The Australian organic skincare certification bodies to know
Getting the real organic deal
Look for certification logos
Akiki Nicolls, Certification Manager at Australian Certified Organic (ACO), says that to be stamped certified organic in Australia, a product must be at least 95% organic content and meet the food-grade standards enforced by certifying bodies. Products containing 70-95% organic contents are 'allowed' and carry a 'made with organic ingredients' logo. In either case, artificial ingredients may not be included in formulas. Sharon McGlinchey, the founder of MV Organic Skincare, warns that "unaccompanied by endorsement from a certifying association, the word 'organic' in brand names or on packacing could mean very little." This is due to a lack of regulation, products calling themselves 'organic' may contain ineligible amounts of organic matter mixed in with synthetics. McGlinchey adds, "because of the strict certification guidelines, many serious all-natural, though less than 70% organic cosmetics, cannot be endorsed by certifiers."
Some certifying bodies to look for include: ACO Australia, NASAA Australia, Demeter Australia, OFC Australia, TOP Australia, Safe Food Queensland, Organic Growers of Australia and BioGro New Zealand.
McGlinchey advises that inspecting ingredient lists is the best way to sort partly organic naturals from mostly synthetic products. The top third of the list shoudl account for 90% of the formula, the second third for up to 8% and the last third, approximately 2%. Organic ingredients should be listed at the top and highlighted with a symbol, such as an asterisk. Also check that you products are free from genetically modified ingredients, such as mineral oil, propylene glycol, animal and petroleum derivatives, solvents, sodium lauryl sulfates and ammonium lauryl sulfates, just to name a few.
These organic beauty essentials skip the synthetics, without losing any of the luxury...
And a few more favourites that aren't quite certified organic but CAN boast, natural, vegan and/or cruelty free:
bh loves: The Buff Clarify + Hydrate Facial Oil ($42, find it at itsthebuff.com), Go-To Properly Clean Cleanser ($31, find it at gotoskincare.com), Sand & Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment, Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Serum, Frank Body Everyday Face Moisturiser ($21.95, find it at frankbody.com)
Do you use any certified organic or natural skin care products regularly? What are your favourites?