Organic vs Wildcrafted - Which One is Better?
More and more we see skin care products with labels containing the words “organic” and “wild harvested”. Let’s have a look at what these terms mean and what impact the difference could have on skin care products.
In the US, the legal definition of the term “organic” is applied to the agricultural ingredients contained in cosmetics. “Organic” means that at least 95 percent of a product’s ingredients are organically produced and the remaining 5 percent of ingredients are on an approved list of substances [i]. Being organically produced means to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances, including most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, applied for three years prior to harvest. In Canada, there is no legal definition of “organic” for cosmetics, but the term “organic” is generally understood to mean the same as the definition above [ii].
Wild harvesting simply means harvesting a wild crop. The US Department of Agriculture defines a “wild crop” as a plant or portion of a plant that is not under cultivation [iii].
While both organic and wild-harvested ingredients are desirable from a clean beauty perspective, wild harvested aguaje can produce a superior face oil. It has been shown that wild harvested aguaje fruit yields a higher concentration of beta carotene than cultivated fruit, possibly because artisanal suppliers only harvest ripe fruit [iv]. Ripe fruit is known to contain more beta carotene than unripe fruit [v]. So, when sourcing an oil rich in beta carotene, wild harvested aguaje would be preferred to cultivated organic aguaje.
Betacarotene is the most important active ingredient in Imaya’s Retinoic Face Oil. Sourcing aguaje that is sustainably wild harvested not only helps preserve the rainforest, but yields a superior oil, rich in beta carotene.
[i] US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (2008). Cosmetics, Body Care Products, and Personal Care Products.
[ii] Health Canada (2017). Cosmetic Advertising, Labelling and Ingredients.
[iii] USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents and Certified Operations: 5022 Wild crop harvesting
[iv] Monteiro e Silva, S et al (2009). Characterization of Oil Extracted from Buriti Fruit (Mauritia flexuosa) Grown in the Brazilian Amazon Region. J Amer Oil Chem Soc 86: 611-616.