Certified Organic Cosmetics vs Conventional Cosmetics: What’s the Difference?

With so many choices of cosmetics out there, it’s hard to know what’s best. Learn more about what 'certified organic' really means and if it makes a difference to you.

Peruse any given beauty retailer's website and you'll see about a million buzzwords thrown around: organic, paraben-free, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and so on.

Many consumers question the value of certified-organic cosmetics. Are such products better or worse than conventional cosmetics? Does the certification have any bearing on quality?

The answer is a little more complicated than a yes or a no; it’s all about your preference! However, it’s important to know what the term 'organic' means in the beauty industry and how certification works.


Certified Organic Cosmetics vs Conventional Cosmetics: What’s the Difference?


What does 'organic' mean in the cosmetic industry?

When a cosmetics brand utilises the word 'organic', the word can mean many different things. However, overall, an organic cosmetic product does not interact with synthetic chemicals, such as pesticides, fertilisers, additives, and antibiotics, or radiation at any step of the production process.

Due to the steps and expenses associated with this type of production, many brands are unable to achieve certification—even if the ingredients themselves are organic.

What does it mean to be certified organic?

This question is where things get a bit complicated. Every country has different regulations for organic certification, meaning that a product created and certified and in one country might not meet the standards for organic certification in the country you purchase it in.

Most countries have stringent regulations that meet the definition of 'organic' that we outlined above, but it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re getting. If you want more information on the certifications in your home country, they should be available on your government’s website regarding agriculture standards.


Certified Organic Cosmetics vs Conventional Cosmetics: What’s the Difference?


This brand claims to be organic, but it isn’t certified. What’s the deal?

Organic certification is great to have. But as most cosmetic brands don’t have such certification, you don’t need to worry that your favourite organic brand isn’t being truthful about its ingredients.

Organic certification requires the company to pay a premium for that certification. Some brands, particularly smaller brands, stand behind their products and don't feel a need to pay for certification. Such companies instead focus spending on R&D or other ways of producing higher quality products for you.

Because certification requirements vary from country to country as it is, it’s difficult to know whether a product suits your definition of 'organic' anyway. It’s more important to look at how a particular brand sources its ingredients if you have strong convictions about using only fully organic products.

So what’s the final word? Organic certification, while a great thing to have, isn’t the sole determining factor in how organic or natural your product is. Certified or no, the product should be what's best for you and your needs overall.

However, if you prefer only certified organic products, Adore Beauty is keeping you in the know. Our full list of certified organic brands shows you that we care about our ingredients and our customers. Have fun browsing, and have a gorgeous day!


Certified Organic Cosmetics vs Conventional Cosmetics: What’s the Difference?

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