Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have generated quite the debate in the past few years. Most of the discussion has centered on GMOs in foods and whether or not foods made with GMOs should be labeled as such, but these organisms are also used in some skin care products. Knowing what kinds of ingredients are in your skin care products will empower you to make informed decisions about your health. While the conversation about GMOs can get quite scientific and detailed, here are the basics you need to know in order to feel confident in the skin care products that you purchase.
What is a GMO, exactly?
A GMO is an organism that has been genetically manipulated by scientists. Through a process called genetic engineering, scientists can change the DNA of organisms in an attempt to get them to express desired genes. At first glance, this isn’t a particularly alarming practice. In fact, scientists have long tried to grow plants and other organisms that express certain genes through crossbreeding and selective breeding. From getting flowers to bloom a certain color to trying to grow larger vegetables, this is a practice that has been popular since Gregor Mendel initiated the scientific study of genetics through his work breeding pea plants in 1866.
The difference between selective breeding and genetic engineering is that today’s scientists are, when creating GMOs, using the DNA of one organism in order to insert desired genes into the DNA of another organism. Commonly, genetic engineers use the DNA of bacteria, viruses, animals, and plants to achieve this.
Are GMOs dangerous?
While all GMOs are not dangerous, the problem with this approach is that the outcome of each experiment is a surprise every time DNA is altered. This is because the DNA of organisms is extremely complex, and scientists do not know where the genes they want expressed should be inserted. Because the location of a gene on a strand of DNA can greatly affect how it’s interpreted and expressed, putting the new gene into the wrong place can cause problems. For instance, ingredients in your skin care products could actually carry toxins created by the genetic engineering process.
Looking at the bigger picture
Aside from the potential dangers that GMOs cause due to the changes in their DNA, they can also create environmental problems. An increase in pesticide use has been cited since GMOs have become popular. Additionally, the use of herbicides in genetically modified crops has led to herbicide-resistant weeds.
So, what does this have to do with your skin care products?
You know the saying, “you are what you eat?” The same goes for what you put on your skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it’s important to think of your skin care products like you do your food, in order to protect your health. Genuine Glow uses non-GMO, pesticide-free ingredients in our organic skin care products because we believe that the health of your skin is just as important as its appearance.