The craze for organic goods has gone well beyond foods, and it’s now commonplace to find skincare products that are made with organic and all-natural ingredients. ‘Clean Beauty’ is an important movement in skin care, focusing on using beauty products that support health instead of compromising it. Many of us are fanatical (or at least concerned) about avoiding products that may or certainly do contain chemicals, due to their known harmful effects.
But are organic beauty products really, actually more beneficial?
The media often over-hypes the dangers of common skincare ingredients, and the public perception is often skewed with many assertions lacking credibility. Additionally, “everything in moderation” as they say; even many all-natural compounds are dangerous in large quantities. It’s smarter to focus on whether the ingredients are safe and effective, versus organic. However, organic products do offer some benefits for skincare.
Some say that it might actually be worse to put chemicals on your skin in comparison with eating them, because enzymes in your digestive system are designed to break them down and flush them out of your body while the skin is a huge organ; absorbing the chemicals into your bloodstream filter-free. And they accumulate over time, putting you at risk for some serious health problems down the road, particularly after consistent (daily), long term use.
It’s also important to remember that cosmetics are not held to the same standards of regulation that food is. According to the FDA, “Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of colour additives … Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing.”
With ingredients labeled as ‘fragrance’, there’s even more ambiguity because cosmetics companies are allowed to refrain from disclosing the actual ingredients that go into their proprietary recipes.
In addition to these concerns, there are some key benefits of organic versus non-organic beauty products:
Natural products are absorbed and tolerated by your skin far more effectively than synthetic ones. Organic product processing and manufacturing goes through a cleaner and more earth friendly process than non-organic ones that have irradiation of the end product. Organic means no GMO, better animal and environmental welfare, reduced usage of pesticides and elimination of manufactured herbicides and artificial fertilizers. This is better for the environment as well as the body, since studies have shown long term exposure to pesticides is linked to diseases such as Parkinson’s.Man-made compounds found in non-organic products can also predispose your body to weight gain.
How to Go Organic with Beauty Products
In addition to switching to certified organic skincare and personal products, there are several ways you can be certain that the things you put on your skin are better for you:
Do not use deodorant that contain aluminum; use only certified organic deodorantIf you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you probably shouldn’t put it on your skinAvoid products with ‘fragrance’ listed as an ingredient (a single artificial fragrance can contain hundreds of chemicals, and fragrances are commonly the cause of allergic reactions)Before buying a product, look at the list of ingredients – the FDA requires manufacturers to list ingredients in order by volume, so the first ones are the primary ingredients usedTry to stay away from products that come in plastic containers, because the chemicals in plastics can leech into the product itself, and definitely stick to BPA-free containers