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Is Your Makeup Organic?

Is Your Makeup Organic?

With each new year comes new resolutions, and decisions about how to do better in our everyday lives. Especially on the heels of a year like 2020, making health conscious decisions about food, lifestyle, and personal care products is now on the forefront of practically everyone’s minds. 

If you’ve already begun making better choices in your diet, why not extend some of those same choices to the products you use everyday, like your makeup?

Skeptical about the efficacy of organic makeup products? We understand. The “clean” beauty movement is still relatively new, and it had a rough infancy. Clean or “green” beauty brands from years ago were dismissed by discriminating makeup artists, like our founder, because they simply did not perform and weren’t fashion forward in any way whatsoever. 

The raw materials used in those early products were inferior, chemically adulterated, and contained questionable ingredients that were essentially used for marketing purposes and not included in the product for its performance. 

When consumers began educating themselves on the safety of ingredients, they began to demand higher standards from the products they purchased. 

This turn in consumer education has fueled the green beauty movement, and it is steadily increasing its impact on everyone who uses beauty products. 

Clean Beauty Movement Terms To Understand

Understanding the clean beauty movement requires a quick vocabulary lesson. Words that are often used interchangeably aren’t actually interchangeable at all, and marketing companies often use terms that aren’t regulated (like “clean” and “green”) to influence purchases. 

If you’re feeling confused by the terminology, we can help. RMS Beauty has set the gold standard for the cleanest cosmetic and skincare products in the industry for over a decade. We know the trendy buzzwords, and can help you better understand organic makeup. 


Many of us only choose organic foods for our diets. We want to know that the foods we are consuming were grown without the use of harmful pesticides, questionable fertilizers, and growth hormones. Likewise, we want to know that growable ingredients in our makeup have been grown safely.

Generally speaking, no makeup can ever be 100% organic. Makeup contains ingredients like pigments and minerals which cannot be grown. However, a product can be labeled organic provided a certain portion of its ingredients are organic. 

The USDA regulates organically grown products in the U.S. The FDA regulates the safety and package labeling of makeup and beauty products. Together, these two agencies determine which products can include “organic” on their label. 

Although makeup products cannot be certified organic by the USDA, their use of the term “organic” is regulated through the USDA’s National Organic Program (“NOP) and governed by the product labeling requirements of the FDA. 

What does this mean for your favorite eye shadows? It means that portions of them (the ingredients that have been derived from growable sources) can also be organic. If your shadow contains enough organic, growable ingredients, it can be labeled an organic product. 

Organic ingredients are the foundation of the clean beauty movement. Using products that have been responsibly and safely grown is foundational for creating products that help your skin, not harm it. Organic ingredients, however, are only the first step. 


The term “natural” as in “natural ingredients,” isn’t a term that is regulated by any agency. As such, you could essentially label a hotdog as “natural,” no matter how many processed, leftover parts it contains. 

Natural is a clever marketing term that consumers generally associate with safety, however you might be surprised to learn that the ingredients found in many natural products have been so highly processed that they’re a fraction of what they “naturally” used to be. 

By the time a natural ingredient has been refined, bleached, deodorized, clarified, fractionated, and heated to high temperatures, it’s not much better than a synthetic ingredient. Any skin beneficial ingredients it once had have been stripped away.

To truly know if the natural ingredients in your products are as close to their original state as possible, get to know the company. For instance, RMS Beauty uses a collection of raw, living, food-grade ingredients that are virtually untouched when added to our products. 


Clean is the term that started it all, but this is another non-regulated word that can be used to market products that aren’t at all clean. Normally, a product that is labeled as “clean” will be a product that doesn’t contain known toxins and instead contains ingredients that are naturally derived wherever possible. 

At RMS Beauty, we don’t like to think of ourselves as a clean beauty company. We’re the cleanest beauty and skincare product line available, and it shows with the careful selection of our ingredients, and the integrity they retain when added to our products. 


Cruelty-free is a term given to items that have not harmed animals at any part of their creation, testing, manufacture, and/or distribution. 

Not all products that say “cruelty-free” on the label are actually cruelty-free. In fact, a company may hire a third party to test their products before they go to market. That third party may test the product on animals, but because the company that sells the product didn’t do the testing, they may put “we do not test on animals” on the package. 

