Everywhere you look, you see and hear the term “organic”. Whether it’s clean eating, or using organic products for hair, skin, nails and body, organic has a big demand and there are many that swear behind using them vs. “regular” products. But is there really a difference and what do the labels even mean?

Parabens vs. no Parabens

Often ingredients in regular skin products include parabens, which are used as as preservatives for the life of skin products, to avoid growth of mold, yeast, etc. However, while granted as safe from the FTC, many parabens have been classified as carcinogenic chemicals, especially when being absorbed into the skin. Different parabens have also been linked to several types of cancers. Organic products are paraben free and will say so on the label and often will be noted the front of the product as well.

What an Organic Label Means

An organic label means that there has been some certification received from the USDA. Here are the different levels of “organic”:

100% Organic

The product in question exclusively uses organically produced ingredients and is permitted to display the 100% organic seal.


The product contains at least 95% organically produced ingredients and thus, is permitted to display the seal on their labeling.

Made With Organic Ingredients 

The product contains at least 70% organic ingredients. In this case, the product is not permitted to display the seal, but may note the organic ingredients in the product packaging as 2016well as the ingredient list.

Less than 70% Organic Ingredients

Products are not permitted to use the term “organic” anywhere on the packaging, labeling, or display the “organic” seal, but are allowed to identify organically produced items in the ingredient list.

The best way to evaluate what will be absorbed into your skin is to simply check the list of ingredients. You can essentially follow the same rule of thumb that you do with the ingredients that you eat- the harder it is to pronounce, the less likely it is that it’s good for you, so steer clear.