How do you know if your so-called organic moisturiser really is organic?26/09/2014
by Mark Walton
We know that organic beauty matters to you, and that you know how important it is, but how do you know if the ‘organic’ moisturiser sitting on your bathroom shelf is truly organic? Unfortunately, unlike organic food, there are no legal standards for organic beauty products and personal care items and as a result, some companies choose to label beauty products as organic even if they still contain potentially harmful chemicals.
By looking out for the Organic Soil Association symbol you can rest assured that the organic moisturiser you are buying has been produced to the highest organic standards and contains certified organic ingredients that have been sourced responsibly and ethically.
If you’re wondering why our organic moisturiser is peppered with so many logos and symbols, it’s because personal care and beauty product claims aren’t regulated, so groups from the Soil Association, to Whole Foods and the USDA have developed their own standards to monitor everything from production to testing and ingredients.
You Beauty have a fantastic cheat sheet to help you understand the meanings behind each symbol if you’re still confused!
What’s really in your so-called ‘organic’ moisturiser?
According to a recent study, sensitive and gentle skincare products are becoming more and more popular with one in four consumers seeking out beauty products with natural or organic ingredients.
So, now we know to look for the organic symbols, but do we know what ingredients to avoid?
Petroleum is the mainstay of many moisturisers due to its ability to retain moisture. While it is mainly used to protect the lips and cheeks from windburn in seriously cold weather or on the slopes, some feel it’s not a wise idea to use it as a moisturiser on the entire face, as it is believed that it can block pores. As a sealant petroleum jelly can prevent the skin from releasing toxins, sweat and sebum. If this happens, the skin can’t breathe or eliminate toxins, thereby clogging pores and causing breakouts. Furthermore, petroleum jelly is considered bad for acne-prone skin because of its greasiness. In recent years it was found that petroleum jelly does not actually heal cuts and wounds as previously thought and that it could actually trap bacteria in the skin and therefore should not be used on fresh burns. Those who want to err on the side of caution and wish to avoid petrolatum in their beauty products can look for ingredients listed as petroleum jelly, petrolatum, white petrolatum, mineral oil (which is a petroleum-derived oil) and soft paraffin.
Propylene glycol is an ingredient found in many personal-care products and so-called ‘organic’ moisturisers. It is widely used because of its relatively low cost and versatile nature. Ideally this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural. Usually it is a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant. It has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema. Although exposure to high levels of Propylene Glycol is known to cause serious and potentially irreversible health conditions, the chemical industry tell us that “small” quantities or low level exposure of Propylene Glycol is “safe” to use on the skin and in food. According to the safety data sheets of industrial chemical manufacturers, chemicals such as Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol will cause serious health conditions, including liver and heart damage and damage to the central nervous system if sufficient amounts are absorbed by the body.
From clinically proven anti-ageing to skin sensitivity relief, certified organic moisturisers are taking green beauty to a new level. And this is all done without the need to use certain harsh chemicals and GM ingredients, which means the formulas are cleaner, greener and safer to use. We recommend this guide to making the most of your organic moisturisers and other beauty products. It’s easy to make the switch to organic beauty products once you know how. You can also check out a full list of Soil Association certified organic companies if you want to make the switch to organic food and textiles too. Why not have a browse of all their certified organic products and find your nearest store? Making a change to your beauty routine can not only make a positive difference to your own body, but also the environment. When you buy an organic beauty product, you are not just looking after your own skin, you are looking after the planet. Organic ingredients are grown without pesticides, which helps protect wildlife and the environment. Sounds good all round we think!
Happy #OrganicSeptember !