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Are organic or natural beauty products safe?

Many people have decided to go as organic and natural as possible. For example, they may shop only in the organic sections of the grocery store and purchase skincare and beauty products labeled organic or natural. They make these decisions with an eye toward living healthier and more safely, and it can be effective.

However, there are some beauty products labeled as organic or natural that could be unsafe. Here is a look at why.

Misleading labels

You would think that a product carrying a label saying it is "nontoxic" or "safe" would have had to meet certain standards in order to be marketed that way. Not necessarily the case when it comes to beauty products. Also, something marketed as "clean" or "natural" does not necessarily translate to organic.

Even a label saying something such as "organic" can be misleading because the organic substances could be in unsafe doses. For example, you can find cyanide in peach pits. As the Food and Drug Administration website states, "An ingredient’s source does not determine its safety. For example, many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic or allergenic."

 FDA control

Speaking of the FDA, it runs a relatively tight ship when it comes to sunscreen and products used for health reasons. However, it does not do as much with cosmetics as you might have thought (see the recent talcum powder lawsuits, for example). So, when the makers of an organic product submit tests, who knows what kind of scrutiny the tests withstood? It is the beauty product industry that largely regulates itself.

"Traditional" products

Another thing is that many "traditional" beauty products are, by and large, safe, or at least as safe as their "organic" counterparts. Organic substances are still chemicals, just natural chemicals compared with synthetic chemicals. Either has the potential to cause allergic reactions and to disrupt your skin or worse.

The bottom line is that if you have many allergies to traditional beauty products, then you may find solace in organic products. However, they can be just as harmful to many people. Natural and organic do not necessarily mean safe.

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Lundy Lundy Soileau & South, LLP

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