Green Beauty: choosing GMO-free beauty products

Is GMO-free important to you when it comes to skin care products? It wasn’t even something I thought much about until I started this Green Beauty feature, and I guess some of you are like me so I thought I’ll blog about it so that we can learn this together. First of all, GMO stands for Genetic Modified Organisms and it really means plants and animals that have undergone genetic modification where selected individual genes are transferred from one organism into another via genetic engineering or biotechnology.

GMO ingredients pose health risks
So yes, the resultant change is not a natural occurrence and that is why it is considered a dangerous practice because nature is being tampered with. Eating such genetically manipulated food is a health concern and so is applying ingredients derived from such food source on our body. In addition, you may like to know that genetically modified plants are grown for the cosmetics industry as well as for food, such as corn, canola, soy, sugar beets, papaya. Here are some common ingredients that are said to be derived from GMO risk crops:

Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Soy Lecithin, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products, Zea Mays. Many cosmetic emulsifiers and humectants are also derived from genetically modified plant-based ingredients. (source)

Look for certification or assurance
If you are using organic skin care that comes with proper certification, then your product would not contain any GMO ingredients. But many green beauty brands also oppose the use of genetically modified plant extracts and oils. Such companies will indicate on their product packaging and website that their products are made to be GMO-free such as A’kin that I’ve shown in the picture here.


  1. HKlights says:

    GMO free is very important to me.

    If I know something contains GMO, they might as well put a “toxic” label on the product and I will never use the same brand again.

  2. sesame says:

    The problem is outside the natural/organic category, most companies do not specify and it’s hard to tell. Even for those that are in the natural category, we can’t be sure unless they indicate so.

  3. claire says:

    I do think it’s really quite important for cosmetics and the food we eat. I’ve read up on GMOs quite a lot back in uni. But sad to say it’s not always written on the labels. Plants may be grown naturally but the genetic material is GM. It’s really not very good for our ecosystems too. Upsets the whole balance. We can’t do much anyway since the benefits of GMOs are quite amazing too. tomatoes that are large, plump and doesn’t go bad easily. less pesticide use. Better combination of genes to make a better crop. And probably everything we can find in the supermarkets or in our skincare are mostly GMO. So it would be really difficult to choose something based on a label which doesn’t declare the GMO status.

    I try my best to be GMO free but it’s really expensive to go all natural and organic in this society we live in. Maybe when I’m having a bling bling 6 figure salary, I would be able to go totally organic. In the mean time, I try to influence my family’s eating patterns by introducing organic foods like pasta, fruits occasionally and soybeans. And stick to organic skincare whenever possible. Inner and outer health are both very important things!

  4. sesame says:

    You’re right that it’s too costly to sustain a GMO-free lifestyle. With skin care, at least there are some cheaper choices that are GMO free. But with food, aww…it’s quite impossible unless like what you mentioned, one has the ability to go completely organic!

  5. Nika says:

    It is very difficult to find really no GMO product today. I try to give to my family the best and the healthiest food I can find, but it becomes more and more difficult.
    There can not be anything good in a fact that we are playing around with nature.

  6. Diane says:

    I’m not particular whether it’s gmo free or not as a lot of products don’t indicate whether it is so…I guess maybe in future but it’s not top of mind when I buy..,

  7. Kim says:

    I won’t particularly look-out for GMO-free products, but if it’s labelled, it’ll be a bonus. Like Claire said, it’s pricey! So I also try to stick to organic/natural skincare and use less stuff if can, because I have doubts regarding organic/natural skincare – it’s hard to find good ones that are really chemical-free.
    I think besides GMO-free skincare products, we should also apply the same into our food. I’ll stay away from super shiny/huge products and go for the smaller ones, because I think those huge fruits/vege have been dosed with some super growth chemicals to make it huge.

  8. Swati says:

    I never knew that GMO products or ingredients are used in cosmetic industry but then I have not even come across GMO free labels….so buying any ascorbic powder is not actually recommended.

  9. sesame says:

    It really depends…can’t really tell unless you know the source and their supplies are GMO-free.

  10. sesame says:

    Hmm…good point about those that look big and beautiful. I was told by my ex-helper how they used to add chemicals to get the fruits to grow bigger or ripe faster and that was a huge turnoff already.

  11. sesame says:

    I suppose our mentality is, as long as we do not know… ?

  12. sesame says:

    Yup, it’s getting more and more difficult especially with all the “new” farming techniques and tactics!

  13. Audris says:

    This is a good to know article but in practice, to avoid GMO-free products wholly, afraid my budget can’t accommodate that ?

    I’d also think manufacturers of skincare source from different producers or even resellers of, say, basic ingredients, so tracking the provenance of each source would be tedious and probably costly too.

  14. Jean says:

    How interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever seen GMO beauty products before (heck, never even heard of the term until today), but personally, I’d avoid them. It’s reminiscent of eating meat from chemically altered animals who were artificially fattened. for human consumption. Gross.

    I’ll be keeping a closer eye out for such products now. Thanks for the article! ?

  15. sesame says:

    I see it only because of exposure to using more natural/organic products as other products won’t highlight them at all. Let’s hope the companies get their ingredients from GMO-free source.

  16. sesame says:

    Yeah, unless they state so or if we bother to email them to check.

  17. tiffany says:

    Hello! I was reading your comment…and just wanted to let you know that there is some products out there that are not as expensive as you may think. Arbonne for example is GMO free, gluten free, vegan certified….I could go on for days on how amazing theses products are, and are not expensive. Its simply redirecting your household money towards natural products; everyone uses shampoo, conditioners, sunscreen, facials creams and so forth, but when you look at what you are getting -premium 100% products instead of 80% fillers full of distilled gas….its pretty incredible that theses products can be offered at such a great price point and the fact that they last that much longer cause you don’t need lots of product. I’d love to chat more about what we offer or answer any questions that you may have.

    Thank you, Tiffany :))

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