Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Organic Wednesday - A change from our usual programming.

In which Get Lippie goes off on one and hopes she'll be forgiven ...

Here at Get Lippie, I have a lot of organic products, and I read a LOT of pseudo-scientific gubbins about why organic products are better than products that contain ingredients which are not organic. And, by and large, I take most  of these claims with a pinch of salt.  You can tell me that a product works because the contents are  harvested only by the light of a gibbous moon by virgins, then then ingredients are handed to fairies who use angel wings to mix them up (not actually that far-fetched a claim, to be honest) and I'll simply roll my eyes slightly (possibly whilst belming gently to myself) and then go back to smearing it wherever it's meant to be smeared and reading the ingredients list.

From reading that,  I'll know that a product works because it contains ingredients known to moisturise, or perfume, or colour and doesn't contain potential irritants. I'm a big fan of reading the ingredients list of any product I buy, organic or not.  More people should do it!

There are, however, two words which, when I encounter them on an organic product - and it is always an organic product I'm afraid, that will make me go all "HULK SMASH" on the offending article.  Those two words are:

Chemical Free

They make me crazy.  Because I'll assume two things.  That the makers of the products are idiots and, worse, that they think the people buying the products are idiots.  And that makes me angry.  Just because people may want to avoid increasingly synthetic products, it doesn't mean they're gullible.

There is nothing on this planet that is chemical-free.  I am chemicals.  You are chemicals.  Air is so full of chemicals it's astonishing we can breathe at all.  Water - the supposedly one of purest ingredients on earth is ... you guessed it ... chemicals!  ORGANIC INGREDIENTS CONTAIN CHEMICALS.  Everything does, and certainly everything on that pesky ingredients list will consist of chemicals in various guises. There simply is no such thing as chemical free.  Any product that tells you it's good because it doesn't contain "chemicals" is attempting to pull the wool over your eyes in order to get you to hand over your hard-earned pennies.

If a product is free of synthetic dyes, perfumes, colours, additives or preservatives, then that's great - to a point, but that's the subject of a whole other post - then quite rightly the packaging should mention it.  But I do wish organic producers wouldn't be so tricksy at times.   Sometimes you need a degree in double-speak to figure out if the products are entirely organic or not.  I really don't think you should be able to claim that a product is organic if it merely contains a couple of organic essential oils or something.  But again, that's the subject of another post.

What do you think of organic products? Does the provenance of the ingredients in your cosmetic items bother you at all? Did you make it to the end of this post? Are you a cosmetic brand who disagrees with what I've written here?  What drives YOU crazy about cosmetic claims or labelling?


  1. I like organic products but agree with you about their silly and absurd claims. Where I get confused though is the 'registered organic' thing vs the non registered 'natural' products, are the registered ones better...or just as good? I am !

  2. Ohh, I thought you were gonna talk about bannanas!

    You know what, I'd never thought about how the words 'chemical free' had been redesignated to meen something compleately different. Ijt happens alot without us even noticing!

    The only thing I bother alot about being organic is milk, which has proven benefits and is morelikely to pay farmers a realistic price. Face wise I bothered when pregnant or breast feeding but hardly bother with now.

    @sarah - to be registered organic it has to go through all the hoops set up by the soil association, other products maybe produced in a very similar way but just not have got approval for one reason or another. Land for example has to have been free of chemical use for several years before it can reach approval for organic use.

  3. it's the flakey one here. I take absolutely no notice of what the labels say. They're just trying to sell to me. As long as it doesnt contain parabens or SLS it just might have a home in my bathroom.

  4. Interesting post. The key thing i'll take away is the importance of actually reading the ingredients and taking responsibility for the choices we make when purchasing cosmetics and skincare. All the rest really is just marketing speak and an attempt to ensure you part with your hard earned cash.

    Incidently, what really gets my goat is the current obsession with 'Paraben free' products. Current research shows that Parabens are not the evil they have been portrayed, and are often important in ensuring the quality of the ingredients inside your little pot.

  5. Ingredients are just a minefield - if anything, natural and organic brands should be more open than any others and quit confu-speak.

  6. Absolutely with you on the 'chemical free' thing, that sort of things drive me insane. It's like when people say 'tested on real women' or something, like models aren't 'real'. It's just so annoying!

  7. Great post. I came on over through the Beauty Blog Link Love (of which I'm also a member) and followed. =)

  8. Great post! It is indeed a can of worms and I think it's down to the integrity of the producers. At Puresha, I get sent an awful lot of brands claiming to be organic or chemical free and we have learnt to give customers a choice of the level of 'green' they want, by choosing to work with brands that are totally comitted to the quality, efficacy and environmental aspects of creating beauty products. I have found that this passion for high quality, mindfully produced ingredients creates products that are far superior than many mass produced brands. It's like having to choose between a ready-meal and a home-grown, home-cooked meal that's been made with love. Adding the word organic onto a plastic bottle filled with lots of other cheap ingredients is just a marketing trick and it's hard to pick through all of that to find beauty gems that make you look and feel fab!

  9. My favourite is 'dermatologically tested'. Well, yes, if it's designed for skin one hopes it would be.

    We don't allow 'chemical free' claims, you'll be pleased to know. It makes me wince when I go to Pret and see it on their bumph.


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