The forecast for continued strong sales of products labeled as organic is nothing less than robust. As a category, organic (and natural) products are worth $7.3 billion.

From 2005 to 2007 there was a 53% increase in launches of organic products, including many new brands that appeared in well-known retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Target.

Companies large and small are jumping on the organic bandwagon, whose wheels and fuel (meaning contents) are presumably composed of organic materials. As you might expect, at least those of you who have been reading my reviews and investigations over the years, the problem is that almost without exception the formulas are not as organic as they’re made out to be and the overuse of irritating, skin-damaging ingredients is the rule rather than the exception.

When you add the routine inclusion of numerous synthetic ingredients in many products erroneously labeled as “organic” to that, it’s clear consumers are setting themselves up to fall for false claims and an unhelpful, potentially damaging skin-care routine. What about the numerous products on the market indicating they use Fair Trade ingredients? The concept of Fair Trade is another that has an ethical and emotional pull for consumers seeking natural products with sustainable ingredients.

It is their assurance that some of the ingredients in the products they’re considering were obtained from farmers or indigenous people who were treated and compensated fairly for the natural ingredients they supply. In order for a product to advertise it contains Fair Trade ingredients, those ingredients must be certified by the Fairtrade Labeling Organisation International