There are misunderstandings about the use of the words ‘organic’ and ‘natural’.

A company can claim something is ‘organic’ and/or ‘natural’ if it contains one natural ingredient, but it may contain thousands of chemicals.

Certified organic, evident because it displays a certification logo like Australian Certified Organic on the packaging, is the consumer’s only guarantee the product is free from synthetic chemicals and genetically modified ingredients and are as nature intended them to be.

There are more than 10,500 chemicals found in conventional personal care products, of which, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) only 13 per cent have ever been tested for safety in cosmetics. In addition, 65-70 per cent of what you put on your skin goes directly into your organs and bloodstream and, as your skin absorbs chemicals up to 10 times faster than by way of ingestion.

What you put on your skin is as important as what you consume by way of food and drink.

With the enormous quantity of endocrine disrupting chemicals as well as obesogens (chemicals that are fat soluble and cause us to put on and retain weight) as well as the absorption enhancers commonly found in conventional products, a consumer’s guarantee of purity is only found in certified organic products.

Having had tumours in my spleen in 2001, I set about researching in the hope of discovering why my body developed tumours. I also discovered why, in 1995, I developed endometriosis to the degree that I could not have any more children.

Top 10 must have certified organic products that everyone should use

  1. Oral care products. The majority of oral care products contain nasty ingredients such as triclosan (a registered pesticide), fluoride (a waste product of the chemical industry used in toothpaste instead of healthier alternatives like Celtic sea salt to provide the mineral base needed for teeth). Mucous membranes under the tongue allow immediate absorption of chemicals into the bloodstream and organs. Divine works with holistic dentists and we’re pleased to say they recommend our oral hygiene products.
  2. Vegetables. Especially spinach and lettuce – celery, green beans, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and sweet potatoes. These vegetables had the most positive results for pesticide detection as report by the Environmental Working Group.
  3. Fruits. Particularly peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, rockmelon, oranges, plums and tangerines. These had the most positive results for pesticide detection as reported by the Environmental Working Group. A study by RMIT University showed organophosphate pesticide levels dropped by 90% in adults that consumed a mostly certified organic diet for just a week.
  4. Skincare. Most conventional skincare products contain fragrance, which is a phthalate (contains plasticising ingredients designed to create longevity of scent). It’s recognised as one of the major endocrine – hormonal system – disrupting chemicals to the body. Fragrance is a cluster ingredient that can contain literally thousands of chemicals.  Foaming agents like sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulphate wreck havoc on our bodies. These chemicals coupled with other nasty ingredients such as Cocamidopropyl Betaine, DMDM Hydantoin and fragrance, most of which are endocrine disrupting and obesogens, have been linked to cancer, autism and other illness.
  1. Hand sanitizer. It makes me sad to think that we are putting so much highly perfumed, high chemical content, antibacterial products (full of phthalates) onto our children in childcare centres each and every day. We also use these nasty chemical concoctions in our hospitals repeatedly.
  1. Processed foods. Processed foods can contain MSG and corn syrup. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is an excitotoxin which causes rapid and excessive firing of the brain cells leading to the death of those cells. Some manufacturers no longer write MSG on the labels. Forty ingredients contain the chemical monosodium glutamate (processed free glutamic acid). See truthinlabeling.org/ for more information.
  1. Feminine hygiene and baby products. My hope is that one day mums will only buy certified organic baby products. Divine by Therese Kerr is creating a range of certified organic mum-to-be and baby products. This is where we as a country need to focus as it is so important we do not use chemical based products during pregnancy as the chemicals in utero in particular (as the baby is developing) can have long term detrimental implications. Baby wipes can contain phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate and glycerin. It’s important that women only use certified organic feminine hygiene products as conventional products contain bleach and synthetic chemicals and ingredients that are toxic to the body. We recommend Australian Certified Organic TOM Organics as they contain certified organic cotton.
  1. Deodorants. Conventional antiperspirant or deodorants contain a concoction of chemicals including aluminum clorohydrate (which haven’t been tested for safety in cosmetics), fragrance, PPG-14 (absorption enhancer), propone (in aerosols), propylene carbonate, parabens, hydrolysed corn starch (see MSG comments), plus many other nasty ingredients. Many breast cancers are found in the upper quadrant of the breast and are being found with parabens in breast tissue.
  2. Hair care products. Shampoos, conditioners and styling products (as well as many other personal care products) contain lots of chemicals that are known carcinogens.
    Foaming agents are extremely bad. Hair care products contain chemicals that are believed to cause immunotoxicity, sensitisation and reproductive toxicity. Hair straighteners and dyes are terribly toxic and contain some of the most horrendous chemicals. It is difficult to find certified organic hair dyes so look for a dye that has the least chemicals in it.
  3. Household cleaning products. Our homes can be extremely toxic because chemicals are used in just about every area of the home including furnishings, floors, building materials, cleaning and household products.Most laundry liquids contain linear alkyl sodium sulfonates (LAS) or ‘anionic surfactants’ – carcinogenic, reproductive toxins, petroleum distillates.When sodium hypochlorite in household bleach reacts with organic materials in the environment, carcinogenic and toxic compounds are created that can cause reproductive, endocrine and immune system disorders.

To learn more click here.

This month is Australian Organic Awareness Month, to learn more click here.

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  • Very thorough article, thanks for sharing.


  • I have never really bothered with organic before


  • Now I know the difference between organic, natural and certified organic. Thank you for clarifying that fir me


  • This was an interesting mini article. Thanks for posting!


  • I would be interested in the organic toothpaste. Never realised flouride is a waste product..and we put it in our bodies


  • Never realised the importance of certified organic. Thanks for the info.


  • Wow Wow Wow! Thanks for this eye-opener!
    My hubby jokes about “Organic” Foods: “Well it can hardly be inorganic can it”. Groan!


  • wow i never would’ve thought that toothpaste or hand sanitizer would’ve been on that list! this is a really great article!


  • The whole organics thing I conider to be a fad.. I could be wrong but I’ve obviously consumed a lot of ‘pesticides’ and ‘chemicals’ and am still alive!

    • yeah definately a better way to help the environment also though


  • What about all the people that don’t bother with organic products and live to be say, 100? They would have been exposed to so many chemicals in their lifetime and they still survived!?


  • Thank you for clearing up some things for me!


  • I was reading this article about organic labelling and it is very ridged for the export market but domestic market there are too many loop holes and sometimes in a food i.e. musli bar they state organic and only the oat was organic and all the other ingredient i.e. apples raisins etc are not organic.


  • When I buy organic I always make sure it is stamped with certification


  • Thanks again for sharing; have been making more natural choices around cleaning products; saving buckets of money too!


  • So was this article written by Therese Kerr? Any how it was quite informative and interesting to read. Thanx.
    Although I would dearly love to purchase all things Certified Organic I am afraid my living expenses just can’t cover this. Would be overjoyed to except any samples/freebies that Therese or Miranda sent my way though.

    • Spot on, self promotion again.
      Apart from that, the article is interesting to read. And I agree with you, buying everything certified organic would be brilliant, but unfortunately I can’t afford that either.

      • Agree a very informative article. Great information content. I can’t imagine I would be able to afford the Divine by Therese or Miranda Kerr products though.


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