When an ingredient is labelled ‘organic’ it is meant that it is grown to organic standards of agriculture, and not (as in chemistry) that it is a carbon-based compound. But what is organic agriculture? Put very sirnply, it is a way of growing that avoids using chemicals, pesticides and artificial fer-tilisers on the soil or plants. In reality the definition is a lot more complex.
When using organic ingredients it is important to rnake sure they are certified by one of the proper organisations that do this. Here in the UK the main organic certification body is the Soil Association; they have a very informative website which is well worth a look. They also certify products, including toiletries, and have quite strict standards; however, they do allow a certain amount of synthetics to be used in the formulation, and so Soil Association certification is nota foolproof standard for ensuring a product is totally natura!.
It is well worth using organic ingredients, as not only do you avoid pesticides and chemicals, but also because more and more people are generally interested in buying organic products and it is an ever-growing market. It also makes fora more pure and holistic product if all the ingredients are not only 100% natura! but also organically grown. Organic growing methods are gen-erally a lot better for the environment too.
Unfortunately a lot of ingredients used in natura! skincare are grown in faraway destinations, and with this in mind it would be ethical to try to source these substances as fairly as possible. Remember that fair-trade docsn’t rnean organic or even natura!.
I always try to ensure, as far as possible, that none of the ingredients I use have been linked to any ecological concerns; and that, once made into a product, it won’t cause any environmental damage when it has been washed off the body down the sink and into the waterways.
Natura! ingredients are of ten assumed to be eco-friendly by default; however, this can be far from the truth. Sandalwood oil is no longer considered ethical or environmen-tall y sound as the tree is now on the threat-ened species list because of over-felling for cosmetic, aromatherapy and perfumery use. ünce the oil is distilled, the wood chips are usually sent to factories where children make incense sticks. in the Resources section