something has “natural” or “organic” on the label, you still need to read the ingredient list. The two brands that I saw at Target both contained toxic ingredients like SLS, propylene glycol, and parabens, right along side the good ones. Oink. The search continues… 

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