Non-organic ingredients in our beauty products

For a beauty product to be certified organic by the Soil Association it must use as many organic products as possible. Organic beauty products that contain oils and oil-based ingredients such as balms and body butters can be made using 100% organic ingredients and do not require the addition of preservatives. Sometimes they may use a mild antioxidant such as tocopherol or ascorbic acid which are permitted under organic food standards.

However, products that contain water, and water- and oil- based ingredients such as creams, lotions and shampoos need to have some kind of preservative system so that they are safe to use over time. In addition they may need an emulsifier which mixes together the oil and water ingredients and stops them separating.

Sometimes ingredients which have a natural preserving effect can be used in the formulation. Examples may be alcohol, some essential oils, or naturally derived anti-oxidants as above. But if these are not effective, then a preservative that meets strict toxicological and biodegradibility requirements can be used. Very few additives are permitted in certified organic products and only if they are non-GM, have minimal environmental impact and satisfy criteria to demonstrate they have no detrimental impact on human health.