Monday, November 5, 2012

Breaking down beauty terminology


Happy Monday readers! The Makeup Examiner hopes that everyone had a wonderful weekend and comes to you with another Manic Makeup Monday question and answer. So without further ado, my lovelies let’s get to this Monday’s question!

The Makeup Examiner has received massive amounts of emails asking the same question regarding common terminologies used for organic or natural beauty products. The unfortunate truth is that anyone can claim to produce an “organic” or “natural” product. In the United States, we have the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee many, many items. But, cosmetic labels are not one of them. The FDA states “Neither the FD&C Act nor the FPLA requires cosmetic labeling to undergo pre-market approval by FDA. It is the manufacturer's and/or distributor's responsibility to ensure that products are labeled properly. Failure to comply with labeling requirements results in a misbranded product.”

A misbranded product. Wow! So, basically a cosmetic manufacturer can produce a product, slap a label on it, and nuttin’ gonna happen until someone gets hurt. This is where responsibility comes in. Just as we take responsibility in other aspects of our lives, we have to take responsibility to educate ourselves about the cosmetics we use.

Dr. Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics gives a fantastic example of this. “Jasmine essential oil and rose essential oil are priced between $250 - $450 USD per ounce. Each bar of soap would need to have almost ¼ ounce of essential oil to scent it effectively, putting the cost of making this soap at $75 to $100 USD per bar. This means that a soap listing rose essential oil or jasmine essential oil as the fragrance ingredient, and not priced at $89.99 USD, is not possible. They are using fragrance oils, which are usually made with propylene glycol, and contain multiple other synthetic ingredients.”

Dear readers, this brings us back to education. Terms like “100% pure,” “natural” or “organic” are the most deceptive. In order for a product to be 100% pure it would have to contain one ingredient and as for natural, well the product would have to be in its original state. So processed is not a bad word, it’s simply how a product is processed that should concern you.

Referencing Merriam-Webster, the definition of organic is: “of, relating to, or derived from living organisms.” Meaning that an organic product can be derived from a plant or an animal. And for those that are vegan, organic can mean that the product you are using contains animal parts. The bottom line here is that if your looking for healthy, organic, eco-friendly and animal-friendly products you have to do your homework and buy from trusted companies.

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