Why “Organic” Matters For Your Skin and Hair

These days, it seems like everything aspires to be "organic," from the tomatoes in your pasta sauce to the paper towels you use to wipe it up. The trend has also been popping up with increasing frequency among grooming products, as can be seen in the burgeoning shelves of the drugstore section of your local Whole Foods. Burt's Bees may be the best known of the bunch, but classic heritage brands like Lucky Tiger and niche labels like Firefly Organics are getting in on the all-natural act as well. But what does "organic" really mean and why should you buy it for your shower ledge? Here we answer some pressing questions about that little green label when it comes to grooming.

What does organic certification mean?

In the United States, organic certification—and those round green stickers—are overseen by the Department of Agriculture. A product may use the "USDA Organic" label if at least 95% of the ingredients are organic content.

What does "organic" mean?

According to the USDA website, organic operations "must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances." This means pesticides and chemical fertilizers are prohibited, as well as genetically modified organisms and growth hormones.

Why choose organic?

Besides the environmental benefits, it's pretty much a no-brainer that the fewer chemicals and strange hormones you put into your body, the better. Less obvious is that those chemicals can be similarly harmful to the outside of your body. In November, the Canadian organization Environmental Defence reported that an external lab had found toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, sperm damage, and other health issues in a number of common grooming products like hair gel and deodorant. If you wouldn't want it in your mouth, you probably don’t want it in your pores.

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