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Organic Personal Care Products

Organic Personal Care Products

Personal care products are available in organic and natural form, but consumers still need to be careful about their ingredients and overall effectiveness.

November 26, 2007 —

The personal care marketplace is rapidly becoming organic.  But with increased interest in certification, manufacturers are finding it difficult to keep up with the USDA's requirements.

In 2002, the USDA initiated its National Organic Program (NOP). One of the problems was that NOP was designed to certify food and the certification process can be confusing. As a result, few manufacturers of personal care products cared to become certified. That changed as consumers demanded that harmful chemicals and ingredients be removed from their favorite products.

The USDA NOP is considered the most stringent international standard for organic certification, but does not cover products that manufacturers would like to market as 'natural.' Companies such as Dr. Bonner's Magic Soap have worked to establish industry standards to certify natural and organic products. This would allow for a second tier standard for 'natural' products that did not include harmful chemicals even if they were not USDA Organic.  Others, however, believe that an additional standard would simply confuse consumers.

One thing for consumers to consider is that organic does not mean a product works better than non-organic. Some organic products can bother skin. Consumers can also see who has joined the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics as part of an effort to remove all toxic ingredients from beauty products.

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