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Every time I stroll through Sephora, Ulta or my local beauty supply store (places I visit quite often), it’s obvious how many brands have embraced products with “natural formulations.” So, this recent research from Mintel revealing how consumers are interested in “milder, more natural formulations and “food-based and probiotic facial skincare” is no surprise. The research shows consumers are most interested in “products with vitamin C (85 percent), fruit-based ingredients (78 percent), oatmeal (78 percent) and honey (76 percent). Plus, 72 percent of consumers use or are interested in using products featuring probiotics.”

In case you’re interested—although the FDA regulates the cosmetic industry, the term “organic” is not defined in either of its laws or regulations. However, the USDA oversees the National Organic Program (NOP) and cosmetic products labeled with organic claims must comply with both USDA regulations for the organic claim and FDA regulations for labeling and safety requirements for cosmetics. That said, the safety requirements of ingredients are the same if the ingredients are organic or not.

Also, natural skincare and organic skincare do not mean the same thing. Basically, natural means it’s devised from nature, while organic beauty is grown without the use of pesticides. While neither is necessarily better for your skin, organic is definitely better for the environment. Here’s why:

  • Organic farming avoids chemicals that can affect the health of farm workers, local people and wildlife.
  • Organically-grown ingredients may contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Organic products are better for wildlife. Wide field margins and hedgerows allow birds, butterflies and bees to flourish, free from deadly pesticides.
  • Organic standards prohibit genetically modified ingredients.

    According to New Hope, a natural and nutrition industry newsletter, natural and organic products will become easier to find. Conventional retailers will “continue to stock more natural options, while more high-end/luxury retailers will bring certified organic, biodynamic and fair-trade offerings into their aisles.”

    Like most health trends, the key to good skin care starts with what you put in your body, not just on your body. According to NBJ’s 2016 Healthy Solutions Report, digestive health is increasingly being tied to immunity, brain health and more, including skin health. So, look for organic beauty products tied to healthy bacteria, such as topical probiotics to support the probiotics you’re putting in your body through food or supplements.

    How do you know the beauty product you’re purchasing is truly organic? Unfortunately, in the U.S., a product only has to contain a certain percentage of organic matter to be declared “organic” on its label. And, the percentage varies from state to state—in California, for example, it’s 70 percent. If the product has a USDA Organic seal, you know the product contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients.

    To make sure the products you buy are actually organic, check the list of certified skincare companies on the USDA Organic Body & Skincare website.

    Rieva Lesonsky is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and self-educated health nut. Follow her @Rieva.

    Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Thinkstock