The Many Benefits of Organic Skin Care

The term 'Organic Skin Care’ refers to cosmetics created from naturally occurring ingredients, such as plant derived materials. These are generally certified organic by one or more certifying institutions worldwide. Women especially can benefit from turning to an organic based regime, as the side effects of some inorganic ingredients can be particularly unhealthy for women.

As we will discuss, there are several benefits to be derived from going organic, as well as some red flags to be aware of. After all, the skin is the body’s first line of protection against harmful substances so we must play our part in preserving it.

Benefits of Organic Skin Care

1. Eco-Friendly

Organic products utilize naturally grown non toxic ingredients that aren’t harmful to the environment. Organic farming observes practices that are better for wildlife and soil as they do not contain pesticides and fertilizers. The overall production process lessons the carbon footprint left on the planet. This is especially important given today’s global climate. This is one way in which you play your part in fighting against climate change.

2. Better For Your Skin

The man-made ingredients contained in non organic products, while they appear to be fast acting and effective, can in fact cause damage to skin over a prolonged period. This is due to the harsh chemicals that are used to produce results. Given the subtle nature of the in chemicals found in non organic products, it’s no surprise that going natural has great benefits. The skin is exposed to more gentle, hypoallergenic ingredients that will nourish, moisturize and promote its overall health.

3. All Natural Ingredients

Just as the name suggests, with organic products, you can be sure that you won’t be plastering synthetic materials all over your skin. The majority of the production process alludes to an overall clean and non toxic end product - From the farming practices to cruelty free testing. This can be especially helpful to those with sensitive skin, as the organic materials are generally gentler and cause less irritation.

Some Ingredients to Avoid

Now that the benefits of organic products have been discussed, you may want to switch out your eye cream, your night serum or even your entire line of products. It is important here to be able to read through the ingredients to ascertain which products are truly Organic.

Due to the rising popularity and obvious benefits of organic skin care products, many companies will now try to slap on the term rganic’ on their product label, while still including synthetic/harmful ingredients. Therefore, it is necessary for you to have a depth of knowledge about just what makes a product organic or inorganic.

Studies have shown that products applied to the skin are absorbed into pores, and eventually enter the bloodstream. This means that what you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat!

Be sure to read your labels. Here are some ingredients that are definitely NOT organic.

1. Parabens

These are a common type of preservative used in skin care products due to their relatively inexpensive nature. Parabens are known to resist the growth of bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Though parabens are natural organic compounds, there is a growing concern regarding its usage due to it being linked with disturbed hormone levels and brain tumors. One study actually concluded that women with increased levels of paraben in their urine noted a decrease in their menstrual cycle length. Be on the lookout for compounds with fancy names like methyl-, butyl- or propylparaben on the ingredients list, and avoid these at all costs.

2. Sulfates

These come in the form sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These are generally used in shampoos or body washes to improve lathering and cleansing properties. Unfortunately, in addition, they are known to strip skin of moisture and natural oils and give rise to redness, itching and irritation. Fun fact: Sulfates are used in other industries too - for example in car wash detergents, floor cleaning supplies and engine degreasers! You should probably stay away from this one.

3. Phthalates

These are used in scented products to soften the smell of odious chemicals. Studies have concluded that phthalates mimic the role of estrogen in the body and has been linked with breast cancer. It may be difficult to avoid however, as manufactures are not required to list the components of fragrances, and these often contain phthalates.

4. Alcohols

Though widely used in skincare, some types of alcohols are actually damaging to the skin. These are known as rying’ alcohols. With prolonged use, these can cause skin itching and irritation due to the progressive loss of moisture. Flaking may begin to occur which may interrupt the skin renewal cycle and result in unhealthy skin. Women with especially sensitive skin should stay away from alcohols.

What to Use Instead

Alternatively, there are a number of natural, skin friendly substances that are completely safe and generally found in organic products.

For Cleansing, the active ingredient should be mild but effective in eliminating debris that may clog your pores. Organic cleansers are usually plant based, utilizing nuts, fruits and botanical ingredients.

Some ingredients used to formulate cleansers include green tea which is known for its antioxidant properties and aloe vera which helps to balance the skin’s pH. Geranium and patchouli oil is said to rehydrate wrinkled skin, while sweet orange oil or chamomile can provide aromatherapeutic benefits.

In terms of Moisturizers, the active ingredients include nut, fruit oils and essential oils which provide hydration and facilitates skin firmness and elasticity. There are a number of oils to choose from, such as sesame, coconut and jojoba oils. Butters like shea and cupuacu butter also helps to add moisture.

When shopping for exfoliants, think gentle. A product that is too abrasive can cause microtears on the surface of the skin. Exfoliants work to remove dead skin cells, and common household items such as turmeric, coffee and brown sugar can all be safely applied to the skin, with great benefits too!

Making the decision to go organic is a bold move. It says that you are taking your health into your own hands and deliberately undertaking a lifestyle change that will benefit you in the long term. Now that you have been armed with knowledge, you can finally ditch those skin irritants and flourish.