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Label Lowdown

Beauty decoded

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Label Lowdown

Organic cosmetics are spreading faster than you can say, "go green." But what does their labelling really mean?

Organic beauty products are spreading faster than you can say, “go green.” But when you read their labels, what do the terms organic, natural, or vegan really mean?

The Label Says: Organic

The label means: To be labelled organic, a product must be certified to be free of chemicals, synthetic ingredients and preservatives, artificial colours, and fragrances. Canadian-owned and -operated Certech is North America’s first certification standard system for organic and natural cosmetics.

“Organic standards vary; however, most often, greater than 95 percent of the finished product must be organic to be labelled as such,” says Paul Duchesne of Health Canada.

The Label Says: Natural

The label means: Natural does not have an official definition.

“Natural generally means that an ingredient is derived from a nonsynthetic source, for example, a botanical ingredient,” says Philippe Laroche of Health Canada.

The Label Says: Vegan

The label means: No animals were harmed during the making of the product. A vegan product may be advertised as cruelty-free if it was not tested on animals and does not contain any animal derivatives.

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