Don’t we all want the best for our skin? That’s why I actually seek out natural and organic skin products, and it’s a happy fortune that what’s good for our health is usually good for the environment, too.
Given all the beauty products out there, how can we know what’s good for us and what’s good for the environment? Here’s one way to start: certifications. There are tons of certifications that vary in scope, guidelines, and goals. So, before you wade through the beauty product marketplace, it helps to know which certifications can point the way. A good eco certification will at least have rigorous standards, impartial oversight, and often, non-profit status.
Let’s take the Natrue certification, for example. The Natrue label is overseen by the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association (AISBL), an international non-profit based in Belgium. Natrue sets standards for cosmetic products, governing ingredients and processes. It aims to clarify what “natural” means as applied to cosmetics, since the word is often overused and abused by marketers — especially in the U.S., where the term isn’t defined or regulated by the government.
Natrue defines natural ingredients at its most basic as “ingredients found in nature.” But Natrue acknowledges that “not all functions [of cosmetic products] can be achieved with natural ingredients alone.” That being said, strict regulation of non-natural ingredients (what Natrue classifies as “derived natural substances” and “nature identical substances”) can ensure a high-quality, safe, eco-friendly product that can still be described as natural. Every Natrue-certified cosmetic has minimally processed ingredients and a minimum threshold for natural ingredients.
So, rest easy knowing that the Natrue-labeled products:
- do not contain synthetic fragrances and colors
- are not petroleum derived
- do not contain silicone oils and derivatives
- do not include genetically modified ingredients
- have no irradiation of end product and botanical ingredients
- are not tested on animals
You can also rest easy knowing that Natrue’s definition of natural promotes organic farming and the protection of biodiversity. Its standards are backed by its scientific committee, and certification is administered only on behalf of an accredited certifying agent who is dedicated to the certification of organic and sustainable products. In fact, products have to be re-certified every two years to ensure that standards are continually met.
If you’re looking for natural beauty and skincare products, make the search easier by looking for the Natrue label. You might start with Weleda, which makes all sorts of Natrue-certified products and sources ingredients from biodynamic farms. Their skin care products run the gamut from citrus-infused deodorant to intensive, fragrance-free eye cream. Try ‘em out — your skin will thank you.