As we all undoubtedly know, so many personal care products on the market contain chemicals — some more harmful than others. And yet we can’t necessarily just do without, let alone for years on end. But I’m almost afraid to read ingredients lists for personal care items, and have been shocked to read, as an example, that a glowingly-described anti-aging treatment contained propylene glycol. Heck, why buy it at high skin care product prices? Just head out to the garage and rub the anti-freeze onto your skin!

That said, so-called "natural" products aren’t necessarily the ticket, either (after all, oil spouting out of the ground is "natural" but not something you’d want on your body) simply because natural doesn’t have any enforceable legal definition. At least, so far; I think there’s a move afoot to make it mean something. But what it won’t mean is organic, or they’d just have said so.

Lastly, sometimes wholesome personal care products containing no harmful ingredients just don’t work all that well. Shampoos that make your hair look yucky, or that strip the oils right out of your precious tresses? No thanks.

No, what is wanted is a source of properly prepared organic personal care products that actually work. And so we’re starting a series of blog articles about non-toxic products, and particularly organic products. You’ll find them in our Beauty/Personal Care category.

In the meantime, some reference material:

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3 Comments for "Organic Personal Care Article Series"

  1. Lynn Cameron

    The cosmetic marketers make the case that many of the additives in their over-the-counter products are there to preserve the integrity of the “spoilable” ingredients like nut and seed oils and fruits. While it is true that pure living foods packed into a jar of cream or foundation would get rancid and moldy without some form of preservative, I have two comments for WWOF readers to ponder.

    The first is that the amount of living and active fruit, nut, seed or vegetable in a retail product from a commercial source is likely to be very, very small; the tiny amount remaining has likely had the “good” cooked and processed right out of it. The carrier cream is usually a cheap filler that, to meet label claims, has had the “goodies” added back in from so-called “natural” sources that are fractionated (broken apart, inactivated)and that may or may not meet the newly relaxed organic standards.

    The second is that pure organic essential oils — steam distilled without harmful solvents — act as completely natural preservatives in that absolutely NO fungus, bacteria or pathogen can thrive in their presence, and they are effective in simple emoliants uncomplicated by over-processed fillers. Not only does this make preservatives unnecessary in personal products like soap, deodorants, lotions, hair and dental care but allows the therapeutic and cosmetic value of the essential oils themselves to do a thorough job of oxegenating and regenerating the body through the pores of the skin and the mucous membranes of the mouth – vulnerable body areas of extreme permeability.

  2. Diane Vigil

    Thanks, Lynn, for your excellent clarification. This information will be useful to people as they search out organic products of real quality.

  3. Josh Fair

    I just read this interesting consumer position clarifying some points about OCA position on organic personal care. Do you know that USDA allow the use of Caustic soda or Potassium hidroxyde to make certified organic liquid soaps or shampoos… This is what Dr. Bronner uses in their products to saponify the oils, but he doesn’t make it clear in the labels. The labels just say saponified organic oils… but they are the one that OCA recommends everybody to buy… interesting, huh????

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