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Lemon Water – A New Cosmetic Ingredient!

May 5, 2009

What do you get when you extract water from organic lemons? Ask my eight year old and she will get all excited about the prospect of a lemonade stall, ask chemical company Gattefosse and they say “Liquid Gold!”  Yes, at Europe’s cosmetic ingredients exhibition “In Cosmetics” Gattefosse launched its new product “Original Extract Lemon Bio”.

Touted as a 100% natural, organically certified ingredient it is being marketed as a way to increase the cosmetic manufacturers chances of producing a product that will reach “organic certification” standards.   The reason that this is such a big deal is this – ordinary water does not count towards a products organic status. Leading Organic certification body The Soil Association states that personal care products must contain a minimum of 95% of ingredients from an organic origin excluding water to be worthy of the organic status. Other standards differ but all require that water does not count towards the “active” part of the formulation.

Products like this organic lemon water can be counted as part of the “active” rather than the water making it a lot easier for the manufacturers to meet the 95% requirement.  So, is this a bad thing?   Well, I for one  would not be happy to part with my hard earned cash on an average formulation that has been “Organicized” with help from lemon water.  My concern is that this type of ingredient, which is probably too dilute to deliver any real benefit to the skin, will be used by unscrupulous manufacturers as a way of “ticking the organic box”.   In addition to that  the negative environmental impact of shipping lemon water around the world is much larger than any benefit that it would bring to the formulation.

If, as a consumer you want to avoid buying a “Lemon” make sure that the rest of the formulation lives up to your organic standards.


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