Why are organic cosmetics expensive? (1) | The Brown Bottle

Why are organic cosmetics expensive? (1)

Apr 9, 2018 by Sora

You get that organic personal care products are good, but do you think they are too expensive? Do you think they aren’t as effective as what you paid for?

I know that I am being the green consumer who thinks about both my body and the environment, but organic personal care products are expensive...

When I talk to my friends about organic personal care products, I realised that all of us are actually aware of the fact that they are good for our families, animal friends, as well as to the environment. However, when we are about to purchase any personal care product, we would hesitate to go for organic ones because of the high price. Are the organic cosmetics really worth the price? We are going to talk more about it in the next few blogs.

How do we define organic personal care products?

Organic ingredients are naturally produced from the vegetables, animals (except animal cell, tissue and organ) and minerals (except the materials originated from fossil fuel) raw materials, which were not processed or only processed under the conditions that would meet the organic product related regulations. 

Organic personal care products are the products which were produced under the following conditions.

  • The product must contain at least 95% of natural ingredients
  • At least 95% the of natural ingredients must be organic
  • At least 10% of all ingredients including water must be organic
  • Mineral oil, silicone, paraben, synthetic perfumes, synthetic colors and such chemical raw materials are prohibited to be used as the ingredients
  • Animal testing is not allowed
  • Use recyclable containers
  • The manufacturer must receive the local inspections on the soil, ingredients,  production process and transportation, then pass the environmental standards twice a year on a regular basis.

Excluding the raw materials originating from fossil fuel?

After the industrial revolution, synthetic chemicals made from the petroleum byproducts appeared to mass produce the personal care products for more people. Compare to products gained from the initial self-sufficient lifestyle, the products which used synthetic chemicals from refined petroleum substances were easy to manufacture, store and distribute. In addition to that, they were even more cost effective. However, we have learned the harmfulness of the synthetic chemicals through our body.

The critical boundary between the organic personal care products and others is the use of substances derived from fossil fuel, in other words, substances from the petroleum. What’s the significant difference of these? As a joke, you may ask yourself; petroleum and coals are materials naturally derived from the earth, so doesn’t that make them the natural ingredient? However, the key difference is the ‘sustainability’. Ingredient from plant extracts or natural resources such as milk, eggs and milk protein from animals, they are ingredients which all humankind can use and still get them back from the nature. Yet, petroleum is a typical limited resource, right?

Is there a particular reason why the ingredients from the nature need to be more expensive?

Using organic personal care products is considered as a ‘green consumption’ because it is a way to protect the land where produces the raw materials, manufacturers, consumers, and even the animal friends from exposure to toxic synthetic chemicals. Thus, it makes it possible to ultimately protect the environment. We are also desperate for the clean and safe environment.

When growing plants that become organic raw materials, they do not use chemical fertilisers such as nitrogen fertilisers to increase the production or chase away the insects with pesticides. The land is not being polluted and less carbon and greenhouse gases are emitted, thus prevent the global warming as well. On the other hand, it reduces the amount of return production on invested capital and time.

Also, organic ingredient certification is not temporary, but it requires inspections on the soil, ingredient production process and distribution twice a year on a regular basis. The producers and the materials can only sell or be sold as organic if they pass the environmental standards. So, the cost spent is doubled; firstly, the organic cultivation method and secondly, the organic ingredient certification.

Moreover, the expiry date for the natural extracts is shorter than those ingredients using synthetic chemical preservative because they did not use any preservative or use only the certified ones. So, both the consumer cooperatives and social online shopping malls are trying to build the distribution network to connect producers, suppliers and consumers in offline and online directly.

Before you purchase organic personal care products, read the direction of use and reviews of other purchasers carefully.

Organic products have much more unique characters than synthetic chemical products that are uniformly processed. Even with the same lavender oils, their scent and effect varies depend on the location of the plantation. Therefore, it is always good to know about the direction of use from the manufacturer as well as the actual reviews from the product users. The preference of the product may be vary depending on the users’ body type or taste.

Also, you must be aware of the fact that not all products with the organic certification are 100% safe. For instance, if you use photosensitive essential oils, even it is certified organic, you may suffer from redness and irritation when exposed to sunlight.

It is always helpful to check on the reviews of other purchasers before you buy personal care products, don’t forget to check all the ingredients. Purchasing behaviour of each and every customer will change the action of manufacturer. See you soon with the next posting ‘Why are organic cosmetics expensive?(2)’!

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