Organic beauty products mired in “myth and confusion”

Leading beauty journalist Alice Hart-Davis claims organic and natural beauty products are mired in “myth and confusion”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Hart-Davis cites a current US lawsuit in which 26 leading natural and organic brands are accused of falsely labelling products as organic — under Californian law personal care products sold as ‘organic’ must contain at least 70% organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt).

In Britain, points out Hart-Davis, no such laws for personal care and beauty products exist, leaving consumers struggling to understand a raft of claims, standards and logos. This legal grey area allows “companies to describe a product as organic even if it contains only tiny amounts of organic ingredients”.

Those customers who look for evidence of organic certification are likely to find themselves even more confused, claims Hart-Davis. With such a wide variance of requirements — the Soil Association organic health and beauty standard requires a minimum of 70% organic ingredients while Ecocert sets a 10% organic ingredients  requirement — and five different certifiers, making informed choices is made unnecessarily difficult, she says.

Hart-Davis writes: “As a beauty writer, I think this situation is ridiculous. It is madness that a product can be decreed ‘organic’ by one organisation yet not meet another certification body’s standards. It is confusing for buyers and makes the whole organic arena an easy target for cynics.