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The mission and process underlying this sector is outstanding; however, increasingly so terms, like "organic," are getting misused, and companies racing toward the Bottom Dollar.
Organic ingredients are an amazing thing. But the term is being thrown around left and right these days. Let's be clear on a few critical points when you embark upon your journey to find the best natural products that truly suit your sensitive skin:
Even if something is organic in a formula - even if ALL of the formula is comprised of organic ingredients - it CANNOT be labeled "organic" unless a third party certifies it so. That's right: Say someone whips up a cream with ten organic ingredients, each one of them certified and bearing the organic seal, but the cream cannot be marketed as organic: Nope, not until it's certified, confirmed, by a credible third party.
A simple question: Can you certify a rock organic? No doubt it's a laughable question, but in all seriousness, brands should not be claiming "organic" on a product formulated with minerals. Can the other ingredients be organic? If they are agricultural in nature and earn the certification, like certified organic rice powder, arrowroot, an oil, a butter, etc. -- you bet. Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica, sericite, and other minerals, though, are INorganic by nature. When they are in a product, the entire product itself should not be deemed organic.
America is a beautiful place, especially with the ability for anyone to work their creative prowess and sell a product. Whether selling t-shirts, dolls, home goods, or skincare, there are some caveats, especially when an artisan brand sells food, makeup, or skincare.
With food and personal care products, it's critical that FDA mandates be upheld. To say the rules and regulations are extensive is an understatement, though, and too many mom-and-pop, artisan, indie brands as well as some bigger brands let mistakes enter their processes, if they even have Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Undoubtedly some have great procedures and cleanliness assurances, but even big companies have safety and contamination issues, and straight-up recalls; small, made-in-the-kitchen type brands (we're not bashing them - many brands start out in the kitchen!) risk contamination sneaking in and, although not always the case, lackadaisical processes.
Small brands can absolutely dominate. We love reading stories in Inc. and Fast Company as well as industry trade magazines about a small, bootstrapped company rising from out of nowhere. However, still considered "new" ourselves (Omiana's trademark went through, finally, in 2016), even we have seen things get dirty among companies. From piggybacking off each other's formulas to downright plagiarism (we have had a company straight-up copy and paste pages from our site, clearly breaching copyright!), sometimes cosmetics companies, big or small, step on each other's toes. This point really bothers us: We're a women-uplift-women type of organization, so seeing women leaders, whether of kitchen-made formulas or large manufacturing facilities, in the cosmetic industry play dirty is disappointing.
To grow to a certain size is every company's goal, cosmetic or otherwise. However, new issues can arise with a company's growth:
When a larger cosmetics company purchases a smaller company, the parent company likely takes over. This means that when a company that animal-tests takes over a company that was cruelty-free, the waters are muddied. You must look at the reputation of the new parent company. Do they have a history of testing on animals? What about with the other companies they've acquired - did they stay cruelty-free? In cases where the CEO of the just-sold company is KEPT as the CEO, the ethos and standards will likely remain. Raise a brow and get your fingers a'clicking if the CEO is new, though.