In Part I of this series, we explored some of the most common terms found on Skin, Hair, and Personal Care labels. Before you finally make the choice regarding your unique personalized skin or hair care regimen, here are a few more routinely used terms (with their true meanings and interpretations) that are important to know.
10. Cruelty Free
Did you know that approximately 2 million lab animals are basically tortured and killed in the name of consumer safety every year world-wide, due to animal testing of cosmetics and skin care products!
The term cruelty-free means that the product is not tested on animals. However, the term isn’t defined by law and unfortunately the truth is that some manufacturers make false claims when it comes to this topic. Labels may indicate that the ingredients have been tested on animals, but the final product has not (or vice versa), or could indicate that the manufacturer outsourced the testing to a contractor lab, or relied on another company’s animal testing results.
Scientifically approved, non-animal testing methods are a reality in today’s world, but many big companies are still using this conventional process simply because non-animal testing is an expensive and time consuming process, and every test requires new ingredients.
To ensure that a product is 100% cruelty-free – from sourcing to manufacturing of ingredients and the final testing of products, the company should state that none of the stages used animals for testing.
A botanical is an ingredient used in skin, hair or personal care product that is derived naturally from plants. It can be roots, herbs, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark or any other plant part. Some of the examples of popular botanicals are: Chamomile, Green Tea, Neem, Gotu Kola, Lavender, etc.
Botanicals have increasingly earned their place in the beauty industry, owing to their multiple benefits of being eco-friendly, high in antioxidant content, with almost no side-effects and provide superior, natural and long lasting results. For a botanical to be truly effective, the extracts of these ingredients must be formulated with specific, scientific methods, and in proper concentrations to provide effective results.
Wildcrafting (also known as Wild-gathering) is the practice of sourcing plant ingredients from their natural or wild habitats, primarily for therapeutic purposes. These plants are raised following the wildcrafting guidelines, without any human intervention.
It’s important when using products that contain wild-gathered ingredients indicate that such harvesting directly from nature has been done in a sustainable manner.
Cultivated plants are pampered and raised under ideal conditions. Watered when needed, weeded, fertilized and treated with pesticides. Such practices make the plants to have less ‘vital force’ or prana. On the other hand, plants which live in their natural environments undergo stress due to change in weather conditions, competing plants, insects, etc. for which they fight on their own (we can correlate this with how human immunity is built with more exposure to the environment). These natural conditions make a plant more resistant and empower them with more vital energy vs cultivated plants –making them, more potent with a higher degree of Skin Actives for greater effectiveness when used in Skin Care and Medicines.
Sustainable (or Green or Clean) ingredients/products are not only effective and safe, but should be harvested in a manner that does not endanger the plant species in it’s natural environment. These ingredients are normally also ‘vegan’, ‘cruelty-free’, and are naturally Organic.
Here @PuraVedaOrganics, we also enforce zero-waste, limit our carbon footprint and use recycled materials for packaging. Ethical ingredient sourcing is important sign indicator of a sustainable, socially conscious and ethical brand.
14. Fair Trade
Fair trade practice also covers initiatives to minimize environmental impact and adheres to basic human and labor rights.
To learn more about Sustainability and Fair Trade of Organic Products check out our FAQs page.
The term GMO or Genetically Modified Organisms are used to refer a microorganism, plant or animal that has been changed at the genetic level in labs through the process of genetic engineering. GMO crops are designed to resist disease or drought, as well as herbicides or pests, or contain added nutrients – all of which is unnatural, and in our opinion should be avoided as there is no long term empirical evidence that Genetically Modified ingredients are safe.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has indicated that there are several risks associated with GMOs such as infertility, allergies, inflammation and immune problems. There are several GMO-ingredients used in beauty industry like Coconut Oil, Soybean, Rice, Citric Acid and Papaya that sound natural, but can be the culprits behind worsening skin problems. To avoid GMOs in a beauty product, look for labels which are organic and contain ‘Non-GMO ingredients’.
16. Reef Safe
Chemical UV-filtering ingredients in sunscreen, such as Oxybenzones and Octinoxate, react with the coral reefs and transform the brilliantly colored coral reef structures into lifeless blue-grey skeletons…a phenomenon known as ‘coral bleaching’.
Did you know that nearly 14,000 tons of sunscreen are washed off into the oceans every year and are a biggest threat to the world’s delicate coral reefs!
Apart from other eco-friendly practices that can save these dying coral reefs, using reef-safe sunscreens can be a huge help. Reef safe sunscreens are free from Benzones and Octinoxate and their chemical alternatives in the ingredient list. The ingredients must also be more than 100 nanometers in size (non-nano) so that they cannot be ingested by the corals.
Organic Sunscreens made with properly micronized (ie; not nano-particulated) Zinc oxide very effectively block harmful UV rays and are reef safe as well. Learn here, How to Choose a Reef-safe Sunscreen.
Ayurveda is the Ancient Art & Science of nourishing the mind, body and soul and aligning the body’s changing needs with the harmony & rhythms of nature. The basic premise of Ayurvedic Skin and Hair Care is that each of us born with a unique constitution type, known as Dosha in Ayurveda. Various factors such as stress, pollution, seasonal changes, lifestyle and genetics can upset the constitutions delicate of balance, creating various skin problems.
These three types of dosha (or imbalances) are known as Vata (Dry-Normal), Pitta (Sensitive, Rosacea or Blemished) or Kapha (Oily). With Ayurvedic Skincare, out-of-sync doshas can be optimized and realigned with the right botanical skin care regimen.
Learn more about your Unique Ayurvedic Dosha and Receive Personalized Skin Care Advice from Puraveda Organics.
18. Clinically Proved
For a formula to be effective, every ingredient must be scientifically validated through clinical studies. A Clinically Proved formula passes through at least 3 stages – screening for safety, establishing efficacy of an ingredient against a placebo and final confirmation of safety and efficacy of the finished product. Such products have undergone testing through several trials to validate the claims beyond any reasonable doubt.
Now that you have learned the meaning behind these confusing terms on beauty labels, we hope that you will spend a few minutes reading labels and do some research of the company before spending hundreds of dollars on products that may not live up to their hype.
Shop for Natural, Clean, Organic, Non-comedogenic, Paraben-free, Sulfate-free, No Artificial Fragrances, No Artificial Colors, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, Cruelty-free, Botanicals, Wildcrafted/Wild-harvested, Sustainable, Fair-Trade, Non-GMO, Reef safe, Ayurvedic and Clinically Proved ingredients and products only at Puraveda Organics.