by Kim Lewin-Reilly 18/01/16
Before we begin our raving chant on organic skin care, and its plethora of benefits, let’s start with what ‘organic skin care’ means:
Skin care products formulated with ingredients grown without pesticides, insecticides, and other harsh ‘chemicals’ that almost certainly, negatively affect your health. GM crops are, unsurprisingly, out of the question too.
Now perhaps you’re thinking, ‘I eat organic, surely that’s enough?’ Well, it’s a great start! Even if you’re not eating organic 100% of the time. We don’t. Instead, we choose to avoid the dirty dozen conventionally grown foods, only ever buying them organically grown. And we buy these conventional clean fifteen foods. Knowledge is power.
But let’s get back to organic skin care.
It’s actually fairly simple. You should choose organic skin care because it’s better for your health, complexion and the environment.
In part one of this article, let’s start with health.
If it’s true, that the average women uses 12 products containing 168 chemicals per day, and your skin absorbs approximately 60% of whatever you slather on it, common sense as well as these studies on chemical exposure, tell us there are significant potential health concerns if you use conventional beauty or skin care products.
Organic skin care and organic beauty products use ingredients that are more natural, less ‘chemically’ processed (if at all), and are often even edible. Take for example, olive oil. Olive oil is a wonderful ingredient for your skin that’s often found in organic skin care formulations, as well as in your pantry. It naturally contains oleic acid which moisturises your skin, and helps strengthen your skin’s protective barrier (the acid mantle).
Another example is certified organic extracts. Extracts from fruit and plants contain so many beneficial properties that actually protect your skin from environmental damage, with their high levels of naturally occurring anti-oxidants. They enhance your complexion by encouraging new skin cell turnover/growth and can even help to decrease your likelihood of developing skin cancer and other such preventable diseases.
By contrast, let’s look at a commonly used ingredient in conventional skin care products; Triclosan. Triclosan is an anti-microbial chemical, commonly found in face washes and hand sanitisers. It is readily absorbed through your skin and is linked to hormone disruption, and may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics. From the EWG “It is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources. That’s especially unfortunate since triclosan is very toxic to aquatic life.”
These Things Add Up
The other thing to remember is the cumulative effects these ‘chemicals’ have on your health. If you’re using products seven days a week, often twice a day, and traces of the ingredients are left on your skin or absorb into your system each time, over your lifetime that’s going to add up!
While it’s true that water itself is a chemical, we’re of course referring to the ‘nasty’ chemicals that this word has become associated with; parabens, phthalates, sulphates etc.
This becomes even more pertinent if you’re pregnant, or planning on having a baby in the near future as we are. Even if you’re not though, your health is so important, and something a lot of people really only appreciate when things go out of whack.
Invest in You
If you can’t afford to only buy organic personal care products, you should consider investing your money on products that stay on your skin all day, such as tonics/toners, moisturisers, oils and sunscreens. They’re often not that much more expensive than conventional, some are even cheaper, particularly compared to the big name brands. Besides, would you rather spend your money on enhancing your health now, or potentially have to spend a whole lot more to fix your health later?
“AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE.”
― BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Read more at ORGANIC BEAUTY LIFE, the wellness blog of lewin & reilly.