3rd February 2010

Organic Wednesday – A change from our usual programming.

By Get Lippie

In which Get Lippie goes off on one and hopes she’ll be forgiven …

Here at Get Lippie, I have a lot of organic products, and I read a LOT of pseudo-scientific gubbins about why organic products are better than products that contain ingredients which are not organic. And, by and large, I take most  of these claims with a pinch of salt.  You can tell me that a product works because the contents are  harvested only by the light of a gibbous moon by virgins, then then ingredients are handed to fairies who use angel wings to mix them up (not actually that far-fetched a claim, to be honest) and I’ll simply roll my eyes slightly (possibly whilst belming gently to myself) and then go back to smearing it wherever it’s meant to be smeared and reading the ingredients list.

From reading that,  I’ll know that a product works because it contains ingredients known to moisturise, or perfume, or colour and doesn’t contain potential irritants. I’m a big fan of reading the ingredients list of any product I buy, organic or not.  More people should do it!

There are, however, two words which, when I encounter them on an organic product – and it is always an organic product I’m afraid, that will make me go all “HULK SMASH” on the offending article.  Those two words are:

Chemical Free

They make me crazy.  Because I’ll assume two things.  That the makers of the products are idiots and, worse, that they think the people buying the products are idiots.  And that makes me angry.  Just because people may want to avoid increasingly synthetic products, it doesn’t mean they’re gullible.

There is nothing on this planet that is chemical-free.  I am chemicals.  You are chemicals.  Air is so full of chemicals it’s astonishing we can breathe at all.  Water – the supposedly one of purest ingredients on earth is … you guessed it … chemicals!  ORGANIC INGREDIENTS CONTAIN CHEMICALS.  Everything does, and certainly everything on that pesky ingredients list will consist of chemicals in various guises. There simply is no such thing as chemical free.  Any product that tells you it’s good because it doesn’t contain “chemicals” is attempting to pull the wool over your eyes in order to get you to hand over your hard-earned pennies.

If a product is free of synthetic dyes, perfumes, colours, additives or preservatives, then that’s great – to a point, but that’s the subject of a whole other post – then quite rightly the packaging should mention it.  But I do wish organic producers wouldn’t be so tricksy at times.   Sometimes you need a degree in double-speak to figure out if the products are entirely organic or not.  I really don’t think you should be able to claim that a product is organic if it merely contains a couple of organic essential oils or something.  But again, that’s the subject of another post.

What do you think of organic products? Does the provenance of the ingredients in your cosmetic items bother you at all? Did you make it to the end of this post? Are you a cosmetic brand who disagrees with what I’ve written here?  What drives YOU crazy about cosmetic claims or labelling?