March 02, 2016
I'm very happy to welcome Kelsey of the very-pretty and informative Australian beauty blog Megsy Jane as a regular contributor to the Eve Organics blog. Kelsey will be sharing her green beauty wisdom here on a monthly basis. Welcome Kelsey!
This month, Kelsey talks to us about the common perception that natural and organic skin care is more expensive than its synthetic counterparts. Is there any truth to this idea? Read on for her thoughts!
The main excuses I hear regarding organic products is that they don’t work, or are too expensive.
#1 - Organic and natural skincare DOES work – often with much longer lasting and better results that non-natural skincare. If you think natural doesn’t work, you’ve either probably purchased something that isn’t suited to your skin type, or a “green washed” product that wasn’t truly natural (more on that later)
#2 - What you’ll find on the supermarket shelf or in a department store actually differ very little inside the pretty packaging. Mainstream products of all price ranges are filled mostly with cheap, synthetic chemicals – petroleum-by products (such as mineral oil), synthetic preservatives (often PEGs or parabens, which have strong links to endocrine disruption, or formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen), and if you’re lucky, that “active natural ingredient” will be less than 1% of the formula.
When all you’re comparing are the price tags, then yes, at first glance organic skincare costs more. However, there are a few things you need to consider first.
Mainstream skincare merely band-aids the underlying issues, providing short term results, but can ultimately do more harm than good. Check the ingredients, and number one is usually water. Harmless, yes. But it’s also a cheap filler ingredient that will “bulk” the product up, and requires many synthetic preservatives to keep bacteria at bay. Mineral oil (a crude oil by-product) is another filler ingredient, smothering the skin in a film – similar to covering it in plastic wrap – it clogs your pores and prevents your skin from being able to breathe. It can also be contaminated with heavy metals, carcinogens and other impurities.
Alcohol – often used as a preservative, you want to avoid this unless it’s an organic grain alcohol. Alcohol is very drying, and can cause premature aging of the skin, particularly around the delicate eye area. Fragrance or parfum is another ingredient you should avoid, unless denoted as a natural source. It provides no skincare benefits, and can be a chemical cocktail of over 3000 ingredients. Fragrance is considered a trade-secret, so companies are not required to disclose the ingredients.
Natural skincare works to heal, balance and restore the skin. Providing your skin with the nutrients it needs, organic skincare can actually support your skin in the healing process so that it is able to maintain its health and function as it should.
When you find the right product for your skin type, organic skincare is far more effective – which results in using less products as your skin heals and balances out over time.
Many organic brands have much tighter quality control compared to mainstream brands when sourcing their ingredients, resulting in more potent, effective skincare. High quality organic skincare should contain certified organic, raw active ingredients. The reason you should look for raw ingredients (particularly with botanicals) is that the cosmetics industry can use heat processing that destroys much of the nutritional content. Raw ingredients are not only less processed, but they are also more potent.
Most women apply over 120 different synthetic chemicals to their skin daily in the products they use. Twenty-six seconds is the time it takes for what you put onto your skin to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Do you want to be putting crude oil by-products, hormone disruptors and possible carcinogens onto your skin? Unlike what goes into your mouth, which is filtered through your liver, what goes onto your skin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream (just consider how nicotine skin patches are used). These can not only cause harmful long-term effects within the body, but can actually accelerate the aging of your skin.
Not all skincare is created equal – even when looking at natural and organic brands.
You need to make sure that at least 80% of the ingredients are natural, or naturally derived. Choose certified organic where you can. The reason for this is “green washing”. There are no legal restrictions on what claims companies can make on the front of the label (hence the term “miracle in a jar”), and many intentionally attempt to muddy the waters between what is and isn’t truly natural. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s on a supermarket shelf, it probably isn’t organic or natural.
I always recommend starting with a shop or website that is dedicated to only pure, natural and organic products. The sales assistants/customer service will also have a better understanding of the products they carry, and won’t attempt to sell you something that is only half-way there.
Choosing skincare can be overwhelming as it is, so it makes your life much easier if you don’t have to double-check ingredients too – leaving you free to simply find a skincare ritual for your own unique skin type!
Passionate about health and beauty, I began the Megsy-Jane blog to prove that green CAN be glam. My aim is to educate women on the safer, healthier alternatives to the mainstream – that work. You needn’t sacrifice your health for beauty, and you don’t have to sacrifice performance for health.
Organic beauty has come a long way in the last few years, and I know from personal experience how overwhelming making “the switch” can be. Along with product reviews and brand spotlights, I share useful tools and handy resources that help make the switch to organic that much easier. Your skin will thank you.
I also have a handcrafted Flower Crown & Accessories label by the same name, so when I’m not writing on organic beauty and skincare, you’ll most likely find me in the studio up to my elbows in flowery goodness.