Thursday, 26 May 2011

Ingredients Be Certified Organic

Miessence, an Australia based manufacturer born just a few years back,  changed the way that Australians think of organic products and also the way that  they view the personal care products they’ve been using for years. Miessence and  it’s founder, ONE group (Organic and Natural Enterprise), exploded from an  unknown to a massive sales increase of 2500% in just eighteen months. Within the  last year or so Miessence and ONE group hit the United States and is growing  just as fast.

The fact is that consumers, me included, have become aware and wary at the  same time of what’s in our products. Manufacturers throw stuff in all the time  to preserve products, color them, perfume them, with little to no regard for the  side affects of such actions. They do it to keep the products cheap, making  people want to continue to buy from them. But, the fact is, these chemicals may  be costing much more in the long run, in terms of our health and that of our  children, pets or the wildlife we enjoy around our homes.

So what is about Miessence that gets people excited? They’re certified  organic. But that seems contradictory, right? How can face cream be certified or  shampoo? When people think of something being certified organic by the USDA  their minds generally turn to food and in fact the USDA has no standards set for  products other than food. So Miessence certified their face creams and  toothpastes, etc. for the food grade standards, making them the first certified  organic products on the planet that isn’t a food. And heck we used to make our  soaps and stuff from plants little more than a hundred years ago. The industrial  age introduced us to the world of chemicals and we are just now seeing the havoc  those chemicals have done to our bodies and environment.

Yet there are a few catches in the overall purpose that Miessence is  attempting to attain. Some of their products use ingredients that can not be  certified by any ruling board. Why not? Because some of them aren’t even  organic.

Let’s start with cosmetics. This would include Miessence’s line as well as  manufacturers like Bare Minerals or other cosmetics companies attempting to make  cosmetics safer for women. Mineral make-up does in fact use minerals, but not  from mining, due to high levels of contamination. Miessence attains theirs from  refined and purified man-made minerals. Zinc-oxide is one mineral in particular.  It is used as the white powder base for cosmetics and gives them superior sun  protection qualities. It is soft and heavy and recognized by the TGA for it’s  soothing and healing properties. Actually, zinc oxide has been used for  thousands of years as a whitening agent, back when woman preferred a pasty,  white complexion. It was obviously a far safer alternative to the lead that many  used.

Other common minerals used in mineral cosmetics are iron oxide and mica. Iron  oxide is used to give color. The darker the skin or the pinker the blush the  more iron oxides are added. Mica reflects light from the face giving it a  smoother appearance. Neither have been shown to cause any harm when used  correctly, though all of these minerals are claimed to be harmful to the immune  system, respiratory system and reproductive system if they are ingested. Now  come on, how many of you are going to eat your makeup, considering minerals are  basically crushed rock. I personally preferred a baked potato to eating a  rock.

Concerns over the harm caused by nanoparticles has arisen in recent years and  the way in which superfine mineral powders in mineral cosmetics may affect the  body and whether or not it can penetrate the skin. But perspective buyers can be  comforted by Miessence’s response to such concerns, “The average particle size  of our iron oxides is 1.3 microns, which is much too large to be considered a  nanoparticle. Nanoparticles are less than 100 nanometres.... very very  small!”

So that takes care of minerals. What other ingredients can not be certified  by the governing bodies? Well, there is one chemical in the shampoos that stops  this Miessence product from being certified: coco-polyglucose, a "non-ionic  surfactant" synthesised from coconut and glucose from corn.

So why does Miessence use this chemical? It’s rather silly actually, but what  can you do? You see, of all of the available plant extracts not a one of them  will foam up or become sudsy, leaving you with a product that works beautifully  without being soapy, but people refuse to use it. Why? Because in our  brainwashed society being sudsy equates to a cleaning products. If don’t soap up  it don’t clean. So what do you do? Well, the founder of ONE group, Narelle  Chenery went in search of the safest surfactant she could find to put the minds  of those poor people to rest that yes in fact the shampoo will clean them.

Here is what Miessence had to say about polyglucose :
 “Polyglucose has excellent dermatological compatibility. It is very mild on  the skin. Based on the Duhring Chamber Test it has the lowest irritation score  of all common surfactants tested. It is free from ethylene oxide, which can  cause nitrosamine contamination, and free from preservatives. It also has a very  low environmental impact due to:

1) High bio-degradability - It breaks down readily.
2) High eco-toxicological compatibility - It doesn't harm the environment if  released.
3)It is manufactured from completely renewable vegetable raw materials. 

It is very good, however it is still not certified organic. ONE Group will do  better. They are working on replacing it with a certified organic "foaming  agent" of similar functionality, but it takes time. Rest assured that as soon as  they have a certified organic replacement that works, they will introduce it.” 

Other non-organic ingredients include the clays used in masks for cleaning,  obviously another earth mineral and once again should not be ingested. The  toothpastes have sea salt, again not organic, but natural and clean of  contaminants. There are several other un certifiable ingredients in the  Miessence products but they all serve a purpose to enhance the products they are  used in and of course ONE group goes the extra step to be sure that all  ingredients are clean of contaminants and easy on the environment.

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