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With organic personal care products, what HASN'T gone into the making of the product (pesticides, herbicides, etc.) is just as important as what HAS gone into it. Unfortunately, due to a lack of organic personal care standards, the only definitive way to know that you are buying a truly organic body care product is to purchase one that carries the USDA organic seal. Many companies take advantage of the loophole allowing them to label a product "organic" without the seal on the basis of a single organic ingredient. Consumers must constantly scan ingredient listings, looking for worrisome ingredients they want to avoid--like paraben preservatives and sodium lauryl sulfate--and assessing for themselves if the product is truly organic.

This situation is complicated by the fact that many common cleansers, stabilizers and moisturizers that you find in shampoos and lotions aren't eligible for USDA organic status because they are not food products or ingredients. Therefore it is nearly impossible at this time for even legitimate attempts to provide certain kinds of organic personal care products to carry the USDA label.

Aura Cacia chooses not to call any product organic unless it can be labeled with the USDA seal. (Aura Cacia Organics offers a entire line of USDA organic personal care products.) Products which cannot earn that seal--even when the result of natural ingredients that the USDA does not recognize as organic simply because they have no food use--are not called organic on their labels or in our advertising. But in every instance, we try to use the most natural ingredients possible--including organic essential oils, plant butters, and vegetable-derived oils whenever they are available.

Often the best route to completely natural and organic personal care is with simple, ingredient-free formulas. For example, it's easy to "go organic" in moisturizing your skin after cleansing. Simply hydrate your skin with a simple mist of purified water and skin-friendly organic essential oils such as lavender and geranium. Follow this by smoothing an organic skin care oil--such as sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, or apricot kernel--over your damp skin to lock in the moisture.


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