Organic Lotions 101

Unusual Skin Care Ingredients Image Gallery Look for the USDA label to ensure you're buying an organic product. See more pictures of unusual skin care ingredients.
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You may have heard the adage, "You are what you eat." But, if you're health-conscious, you may take it a step further: You are what you put on your body. Some of the ingredients in products you apply to your skin, such as lotions, cleansers and sunscreens, can be absorbed into your body. If you're concerned about what your body may be absorbing, you may be considering buying organic products.

These days, green is in. People are paying attention to the foods they eat and the products they use -- and how these things affect their health and the environment. As part of the "green" movement, the word "organic" is everywhere -- on product labels, in advertisements and in store displays. However, not all products that claim to be organic actually are. The word "organic" typically refers to food grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers -- but that's only part of it. For a product to be labeled organic, it must contain agricultural ingredients produced through farming, and it should help rather than harm the environment [source: Gold].

Facial and body lotions are just one component of the thousands of organic health and beauty products available today. In 2006, manufacturers produced 2,000 new personal care products that were marketed as organic or natural [source: Birnbaum]. However, just because a lotion is labeled as organic doesn't mean it meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture's organic requirements. To be sure you're getting the real deal, look for the USDA label.

Because so many products are marketed as having organic or all-natural ingredients, it's difficult to know which ones really are good for you and which ones simply claim to be. Read on to learn how to become a label-reading expert when choosing an organic product.