Organic and cruelty-free are two of the most searched-for phrases in beauty right now. Everywhere you look, brands large and small are falling over themselves to proclaim their products are ethically sourced, super-green and kind to the planet. But what does organic really mean when it comes to beauty and skincare? How do you separate the truth from the marketing claims? And more importantly, why should you care? We take a look at the organic beauty phenomenon close up.
Beauty that’s more than skin deep
What many people don’t quite realize is that whatever they apply to their skin also enters the body. If you think of the way a nicotine patch works, you can see that the skin is hugely efficient at absorbing chemicals. The trouble is, these synthetic materials do not harmonize with the body’s chemistry, and so many of them build up waste products in the tissue. Over time, this can cause reactions and skin conditions and affect standard bodily processes. So if you’re looking after what you put into your body regarding food, you could be undoing all the good work unless what you put on your skin is a similarly high quality, Make sure the brand you’re using is USDA-certified. This means that the ingredients are grown to the same standards and certifications as organic food items – and you know that means you’re getting the good stuff.
Getting the best possible results
Many products use actives found in plant extracts, as these are hugely effective, but they are not organic products. This means that they may be of a lesser quality, as plants grown organically are produced to rigorous standards and contain the highest quality oils, with no added nasties. The power of herbal extracts can be wasted if they also contain toxic chemicals such as pesticides and growth hormones. With organic products, only the purest extracts are used, making them more efficient. If a product has no unnecessary parabens, chemicals, additives or fillers, it means that it’s even safe to use on small children – meaning the whole family could share a body lotion rather than buying separate baby formulations. For this reason, organic bathing products make the ideal family gift as you can be sure they won’t irritate the recipient’s skin and are good for all the family to use. Similarly, synthetic fragrances added into most beauty products can be a real problem, causing irritation and altering the skin’s PH balance. On USDA-certified organic products, companies can’t get away with using the catch-all word ‘fragrance’ on their ingredients list – instead extracts and essential oils are required to be listed out separately, so you can be sure of what you’re putting on your skin.
Helping the planet as well as your skin
The benefits of using organic beauty products aren’t just limited to the goodness they can give to our skin and hair – the environmental impact is also far reduced. The farming methods used are a lot kinder to the planet – not only as they involve fewer chemical processes, but also as they reduce pollution and waste products and have less of an impact on wildlife. So choosing to go organic with your beauty regime is not only a bonus for you – but also to Mother Nature. Organic products are also frequently Fair Trade – meaning that they are sourced ethically from small farms. If you’re ultra eco-conscious, you may also want to look for products that use glass or biodegradable packaging as well.
The choice gets better every day
One positive impact of organic skincare becoming somewhat of a trend is that the number of new brands launching adhering to these values is increasing choice and driving down cost. It used to be that organic beauty was limited to a few token products in the health food store, but now that it has entered the mainstream, organic products are easier to find, leading to more variety. Now there are formulations, price points and colors to suit everyone. The Nutrition Business Journal states that “This segment accounts for more than one-third of the £9.6 billion natural and organic personal care industry” – and figures like that make big brands sit up and take notice. There’s so much choice when it comes to products like an organic foundation that we now need help choosing between all the different options – so check out https://www.soundbodylife.com/best-organic-foundations/ for more detail.
In short, the organic beauty wave shows no sign of slowing down, and that can only be a good thing for our skin, our wallets and our planet.
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