July is in full swing, which means plenty of fun in the great outdoors. While protecting your skin from ultraviolet radiation is especially important this time of year, protecting your skin from substandard ingredients in topical products is important all year long.

Skin is the largest organ in the human body. It helps protect us from infections and regulates an array of important biological functions. Chemicals that are absorbed through the skin make their way into the bloodstream, which means it is very important to choose safe skincare products. This is why the Non-GMO Project verifies personal care products that are applied directly to the skin. Our Standard demands that these types of products be given the same level of scrutiny as food products. If you wouldn’t eat it, why let it enter your bloodstream?

Genetically modified organisms can be found in many types of commercially-available cosmetics and skincare products. They generally come from crops the Non-GMO Project considers high risk for being GMO such as canola, corn, and soy. These crops are commonly processed into oils that are widely used in products like lotions and soaps.

It is easy to understand the potential risks when these ingredients are listed in simple ways such as “soybean oil” or “corn starch”.  Unfortunately, complicated labeling can make it hard to know where GMOs are hiding.

GMOs commonly show up on skincare product labels as:

  • Lauric acid
  • Lethicin
  • Maltodextrins
  • Amino acids
  • Xanthan gum
  • Vitamins E and C
  • Sodium citrate
  • Soy isoflavones
  • Alcohol
  • Glycerin
  • Vegetable protein
  • Sucrose or molasses
  • Yeast

Fans of tropical skin products will also want to be on the lookout for masks, soaps, and lotions made with papayas. Many skin care brands use Hawaiian papayas such as the Rainbow, SunUp, or Sunrise varieties, all of which are genetically modified.

Wearing UV radiation-blocking sunscreen is an integral part of skin care. Studies show that regular sunscreen use can slow down skin aging and help prevent certain types of cancer. It can sometimes be difficult to find sunscreen made without genetically modified ingredients. Thankfully, savvy shoppers can enjoy several varieties of Non-GMO Project Verified sunscreen by Raw Elements.

We recently caught up with Brian Guadagno, founder and CEO of Raw Elements, to talk about skin health and Non-GMO Project verification. “In skin care, what we put on our skin absorbs into the skin and interacts with our systems on a biological level,” Brian told us. “With so little still known [about] the long-term health effects of GMO sourced ingredients, Raw Elements takes the responsibility of utilizing only Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients.”

Attaining verification has helped Raw Elements attract a wealth of new health-conscious customers. According to Guadagno, the Non-GMO Project Verified mark represents what is important to Raw Elements and what the brand stands for.

Andalou Naturals also offers a range of Non-GMO Project Verified skin-protecting products with UV protection including tinted beauty balms, facial lotions, and revitalizing serums. Their other Non-GMO Project Verified beauty products can help you care for your hair and the rest of your body too!

And remember – when applying sunscreen to your body and face, do not forget your lips! Eco Lips makes three Non-GMO Project Verified lip balms with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15.

Looking for more ways to find cosmetics and skincare products without genetically modified ingredients?

  • Search the Non-GMO Project’s product listings online to find products and retailers in your community.
  • Check out your local farmers market and ask vendors about their ingredients.
  • Consider quality wellness products from the EU, Japan, and other places where GMO labeling is mandatory.
  • Learn to make your own soaps and lotions at home for a fun, family-friendly project.




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