I’ve written before about the fact that if you Google the search term ‘organic skin care’, the first brand to pop up is Liz Earle, which is not, erm, organic. I blogged that ages and ages ago, and just did another search with the same term and yes, Liz Earle pops up at the top again. It’s in a pink banner that has a teeny weeny little label that says ‘ads’. This time, though, Liz Earle is joined in the pink banner section by Origins (who do have an organic range, although it is 95% organic – is that organic, even?? You can’t be 95% pregnant. You either are or you aren’t) and Dr Hauschka which on its own home page claims to be a ‘natural brand’ and not an organic one. Then we actually get into the real organic brands such as Green People who presumably don’t have the budget to pay to come up first.
It’s just so misleading to pay for a slot in a category where you’ve no business being in the hopes that people might then assume that natural and organic are the same and plunge ahead and buy the products. It’s a little bit like clicking through on a picture of a red lipstick to find that actually, all the lipsticks are pink. Yes, it’s lipstick.. but. If you’re proud of your products, their natural ingedients and their quality, why pretend they are something they actually aren’t by paying to be listed under a category for which they don’t qualify? Do not understand this at all.
But just to be completely clear, in case there is one jot of confusion left, Liz Earle is not an organic brand. Repeat, not.
PS: Wanted to put this comment from a reader in the body of the text regarding Dr Hauschka and I’m happy to stand corrected.
Just one small correction:
You can’t get more organic than Dr. Hauschka. I have worked for the brand, I have single handedly crushed roses collected by hand before dawn that were then thrown in their lotions and potions using the antrophosopic method. They are not organic, they are more: organic, antroposophic, natural, holistic. They even carry the German label for organic cosmetical products, which has incredibly strict guidelines, much stricter than those in other countries.
Sorry for delivering too much information or seeming like an advertisement (I am not affiliated with them anymore), but putting Dr. Hauschka at the same level of Liz Earle and Origins is just plain wrong.
Additionally, I have a quote from the CEO of Dr Hauschka, Sebastian Parsons, explaining their point of view:
This is a big issue! We pay for the slot because we think that we are what a consumer who types in “organic skin care” is looking for. In order to understand whether something can be 95% organic one has to consider what organic means. So… firstly, as far as I am aware, the word “organic” is not regulated in skin care in the same way that it is with food. Brands can choose to be certified as organic, but they can also claim to be organic when they are not and that is not illegal. Secondly, organic refers to plant material only, so how do you categorise water? Thirdly, organic refers to growing and not manufacturing, so what does it imply in the production of a skin care product? Food products are rarely processed as much as skin care products are and even more rarely are they mixed and blended in the way that skin care products are. Skin care products are actually highly technical in their production, natural ingredients are taken through one, two, three or even more steps, both mechanical and chemical in order to end up with the building blocks of the cosmetic product.
So if an organic ingredient such as coconut oil is deconstructed in the lab and then built up in to who knows what new ingredients, are they organic or has the technology obliterated any claim to natural? Does organic imply natural? One should not forget that synthetic ingredients are made from natural oils such as coconut and mineral crude oil.
Dr.Hauschka very rarely uses the word organic unless we are referring to the raw ingredients. Our ingredients are sourced from many places. Our ingredients fall in to various categories from the carrying agents to active agents to the most precious rhythmetised extracts. An individual product will have ingredients from all categories, sometimes with one plant producing extracts in each category. In general you can say with Dr.Hauschka that the most active ingredients are biodynamic, all active ingredients are organic and all carrying ingredients that we can obtain of sufficient quality are organic. All our ingredients are sourced from chemical free supplies, many that we have used for many decades, but not all are certified. The supply network is incredibly complex and spreads out across the whole world. Bear in mind that only when an ingredient is certified organic has it been independently checked to be organic.
Finally, as regards the whole question of whether a technical product can be organic, and also whether organic implies fair trade or not, Dr.Hauschka has had fair trade agreements with our suppliers since we started trading 70 years ago. Our processing methods are as gentle as possible and we never process more than 3 steps from the original ingredient. Our ingredients are processed with love. That’s a claim that so far, no body is offering to certify!”