Sherly asks…I’ve been purchasing shampoos that are either organic sulfate paraben free or sulfate paraben free. I purchase these shampoos because sulfate shampoos makes my scalp itch with some slight irritation. I have a question on the symbols I see on the labels of shampoo products and I am interested in wanting to know makes a product different than the other. Symbols or logos such as Certified Organic Ingredients, rabbit ears that states Cruelty free, and the logo USDA Organic.
The Right Brain responds:
The logos for USDA Organic and Certified Organic are both controlled by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP). (Note: these standards were created for food products but cosmetics are entitled to use them also.)
100% Organic or just Organic
100% products must contain ONLY organically produced ingredient AND processing aids. (not including water and salt. ) “Organic” products have to contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients. Products that meet this criteria may use the USDA organic logo on their packaging and in advertising.
Less than 70% organic
Products that contain less than 70% organically derived ingredients cannot use USDA organic logo. They may however, state that they contain “Certified Organic Ingredients” on the product’s information panel. (On back of the pack.)
The Cruelty Free rabbit ears logo is from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and is officially known as the “Caring Consumer bunny logo”. Products that meet PETA’s requirements (meaning that they were produced without testing on animals) can display this logo.
What do these logos really mean?
Unfortunately, none of these logos will help you select products that are free of ingredients which will make yourself itch. If you know you’re sensitive to sulfates or parabens you’ll just have to keep an eye on the ingredient list to make sure you’re not buying products that contain those chemicals.
Image credit: PETA