Find out which common cosmetic ingredients often contain GMOs—and which natural beauty brands have earned Non-GMO Project Verification.
Savvy shoppers seeking safe cosmetics probably know to avoid common offenders such as parabens and synthetic fragrances. But one company that I've respected for its purity and innovative ingredients since its 2011 launch is raising the bar when it comes to transparency—and shedding light on GMOs in beauty products. Andalou Naturals, one of our 2013 Beauty & Body Award winners, recently became the first beauty company to be entirely Non-GMO Project Verified, earning this certification for each of its 66 products.
GMOs in cosmetics
The notion of whether you’re slathering your body with lotion using genetically engineered ingredients may not yet be high shoppers’ list if concerns. But is it an issue that will gain steam as both the natural beauty and non-GMO industries continue to grow? Absolutely. In fact, the Non-GMO Project recently told us that personal care is the fastest-growing non-GMO Project Verified category.
Indeed, many cosmetics contain GMOs, and they’re often difficult to trace because of the various extracts and derivatives used in a single product. The most common culprits, according to Courtney Pineau, assistant director of the Non-GMO Project are:
- Herbs and vegetables used in cosmetics, which are often extracted with alcohol or glycerin, ingredients that could be made using high-GMO risk corn.
- Soy and canola oils.
How to know if a beauty product is GMO free
Always read labels, looking for the ingredients I have mentioned above. However, because of the multitude of ingredients used (including the extracts and derivatives Pineau points out) in beauty products, it’s nearly impossible to know for sure whether they could contain GMOs.
Over the next year I expect many more companies to follow the lead of Andalou. EO was actually the first natural beauty brand to get Non-GMO Verification for some of its products in 2011 and since then, eight other companies have gotten on board. So to support the non-GMO beauty industry, and an overall shift towards full transparency in the natural beauty industry, look for these standout beauty brands that have earned Non-GMO Project Verification.
- Andalou Naturals
- Desert Essence
- Dr. Bronner's
- Himala Rose
- Naked Coconuts
- Nature Way
- Sunfood Superfood