Cruelty-free products are regulated by The Leaping Bunny program. If you see the Leaping Bunny seal, you can be assured that your products don’t involve animal testing during any part of the process before you buy them. 


Sustainability means that the ingredients in a product are responsibly sourced from locations that replant the crops they grow. A sustainable product uses less land space, cares for the land, and employs local workers when available. 

Sustainability means using ingredients that are better for the planet because they are recurring, not dwindling. 


Eco-friendly products are products that do not harm the environment. The term eco-friendly can refer to the method used to create the products, the ingredients that are included in the products, the product packaging, and disposal of the unused portion of the product. 

Although this term is also not regulated, you’ll often find that companies that truly offer cleaner, greener cosmetics are also holding themselves to a superior level of eco-friendliness. 


Plant-based means the majority of the ingredients of a product have been sourced from plants. Plant-based ingredients in makeup include oils, extracts, and seed extracts and oils. There is definitely a caveat to plant-based ingredients. Just the same as natural ingredients can be highly processed, leaving very little of the original “natural” ingredient left, plant-based ingredients can also be highly processed.


Vegan products refer to a product that contains no animal parts or byproducts. For a product to be certified vegan, it must not contain anything that was originally part of, or that came from an animal. 

Vegan and cruelty-free are not the same thing. While you will find most vegan products are generally cruelty-free, they don’t have to be, so it’s important to check the package labeling.

How To Tell If Your Makeup is Organic

The easiest way to tell if your makeup is organic is to turn the box over and read the label. Any ingredient in the product that is organic should be denoted in the ingredient list. You can also go to the brand’s website to find out their product and ingredient philosophy. 

At RMS Beauty, we believe brands should be transparent about their ingredients, and if they aren’t, there’s reason to wonder why. 

How Important Are Organic Ingredients?

Maybe you’re thinking organically sourced ingredients aren’t that important in your makeup. You may have some concerns about switching from your favorite non-organic brand. After all, organic is great, but ultimately you want your products to perform. 

Our founder, Rose-Marie Swift, has been a makeup artist for decades, and knows what works and what doesn’t in terms of skincare and makeup. She’s seen first-hand the damaging effects of using products that are filled with questionable ingredients and known toxins. These types of ingredients are not only damaging to your skin, they’re also not beneficial.

Organic, raw, food-grade ingredients have the ability to work synergistically with your skin, to deliver optimum results for overall skin wellness. RMS Beauty believes makeup should never be harmful.

What To Look For in Makeup Ingredients

In terms of makeup ingredients, less is more. Less ingredients, less processing, less heat, less chemicals. 

Rose-Marie founded RMS Beauty to help women claim their right to healthy beauty, but for her, simply sourcing organic, natural ingredients was never enough. That’s why RMS Beauty has a living ingredient standard, which sets us apart from other “clean” beauty brands. 

Our ingredients aren’t just organic, sustainably sourced, and processed as little as possible --  many of them are in raw form when they enter our formulations. That means the vital nutrients, oils, and plant derivatives are bioavailable for your skin when you use an RMS Beauty product. 

Organic, natural, clean ingredients are important, but these are largely blanket statement terms that simply aren’t enough in an ever-evolving beauty industry that sometimes leans more towards marketing strategy than product performance and quality. 

RMS Beauty’s products are the cleanest in the industry and we outperform in our results and usability. 

Manmade, “dead” ingredients fill most color cosmetics and have zero ability to do anything but sit atop your skin (and possibly clog your pores). Living ingredient-based products can balance your skin’s homeostasis and help keep your skin healthy, all while adding amazing color and style.

When shopping for makeup, look for products that contain ingredients that are:

  • Certified organic
  • Raw
  • Unprocessed/unrefined
  • Sustainable
  • Naturally-derived
  • Living
  • Cruelty free
  • Non-toxic

If it sounds like a tall order, we’d have to agree, but then again, we’re incredibly particular when it comes to clean makeup products. 

The easiest way for you to find products you can trust that are also effective is to shop from a brand you can trust, like RMS Beauty

This information for RMS was fact checked by an expert in the beauty industry: Rose-Marie Swift


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