Environmentally friendly cosmetics: BIO-truth and eco-deception

November 16-17, Frankfurt will host the first International Summit of Organic Cosmetics Manufacturers. I hope they finally figure out there, which "bio" is good for us and which is not.

However, not only representatives of brands will gather, but also sympathizers - suppliers of raw materials, scientists, distributors. Together, they will decide whether to adopt uniform global standards for biocosmetics and what they should be. In the meantime, biocosmetics are generously called by all means in which there are essential oils or extracts of healing herbs. Often this is true: indeed, there are oils and herbs there. But here only the advantage of natural ingredients is completely leveled by chemical components. Plus, each country has its own bio-rules and bio-rules. The philistine-neophyte, who decided to join, is rather difficult to understand.

For example, my friend Julia is a big fan of everything “natural”. She eats organic products, wears clothes made from natural fabrics. But with cosmetics all the time it is wrong, because it obediently buys all the funds that say "natural" or "phyto." The last straw was the acquisition of "unique natural Chinese cosmetics" in an amount sufficient to buy a used car. Ginseng root, deer antler powder, orange oil - all these words were literally hypnotized to Julia. Arriving home, she voluptuously smeared body lotion with silk proteins, put on her face a mask with mountain herbs and began to wait until the "healing forces of nature" act. The fact that the magic means smelled not of essential oils, but of tar, did not bother her. However, the expected effect was not, moreover, the skin was dry and covered with unaesthetic red spots, and the heavy aroma of chemical resins pursued Julia for several days.

This is because there is no official term “natural cosmetics”. And this title is appropriated by all brands that include at least one percent of natural ingredients in their composition. However, they can also be obtained synthetically. And the remaining 99% are almost certainly chemical carriers. “The naturalness of cosmetics is often a marketing ploy,” says Irina Kryukova, doctor of biological sciences, a specialist at the Faberlic laboratory. - Alas, so far most of the consumers are bought on green jars and the prefix “eco” in the title. Benefits, as it should, from such cosmetics are few. "

But the concept of "eco-cosmetics" and "biocosmetics" is, as well as organizations that issue the appropriate certificates. And if you know the set of criteria that real natural cosmetics must meet, you can easily figure it out on your own.

So, eco-cosmetics should contain 95% of herbal ingredients, of which at least 50% should be grown on environmentally friendly farms and fields. For biocosmetics requirements even stricter. It also includes 95% of the natural components, and 95% of them must come from certified plantations. Only pure, genetically unmodified plants are used, the soil is enriched with organic and mineral fertilizers, agricultural equipment is not treated with chlorine and other toxic substances.

Compliance with these standards is strictly monitored by Ecocert and its subsidiary Cosmebio. It was founded in France in 1991 to control all products (not only cosmetics), claiming to be called ecological. The brands that have completed the entire “quest” of certification are given the proud title of BIO and the corresponding badge - a round sticker with the inscription BIO on each jar. In addition, a complete list of ingredients should be indicated and an asterisk should be marked with those of natural origin. Ecocert controls cosmetics in 80 countries, but there are also national organizations. And here the confusion begins, for everyone has different requirements. For example, German BDIH adheres to the same principles as Ecocert, but allows the use of a small amount of non-natural preservatives. The Belgian organization NaTrue allows the use of artificial impurities that are identical to natural. And the American USDA does approve of genetically modified plants. That is why the most “real” (and most expensive!) Biocosmetics professionals consider the one that has the Ecocert / Cosmebio certificate. Interestingly, twice a year, each brand must retake the environmental test.

“Despite the fact that, having discovered the BIO sticker on the product, you can be sure that you are buying, I recommend everyone read the labels carefully, namely the composition,” says Oksana Abilayeva, cosmetologist, teacher at the Aroma-Fit training center. “Alas, very often we are faced with fakes, especially on the Russian market.”

The necessity of reading labels plunges me into despair: how can you understand all these propylene glycols and other sulphates! But apparently, eco-awareness implies curiosity. And I figured it out.

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