The ones that cannot be considered as organic, but that are authentic natural elements, such as clays for instance. Clay is probably one of the oldest material on earth, but humans have decided that the term organic does not apply to it.
Clays: The most proliferic material on earth formed after 4 million years of errosion and degradation of the earth's crust, ending up as sediments. They are crystals of alumino silicates and are accounted for many properties, some we know about, some we will discover in the future. Clays are the basis of naturopathy. We distinguish 3 types used in natural health care, the Montmorilonites, the Illites and the Kaolins. The first 2 have 3 layers, the last one only 2. The more the layers, the more active in terms of ionic exchanges. They never cease to amaze.
Glycerin: It is the ingredient most widely present in animals and plants. We should only use the vegetal origin.
Organic ingredients are those that come from the entire plant (wholistic), that have not been poluted by synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or any other chemicals. They can be certified or not, however, it is of course easier to back-up a product with certification. Unfortunately, some un-certified organic products are sometimes of much higher quality than certified ones. One exception is clay, this raw material made by the errosion of the planet during a 4 million years cycle is nto recognized as been organic. Another peculiarity is for sea algae. Some on the east coast of the United States are recognized as organic, others on the west coast of France are not. A great deal of work still needs to be done towards the regulation of organic products.
- Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis): Juice extracted from the leaves of the aloe vera plant by physical methods.
- Avocado (Persea americana) oil: Obtained from pressing the fruit. High in monounsaturated fats (like olive oil) and vitamin E.
- Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii): composed of five principal fatty acids: stearic, oleic, linoleic, palmitic and arachidic acids obtained from the fruit of the tree. More expensive than using the synthetic equivalent fatty acids, but well worth the effort.
- Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) Seed Oil: Technically a wax, but commonly called an oil due to its "oil look alike" appearance.
It is quite difficult to avoid synthetic ingredients in elaborated cosmetic products (mostly emulsions). Some are used as preservatives, others as thickeners (rheology modifiers), still others as stabilizers etc... They constitute the majority of "fillers" in products, and contribute to their "Look and Feel". However, they are not "wholistic" ingredients, those that come from the entire plant. The acceptable ones (in green) are mostly obtained from fractionning plants that usually undergo further chemical reactions, the not so good ones (in red) usually undergo more extensive chemical reactions. When necessary, they should allways be used with parcimony. Learn here a little more about ingredients you put on your skin.
- Allantoin: Present in botanical extracts of the comfrey plant and urine from cows and most mammals (except humans), it is the product of oxidation of uric acid. Some people may be allergic to allantoin. It is not present in the human being. Do you really want this ingredient on your skin?
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: Ester of decanoic and octanoid fatty acids and glycerol.(obtained from fractionated Coconut Oil).
- Cetearyl Olivate (and) Sorbitan Olivate: Emulsifier made from esters of Cetearyl alcohol, sorbitol and oleic acid. Basically a better substitute to the classical Emulsifying Wax NF.
- Cetyl Palmitate: Ester derived from palmitic acid and cetyl alcohol.
- Gluconolactone: Ester of gluconic acid.
- Hydroxyethylcellulose: A polymer (cellulose) made from glucose (natural monomer) when ethylene oxide molecules have reacted with each glucose unit (with loss of water) to form a hydroxyethyl group. These groups can further react endlessly with additional groups as long as ethylene oxide is present. Not beneficial in itself to the skin, but widely used due to its ability to serve many purposes (gelling agent, emulsifier, stabilizer, preservative, thickener, binder etc…) it is a filler very popular with traditional cosmetic chemists. It is also widely used in cement, lime, organic plasters, tile adhesives, and mortars. In cement formulations, it is used as a retarder and moisture retaining agent. It has not been cleared by FDA for direct use as a component of food products. Do you really want this ingredient on your skin?
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5: Covalent bond of palmitic acid with cysteine residues of proteins. Also called synthetic collagen.
- Potassium Sorbate: Preservative consisting of the potassium salt of sorbic acid. Classified as "3" by Skin Deep.
- Sodium benzoate: Preservative consisting of the sodium salt of Benzoic acid. Classified as "2" by Skin Deep.