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What Organic Beauty Terms Mean

"Organic" Means Nothing When It Comes to Beauty

Did you know that no government agency regulates use of the term "organic" when it comes to makeup and skin care? Yup, it's true. Although the USDA enforces a strict standard when it comes to food labeled as organic, the same isn't true for makeup and skin care, which are notoriously poorly regulated.

So what does this mean for you? Well, mostly that if you pick up a product that says it's organic, that label means absolutely nothing. There's no regulatory process, so bald-faced lies from manufacturers are all over the place. The item could have no organic, or even "natural," ingredients in it.

There's actually only one way to tell if your product is organic. There's a completely voluntary USDA organic regulation for skin care, called the USDA NOP. Products that are actually organic and pass the standard will have this USDA Organic seal on them clearly displayed, so there's no mistaking them. Otherwise, the great majority of the "natural" or "organic" items you may be picking up didn't pass USDA organic standards, may well be making a false claim, and could actually be totally synthetic. Until the FDA or USDA starts regulating these claims and ingredients the same way they do food and medicine, it's definitely buyer beware. So read the ingredients and remember that if there's no USDA seal, it's not actually organic.

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