The benefits of organic skin care
Organic ingredients mean healthier skin.
For research purposes, I conducted my own personal experiment yesterday on one of my favorite daytime moisturizers I've been using for almost a year now. Well, it wasn't so much as an experiment as it was just me reading the label for the first time ever.
I needed to find out what exactly my lotion was made up of and if any of the ingredients might be considered toxic. I was surprised to see that ten of the more than 30 ingredients listed are described as harmful in the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) cosmetic safety database. In fact, two of the chemicals, both of which I couldn't even pronounce, are also ingredients in brake fluid and engine degreaser.
Most conventional skin-care products, both high-end and drugstore brands, can contain toxic chemicals, according to the EWG. Because the cosmetics industry is not required by the FDA to test its own products for safety, many times we don't really know what we're buying or what effects these chemicals have on us. To date, less than 15 percent of the 11,000 chemicals used in personal products today have been tested for safety.
Chemical Overload Defeats the Purpose
The ingredients that go into organic products are free of:
- Synthetic chemicals or pesticides
- Insecticides and herbicides
- Fertilizers and other toxic chemicals
With the overload of chemicals we are all exposed to every day, going organic helps reduce the daily burden on our systems. Organic skin care products are made from natural ingredients such as herbs, fruits and flowers produced in chemical and pesticide-free environments. They also don't include harmful chemicals such as petroleum or mineral oil (a petroleum product), both of which are said to prevent elimination of toxins and cause premature aging.
Studies have shown that synthetics and other confusing chemicals in regular cosmetics actually have the reverse effect of what they say they do. Most of the chemicals in these cosmetics have the potential to cause any of the following issues as they get absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream:
- allergic reactions and asthmapremature aging
- permanent damage to the skin, hair or eyes
- rashes, headaches and other sensitivities
- weakened immune system and cancer
Although some conventional cosmetics don't contain toxins, the EWG found that over one-third of the cosmetics they surveyed contained at least one carcinogen.
An Effective Alternative
Organic skin care products offer a healthy alternative from harmful chemicals. Because they don't contain the toxic ingredients contained in many conventional cosmetics, they're said to be more effective and give you better-looking, healthier skin. They provide benefits from Mother Nature that just can't be duplicated by synthetic ingredients. They don't dry out your skin or cause adverse reactions.
The benefits of organic skin care are found in many of these healthy ingredients:
- Natural Plant Oils (such as grapeseed, walnut, olive, almond) They reduce inflammation and acne, moisturize and deliver antioxidants to your skin. Applying organic and natural facial moisturizers will soothe and strengthen your skin.
- Herbs (such as calendula, green tea, lavender and rose) Herbs help repair skin tissue, act as an antiseptic and calm itchy or sensitive skin.
- Essential Oils (such as cedarwood, ginger, patchouli, and tea tree) They remedy dry skin or dandruff, tone the skin and increase circulation, moisturize and work as an anti-bacterial or anti-viral.
- Natural ingredients that act as emulsifiers, thickeners or foaming agents are derived from plants, foods or other natural sources.
For every conventional facial cleanser, sugar scrub or daytime moisturizer on the market, there's a natural, organic alternative that is healthier for your skin. Using organic skin care empowers you to protect yourself from absorbing potentially harmful chemicals while giving your skin the pure nutrients it needs to improve or stay healthy.
Organics for Baby
No one's skin is thinner or more delicate than a baby's. Our children are exposed to the same chemicals we are—hundreds of them, each day—but are more easily affected. In the same way we wouldn't want to use grease solvent to take off our eye makeup (which apparently I have been), we also wouldn't use it in our baby's bath. Organic ingredients such as real lavender, chamomile and grape seed oil offer positive, healing benefits for babies without the adverse affects of synthetic fragrances or chemicals.
In 2007, Americans spent over $8 billion on cosmetics alone. After studying my ridiculous amount of bottles and tubes, I'm fairly certain I'm responsible for about a billion myself. And more than half of mine are considered unsafe in some way or another, according to the safety database. On the other hand, the organic, all-natural hand and body lotions on my counter has only six ingredients and I can pronounce all of them.