You probably can't remember the last time you saw someone wielding a tube of organic mascara as she prepped for a big night out. In fact, you're not sure you've even seen the stuff. The truth is you're not alone. Although organic makeup is quickly gaining must-have status in the cosmetics world, it's not exactly an industry standard yet. That may change soon, though, as more and more companies introduce products derived from organic ingredients.
The Seal of Approval
In order for cosmetics to be considered truly organic, they must be certified as such. This can be a tricky seal of approval for many companies to earn, simply because organic personal care products (such as makeup, lotion, toothpaste and shampoo, to name a few) are not as carefully regulated as organic food products.
Though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has no jurisdiction over cosmetics, its "USDA Organic" seal is placed on American products that meet the standards of the National Organic Program. While this is promising, it's also important to note that the standards apply specifically to food, not beauty products.
The Organic Mascara Movement
What you put on your skin is just as important as what you put into your body. Until recent years, very little consideration was given to the thousands of chemicals included in common beauty products. Now, though, a glance at an unfamiliar product list is enough to send any intelligent beauty shopper into a tailspin. Recognizing and understanding the names on an ingredient list are important. Why? It's simple. Those products you know and love may contain harmful chemicals. Protecting your skin, and indeed the entire body, is now more important than ever, and the desire to use "green" products is greater than ever before.
Many companies specialize solely in organic cosmetics, while other established brands are slowly rolling out niche lines of organic products. For example, Physician's Formula recently introduced Organic Wear, a line of chemical-free cosmetics certified by ECOCERT (an organic certification organization with specific standards especially for cosmetics).
Products like foundation, eye shadow and blush are common in the organic makeup world, but mascara is a little harder to track down. Organic mascara does exist, though! The following formulas are worth a try if you're interesting in transitioning from traditional mascara to a more eco-conscious version.
Certified organic and bearing the seal of approval from the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA), the Miessence Organics collection complies with all standards set forth by the organization. The ingredients are 100 percent organic and natural (the portion that is not organic is also strictly regulated by the BFA; these ingredients cannot be synthetic or artificially processed). Miessence's mascara contains lash-fortifying shea butter and jojoba oil. Beeswax strengthens while long-lasting pigments keep the color going strong for hours. This mascara is 87 percent organic.
Australian brand NVEY ECO takes a strict approach to its product development. Certified by the Australian government and the Organic Food Chain (OFC), all products are paraben-, propylene glycol- and sodium laureth sulfate-free. Available in black, brown and blue, the company's moisturizing mascara contains nettle, horsetail herb and vitamin B5, all recognized for their nourishing, strengthening and conditioning properties.
Though their products are not 100 percent organic, they are made from completely natural ingredients. When possible, these ingredients are sourced from organic agriculture. Lavera states that if a particular product is not completely organic, it is due to the year-round availability of certain ingredients.
The company's volume mascara features a shaping brush which helps define and sculpt lashes for a truly eye-popping look! It contains organic jojoba and wild rose oils, which keep the lashes hydrated and the mascara clean and flake-free.
Renowned for their botanically-based products, Aveda is also recognized as one of the largest purchasers of organic ingredients in the beauty industry. Ninety percent of the company's essential oils are certified organic, and 89 percent of its raw herbal ingredients are also certified organic.Mascara Plus Rose is a lengthening, thickening formula that contains rose centifolia. The company's Mosscara contains conditioning moss extract.
More and more manufacturers are establishing organic cosmetic lines for consumers who want more options in their personal care routines. The coming months will undoubtedly bring more products, formulas and claims from a variety of companies. Do your research to know without a doubt that the product is, indeed, organic.