Thinking about investing in organic beauty? We look into why you should make the switch…
With almost £45million a week being spent on organic products in the UK, it’s clear that business is booming for the clean and green industry. And while food makes up much of the spend, the Soil Association says the entire organic market is up for the eighth year running thanks to a 14 percent growth in sales of certified cosmetics. So, is it time to jump on the bandwagon and give your beauty routine an organic overhaul?
Yes, says make-up artist and green beauty blogger, Noleen Sliney (noleenslineymakeup.com): “Mainstream products are packed full of cheap fillers. Sure, there might be a few good ingredients in there. But filler ingredients have absolutely no benefits whatsoever for your skin – at worst, they can damage it. That’s like eating a healthy diet full of lots of fruits and vegetables, but undoing all the good work by also eating fried, fatty foods too.”
The experts at Holland and Barrett’s online Health Hub agree, saying: “There are numerous benefits to using organic: most organic products are grown in a way that’s kinder to the environment. What’s more, you won’t be throwing any harmful chemicals down the drain which will eventually end up in the ocean or the countryside.”
Indeed, soil biodiversity is a huge motivating factor for many organic shoppers, along with wider environmental benefits and the knowledge you’re buying cruelty-free, but there are also skin-deep benefits.
Noleen explains, “I’ve seen a big impact on how my skin looks and feels since I started using organic products. Likewise, my clients have told me they’ve had wonderful results, too. By using organic I not only get amazing quality products that make me look and feel glamorous, I’m also using products that are kind to me, animals and the environment.”
Many people report positive results after making the organic switch; but what makes them so good, exactly? Justine Jenkins (justinejenkins.com) is a make-up artist and cruelty-free beauty ambassador and thinks it’s all down to the formulations. “Organic is the highest quality product you can buy in terms of purity. Products are formulated using organically farmed ingredients which are grown without the use of GM, herbicides, pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and more. Remember, up to 60 percent of what we put on our skin can be absorbed into our bodies. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that we should avoid harsh chemicals and use ingredients as natural as possible.”
So are natural and organic products interchangeable? No, say The Soil Association: “‘Nature inspired’ and ‘from nature’ are terms you might have seen, but to help you identify truly natural products, we offer COSMOS natural certification. We believe that if a product is natural, the majority of ingredients must be from nature. No endangered plants may be used and no GM ingredients.” Organic products go one step further, requiring organic farming methods; identify these products by looking for the Soil Association or EcoCert logo. We like Neal’s Yard Remedies hair range, Pai and SKN-RG for everyday skincare, Green People for cosmetics and Ishga Organic Seaweed Skincare for high-performance skincare – try their mineral-rich Antioxidant Marine Face Cream (£75, ishga.com) for serious hydration.
It seems obvious, then, to choose organic, but there are a few drawbacks to recognise and for many people it is the price point. Justine says, “The downside to organic beauty is the cost. They are more expensive to produce, therefore the retail price is higher.”
“But when you buy organic, you’re actually getting much more value for your money,” explains Noleen, “You’re getting products that contain the best quality ingredients that nourish and care for your skin. Every ingredient is in there for a reason.”
However, Noleen warns against swapping your current make-up bag for new organic products at once. “Even when ingredients are natural and organic, you may still react to one – especially if you have any skin sensitivities. If you switch too many products and have a breakout, you won’t know which product caused the breakout and which to avoid. I advise my clients to try one new product at a time, that way, you won’t shock your skin. And, if you do have a reaction to something, you’ll know what to avoid in the future.
“Keep in mind that your skin is used to the mainstream products you’re using right now, even if they aren’t beneficial to you, so you may notice that when you first switch to organic you may not see an improvement right away. Don’t give up! It takes up to 12 weeks to see the benefits of a new product and it will be worth it in the end.”
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