Beauty and skincare lines have been jumping on the organic bandwagon in droves. Last year, sales of organic and natural cosmetics exceeded $7 billion. But does "organic" mean what you think it means? Time reports on a few things you should know about "organic" beauty products:

  • The USDA is the only organization that can certify something as organic, and they will only do so if all the ingredients, packaging, and production meet the same stringent standards required for organic food.
  • A USDA certified organic product is still allowed to have 5% non-organic ingredients. If a product is even 70% organic, it can claim to be made with "organic ingredients.
  • It's important to check labels carefully, and if the USDA seal is missing, it might not actually be organic at all.
  • Organic products are not necessarily more gentle. In fact, many can irritate sensitive skin because they use pure oils as preservatives.

The bottom line is that while anything organic is better for the environment, organic beauty products are not necessarily better for your skin.