Skin Deep

A closer look at organic skin products

 

drb@drbaumann.com

Making the choice to go organic with your skincare routine is supposed to benefit your health as well as the environment, and it’s difficult to go down an aisle at the drugstore or visit a beauty counter at the department store without seeing the terms “active naturals,” “botanical,” “natural,” “green” or “organic.”

But there is much controversy surrounding the labeling guidelines for these types of skincare products.

Choosing certified “organic” products means that key cleansing and conditioning agents are derived from organically grown plant products rather than conventionally grown plants, synthetic chemicals or petroleum byproducts. Organic skincare also excludes or minimizes ingredients that can be potentially harmful to people, animals, waterways or the environment.

The rules and limitations vary, however, among the regulatory associations that oversee organic product labeling.

The U.S.D.A. “organic” seal is most commonly seen in the United States, but there are other regulatory bodies that perform their own certification. While there are no consistent worldwide standards (the use of preservatives, calculations for extracts and processing aids set different “seals” apart) the organization COSMOS oversees several European associations that have agreed upon the practices and criteria skincare manufacturers must meet to be certified.

If you’ve decided to go organic, kudos to you, but it’s important to know that these products aren’t always better for your skin. Many organic products contain essential oils (such as bergamot and balsam of Peru) that can cause dermatitis. Peppermint and rosemary can also irritate sensitive skin. Chamomile can illicit skin reactions in those allergic to ragweed. And the limited use of preservatives can promote bacteria growth shortly after a product is opened.

As with all skincare, it can take a little trial and error to find the products that work best for your skin. I’m a big fan of organic skincare, so long as it’s certified by one of the legitimate organizations that oversee these products.

Read more Health stories from the Miami Herald

  • Ask Nancy

    How to choose an assisted living facility

    Q. I live in California and have a formerly independent, elderly father in Tamarac, who is deteriorating following a mild stroke and is becoming an increasing burden for his partner, who lives with him. He has an extensive support network of friends in South Florida and doesn't wish to relocate to California, where my brother and I could more easily support him. I need to find an assisted living facility (ALF) for him in the Tamarac area. I certainly intend to travel to Tamarac and inspect the facilities personally, but it would help me a great deal to have a starting point.

  • Legislature 2014

    Florida House votes to regulate e-cigarette sales

    State lawmakers took significant steps to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

  • Sleep

    To sleep well, adjust what you eat — and when

    Sleep. Oh, to sleep. A good night’s sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults. And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category