Organic beauty – ethical, effective, essential

Organic beauty – ethical, effective, essential

We do a lot of ugly things in the name of beauty.

By Staff Writer, NYR Natural News

Those nips, tucks and injections sit at the extreme end of things. But even in everyday beauty products you’ll find a range of chemicals that belong on the factory floor and not on your face.

Unless, of course, you choose organic beauty products.

Although we tend to think of the skin as a barrier, in reality it is more like a sponge absorbing up to 60% of what we put on it. So making sure the products you use are as free from undesirable ingredients as possible is always a good idea. And in a world where we are often not in control of the pollutants and toxins we are exposed to, it’s good to know that there is at least one area we can control what we are exposed to.

We simply do not need all the chemicals that have become such a mainstay of the beauty industry in order to maintain healthy skin and hair. In fact some of them, such as mineral oils and silicones actually make skin more dull over time because they act like thin films trapping dirt and grime underneath and keeping skin from ‘breathing’.

One of the main benefits of using organic products on your skin is that they don’t contain the petrochemical derivatives, penetration enhancers, solvents and preservatives – things like parabens, PEGs, and phthalates – that have been shown to have toxic effects.

Organic products don’t contain nanoparticles or GM ingredients. And they don’t contain ingredients like polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) – essentially Teflon – a bit of cosmetic trickery, added to make your skin feel smother, without actually doing anything to repair or nourish it.

Effective ingredients

Organic ingredients have been shown to contain higher levels of natural antioxidants which help to defend against free-radical damage caused by stress, environmental pollutants and the sun. There is also evidence that they can protect both collagen and elastin, the structural proteins of the skin, necessary for a healthy, smooth complexion.

Neal’s Yard Remedies has been very active in researching the effectiveness of natural and organic ingredients. In collaboration with experts at London’s Kingston University our research has shown that that ingredients such as white tea, witch hazel and rose possess potential health and beauty properties which are just too important to ignore, including very potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity on skin cells.

We have also collaborated in published research into the antimicrobial properties of essential oils and because we know they are so effective we choose to be organic because we want our customers to have all the benefits, with none of the unnecessary – or even harmful – ingredients found in conventional brands.

Understanding the label

Growing consumer demand for organic products and the historical lack of specific organic regulations for cosmetics has led to an explosion of new brands on the market claiming to be organic. Some of these contain very few organic ingredients at all, and others contain synthetic ingredients that most of us would do better to avoid.

Certified organic products, like ours mean you can be sure of a clean, green product with a guaranteed high level of organic ingredients and everything on the label so you know what you are getting.

For example, the Soil Association – the UK’s biggest organic certifier –  has two clear levels of certification for beauty products:

  • A product that is 95% or more organic
  • The word ‘organic’ can only be used in the product name where 95% of the ingredients (excluding water) are organic.
  • A product that is 70-95% organic
  • Some products require higher quantities of preservatives, etc. which reduces their organic content. Provided at least 70% of the ingredients (excluding water) are organic they can be certified. However, these products cannot include the word ‘organic’ in the product name, and must state the percentage of organic ingredients in the product description.

What’s behind the label counts too

This week is Organic Beauty Week and we are supporting the Soil Association’s Campaign for Clarity – which aims to help more of us understand the importance of choosing organic beautycare.

Most of us buy beauty products because we want to see results on our skin. But for a product to be truly organic it needs to ‘perform’ on several levels.

As well as being great for your skin, it needs to be environmentally great; it needs to be a product that was grown in such a way that it doesn’t involve pesticides and fertilisers and other things that destroy land. It needs to perform all the way from the farm to your face.

A truly organic and ethical product pays attention to every step of the production process and results in a product that you can feel confident in buying.

Attention for detail and a passion for making the best beauty products possible, means that when you choose Neal’s Yard Remedies you are getting the quality you deserve and making the world a better place to live as well.