Why aren’t we USDA certified organic?

      The short answer is: Because we don’t want to be. We are a CLEAN beauty brand, not an organic beauty brand. Here's why:  Although organic farming is something we love and believe in, organic certification in skincare is a business marketing decision that is a very separate idea from organic farming.  To be certified organic as a formulator of cosmetics, is adhering to a "farming" regulations that can sometimes prohibit one from making the best product possible. The best product possible is one that works, with safe, clean ingredients.  We wish it were as simple as just choosing all organic ingredients for our creams, but it isn’t. First of all, since “organic” is a farming method we couldn't have wild harvested ingredients. If a brand uses harvested ingredients like sea kelp, those ingredients are not organic. As we use mainly ocean based ingredients, we do not source from organic farms, because they don't have what we want.

Second, you have to go to an official National Organic Program “certification program accredited agent”. These are private businesses that apply to be trained to certify farms and businesses that claim over $5000 per year of organic produce. We have to pay a lot of money to get certified and many brands (and even farms growing your food) are organic by choice, but do not pay for the certification. It is a pay to play game that don't want to participate in, even if it gets us more sales. We'd rather put that money into our products, not little green stamps.

Third, there are times when it is so much better not to use a natural version of an ingredient. Vitamin C is a great example of that. If we want to use Vitamin C in our product, we couldn’t be certified organic because vitamin C is not an organic ingredient, it is nature identical or "lab made". The vitamin C is synthesized from the fruit or vegetable that contain it, but whether the fruit was organic to begin with, does not make the vitamin C itself organic. This goes for all vitamin C supplements you ingest. Due to the very unstable nature of vitamin C, there is no way to extract it and maintain its stability for use in a product unless it is made in a lab. Using a "natural" form of Vitamin C like ground up açaí fruit does not give us a standardized and stable ingredient to work with, and doesn't give us a molecule size that is going to penetrate your skin.

So basically, many active ingredients that do real, clinically proven work on your skin will not be certified organic since they aren’t farmed. And although many of the ingredients we use are organic, the bulk of our formulas are ocean based, not land based. 

We also don’t want the USDA stamp on our beautiful glass bottles or boxes. It’s a beauty product, not a hunk of meat.

Lastly, we want you to love our products because they are fabulous, luxurious, and CLEAN. And because they work. We can tell you hundreds of brands may be certified organic, but it doesn’t mean their products are well formulated or actually work since they are choosing organic ingredients for marketing purposes over efficacy.  Uninformed customers will pick up anything that says it’s organic without knowing that while the ingredients in them may be organic they shouldn't even be in skincare! Lots of the herbal creams are like this.  And at the end of the day, if the product doesn’t work, why buy it?

We need to be free to choose CLEAN ingredients that are more sustainable than most natural ingredients.  Growing huge tracts of crops for any of the essential oils such as lavender is devastating the environment, and sandalwood oil has contributed massively to deforestation due to the whole tree being killed to make a few pounds of oil.  Yet another reason to stop using essential oils in skincare. It's one thing to destroy the planet for food. We don't think it should be destroyed for beauty.

We choose ingredients based on real data, not pseudo-science, not fear mongering and not trendy marketing buzz words or what’s hot on Amazon. It’s a public responsibility to deliver products that are proven to work rather than to jump on the beauty myth bandwagon and we take this responsibility seriously.

So, no thanks, no certification for us. We don’t need it to have the very best product we can make. We are happy to be as clean as possible though, and choosing organic where we can, using sustainable components, and putting our money into the product rather than certifications, while sharing profits with those charities we believe in.

In the next post, we’ll tell you the most important reason we won’t pay the USDA to have their ugly green circle on our products. You’ll definitely want to hear this so come back next week! 

xo, Jacci

 

Jacci Russ

Our founder Jacci, combines her background in Marine Biology and Organic Cosmetic Science for high performance, yet clean skincare using ocean-based ingredients. She has traveled the world in search of strange spa treatments and perfect pizza. Dreamer and Doer. Adventuress, animal activist, recovering cheese addict. Read more about Jacci.