4 reasons to go organic when it comes to beauty
This week – 8-14 September – is organic beauty week, an initiative by the Soil Association to encourage consumers to ditch their usual beauty products for those made from organic ingredients.
While it’s well known that organic products help the planet, do they help your skin?
They don’t contain any toxins
Your skin is the largest organ of your body – 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed right into your body.
Many skin-care products contain parabens – a preservative which prevents bacteria growing. While they’ve been used for many years, a 2004 study showed that parabens were found in malignant breast tumours, raising concerns that they could cause cancer.
While the jury is out as to whether they do cause cancer, using natural organic products obviously means that you’re not putting these chemicals onto your body.
They’re gentle on skin
These same chemicals can cause nasty allergic reactions and this is where organic products come in as they are generally much gentler on the skin and are much less likely to cause reactions.
However just because something is organic, doesn’t mean it won’t irritate your skin. Some ingredients such as fruit can be upsetting to some skin types, while some oils can be too heavy for skin types, causing nasty breakouts.
As with all skincare products, you should always think of your skin type first.
They can be good for problem skin types
Some people who suffer from conditions such as eczema or psoriasis have found that organic skin care products are better for their skin as they contain less synthetic chemicals.
In fact, many eczema sufferers swear by organic cold pressed coconut oil to treat their condition. It’s highly moisturising and is often more effective than expensive creams, packed full of chemicals.
They can make you look younger!
A recent study showed that organic produce is up to 60% higher in antioxidants compared to non-organic produce.
When used in skin care, antioxidants fight skin damaging free radicals and protect your skin from the sun, so as they’re found naturally in the ingredients you know that your skincare will be working it’s hardest – with being too harsh.
What to look for when buying organic
- Unlike organic food, there are no legal standards for organic beauty products. Some products may say they are organic even if they only use a tiny percentage of organic ingredients.
- Make sure the product carries the Soil Association logo. Brands have to pass rigorous testing for their products to carry this symbol, so if you see it, you know that the product is truly organic. In fact, the Soil Association will not certify any product with less than 70% organic ingredients.
- Organic skincare is made with natural ingredients and so has a shorter shelf life. Good beauty products will contain a period-after-opening symbol – a picture of a little jar with a number in it. This denotes how many months a product will last for. Good quality organic products definitely only have a shelf-life of 6-12 months so be aware of this and bin it once it’s past it’s date, regardless of whether you’ve used it or not.