Organic September has come around once more, and here at Little Soap HQ, we’re on another mission to spread the word! Not sure what it actually means when it comes to skincare, or how you can make sure the products you’re buying really are organic? Read on to discover why we think organic skincare is important, and what it all means too.
What makes a skincare product organic?
The Soil Association deems a product organic if it meets certain criteria that is clearly set out. According to them,
“Organic is a system of farming and food production. Organic farmers aim to produce high-quality food, using methods that benefit our whole food system, from people to planet, plant health to animal welfare.”
An organic skincare product is one that’s made with at least 95% of the ingredients coming from organically produced plants or animals. These ingredients also have to be approved by a regulatory body to be classed as organic- The Soil Association is one such body able to certify a product organic, and anything that’s been approved by them will carry the Soil Association logo.
Just a word on the difference between ‘natural’ and ‘organic’- Here at Little Soap, we’re as transparent on our site as we are on our packaging. We are very proud of all our ingredients being of the highest quality, non-toxic and biodegradable. Our soap doesn’t impact marine life and it’s just as safe to use it to wash in a jungle. Every bar is proper soap (not detergent). No nasties.
Quite simply, we stand by everything we say about the ingredients and safety of our products.
In the UK, there are many different ‘standards’ between certification boards, it is easy to become confused. We aim to be as clear as possible by stating the percentage of all ingredients on all our products. We’re obliged to use the Latin name in the ingredient list but we also include the ‘common’/English name for clarity. For our Organic Range, we choose not to be a member of the Soil Association, as we would be limited in the producers we choose to use, but in terms of percentages, we ascribe to Soil Association and COSMOS guidelines.
What’s so special about organic skin care products?
So why are we such big fans of organic skincare? There are so many reasons!
- Organic skincare products are kind to the planet, because of the methods of production used to derive the ingredients they contain. No pesticides are used, no synthetic colours or fragrances, and no GM ingredients either. Not to mention the fact that organic farms help to protect the biodiversity of countless vital ecosystems around the world.
- Organic products are kind to you. No nasty chemicals meant that the organic products you’re using are going to nourish and protect your skin, rather than expose them to harmful irritants. Organic products are also less likely to contain allergens too.
- Organic skincare products support organic farming, which also means that the brands that produce them are supporting communities around the world, helping them to choose sustainable growing and harvesting practices.
- Organic skincare products support cruelty-free practices- but be aware that some organic products may still use ingredients derived from animals, so always check the labels.
What should I look out for on skincare labels?
As always, we recommend reading your organic skincare labels carefully, and doing your own research into brands and companies that align with the same beliefs as you. When you choose a product, don’t be swayed by pretty packaging only- a lot goes into the marketing that’s designed to get you spending money without too much thought- but it’s important that you know what else to look for.
As a general guide, look out for the following:
- A clean ingredients list. A good rule of thumb here is that if an ingredient is difficult to pronounce, the product might not be the best choice for you. Plant names will always be written in Latin with an interpretation in brackets, and those listed first are always included in the greatest amount. If there’s an ingredient you don’t recognise on the list, google it to find out what it is.
- Look for allergens. They will be listed on the product, usually underneath the ingredients list, or they might be highlighted in bold.
- Look out for the word ‘contains’. Sometimes a product will state that it contains organic ingredients, which it will- but only in very tiny amounts. Products such as these can be very misleading!
- Know your logos. The Soil Association logo will be a very good indicator of whether or not a product is organic- but not all brands will carry this logo, even if they are organic. Research the brand or reach out and ask them if you’re not sure.
- Keep an eye out for the ingredients you definitely don’t want to find in your skincare products- these include parabens, alcohols, SLS, sulphates, sorbates, silicones and synthetic preservatives. You won’t find any of those ingredients in our products, by the way!