According to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, “Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”
Afterglow Cosmetics uses many USDA Certified Organic ingredients to infuse their makeup with the purest possible substances. Terms like “all natural” or “organic” can be misleading when not certified by the USDA, which is why any organic ingredients in our cosmetics are certified.
Often, the difference between “organic” and “certified organic” has to do with the potency of that ingredient. Afterglow want to ensure that, especially in regards to essential oils, ingredients have the highest possible effectiveness. To do so requires the use of no pesticides and other factors determined by the USDA in their certification process.
Common USDA Certified Organic Questions
Q: Are Afterglow products USDA Certified Organic?
A: No, the entire product is not certified organic, but all the botanical ingredients that can be certified organic are, such as organic grape seed extract, organic rose petal extract, and organic pomegranate extract.
Q: Why isn’t the whole product certified organic?
A: At this time, there is no USDA Organic Certification available for colour cosmetics, only for food.
Q: Why do Afterglow call their products “organic,” then?
A: Afterglow refer to many of their products that contain certified organic ingredients as “organic” because the botanical ingredients they use in the product that can be certified are certified organic. These include organic pomegranate extract, organic grape seed extract, organic canola oil, organic vanilla, organic rosemary extract, organic rose petal extract, etc.
Whenever possible, they use botanical ingredients which are USDA Certified Organic. All ingredients in their formulas that are certified organic are indicated on the ingredient list. Unfortunately, there is no USDA standard to certify colour cosmetics as “organic.” However, this does not stop Afterglow from informing their customers and highlighting the fact that, whenever possible, they choose to formulate with certified organic ingredients for reason of both purity and sustainability.
Being that Afterglow formulate colour cosmetics, many of the ingredients, while natural (like titanium dioxide, mica, iron oxides) do not come from a living source and cannot by anyone’s standards be “organic”. These ingredients are inert minerals and comprise a significant part of the color cosmetic formula. They give both the colour and the coverage to the products and are an indispensable part of formula.
Currently, the only USDA Organic certification is the one that is used for food, requiring at least 95% of the formula to be comprised of certified organic ingredients. Any other products outside the food industry that are claiming to be or have received certification for a total product are doing so under the USDA Organic food standards. To date, there is no separate standard for cosmetics much less colour cosmetics.
Due to the fact that colour cosmetics require intense amounts of colour (mica and iron oxide) and an effective base for coverage (titanium dioxide, mica), the formula requires more than 5% of total ingredients to be inert (non-certifiable minerals) which, unfortunately, under the very narrow USDA Certified Organic food standards, leaves any quality color cosmetic incapable of applying for consideration. What’s a great makeup line without colour and coverage?