Strict EU laws ensure any food product labelled organic meets legal standards and is independently certified by a recognised body. Unfortunately, there are no EU regulations concerning the labelling of organic or natural beauty products.
The only way to be sure you're buying a genuine organic beauty product is to look for an official certification label from either the Soil Association or COSMOS organic or natural products.
Our research into products labelled as 'natural' or 'organic' but not certified found the non-organic ingredients below in these products. These ingredients could be harmful to human health and none of them would be permitted in Soil Association or COSMOS organic or natural products.
To be sure you’re making a safe choice when buying health and beauty products, look out for our logo on the packaging. Making small changes to the products you choose by buying organic could make a big difference to your health, climate change, animals and the environment.
|What to look for on the label
||Name of ingredient
|PG, 1,2 Propanediol
||Non-natural Propylene Glycol (PG)
||Active component in antifreeze, which might cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.|
||Methylisothiazolinone, or Methylchloroisothiazolinone
||A common irritant, methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic. Prolonged exposure to low levels may damage the developing nervous system. Found in laundry detergents, liquid dish detergents, cream cleansers, all-purpose cleaners, window cleaners, floor cleaners, countertop sprays, stain removers, linen washes, room sprays, air fresheners, carpet shampoos and wipes.|
|Anything which ends in -paraben, commonly methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben and heptylparaben
||Made from a petrochemical and have been linked with breast cancer. They have been shown to disrupt hormones and the current concern is that many people are absorbing a cocktail of different hormone disrupting chemicals because most of us use a number of different health and beauty products. It has been estimated that more than 90% of non-organic cosmetic products contain some form of paraben.|
||Diemethylol dimethyl hydantoin
||This is a preservative that can release formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen.|
|Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
||Oestrogen mimics which can easily leech out of products and effect our health. Used as an additive to PVC (polyvinyl chloride) products to make them flexible, and to personal care products to make fragrances last longer. These have been banned from use in children’s toys, and can also be found in paint and packaging.|
|PEG (usually followed by a number)
||Petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Found in oven cleaners. PEGs are commonly used as cosmetic cream bases. May be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen.|
You can also find out more from Soil Association licensees Neal’s Yard Remedies and Essential Care.