What does “organic” really mean?


Organic is a word that we hear a lot these days — is often linked to other words such as natural, herbal, vegan, healthy among others.  More often than not, when we hear that something is labeled organic, we immediately think, oh, its herbal, its safe… I’ll buy it”

WAIT! Did you read the labels carefully? By definition, the word organic (of food or farming methods) means that there were no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents used in the production of the product.



relating to or derived from living matter | synonyms: living, live, animate, biological, biotic | “organic matter”

(of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents | synonyms: pesticide-free, additive-free, natural | “organic vegetables”

In checking if the product you are buying is really organic, you should check which ingredients are NOT used in the product, instead of what was used.

Case and point — it is easy for companies to claim that their product is “organic” because let’s say, they used “organic aloe vera” as an ingredient in the product. Great. However, when you carefully read the ingredients, they used something called “petrolatum”, which is actually a cancer-causing ingredient. Uh oh.

In some other cases, companies say their products do not contain any SLS, parabens or sulfate. But then again, when you carefully read the labels, you will see that they still used one or two harmful ingredients.

This just goes back to what the definition of organic is. Products that are made WITHOUT the use of harmful chemicals, pesticides, additives. 

Therefore, make sure to read all the ingredients and check if they did not use harmful ingredients such as:

  • Petrolatum
  • Paraffin
  • Mineral Oils
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) / Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Cocamide DEA / Cocamide MEA
  • Carbomer
  • Lanolin and its Derivatives
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Methylisothiazolinone / Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Parabens (Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben)
  • UREA

To learn more about these ingredients, see my next blog post: BEWARE OF THESE 10 COSMETIC INGREDIENTS

Now, who confirms if products are really organic? There are different certification bodies who each have their own standards in assuring that a product is really organic. They go as far as checking the soil used for the planting of ingredients used in the product. Some of the most popular certification bodies for organic products are:


  • ICEA (Italy)
  • Soil Association (United Kingdom)
  • Cosmebio (France)
  • Ecocert Greenlife SAS (France)
  • BDIH (Germany)

When you see their logo on the packaging, you are 100% sure that the product is really organic and safe from harmful chemicals. To learn more about this topic, see my next blog post: ORGANIC CERTIFICATION LOGOS TO LOOK FOR

I’m very pleased with the whole “health trend” these days because we are following a trend that is actually GOOD for us. We are starting to take care of our bodies–by exercising and being mindful of what we eat. It’s cool how being “healthy” is such an in thing right now. Anytime we go to the gym or eat an acai bowl, we never fail to instagram it (guilty!), haha.

We have already started being mindful of what we put IN our bodies. I believe that now is the time to also be aware of the things we put ON on our bodies.

How to start? It’s easy: 1) Check the labels, 2) Read the ingredients and finally, 3) Find the certification.

Photo from: pinterest.com

14 thoughts on “What does “organic” really mean?

  1. Hi Mike…really a very informative post . Most people actually doesn’t know the real meaning of organic products. Looking forwardvtovread you coming posts


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