Just as health nuts trawl through the ingredient lists of the foods they eat, reading beauty product ingredients is essential if you're going organic. With a plethora of savvy marketing terms finding their way onto skin care bottles it's no wonder we're left confused. Here are some easy tips to wisen up to those natural skincare claims.
Glance at any health website and you'll find countless cases of beauty bloggers abandoning big name brands in favour of natural products and paraben-free ingredients. Cold pressed oils and coconut cream are no longer just pantry staples, they're now the beauty cupboard heroes of converted organic-ites.
“You absorb approximately 60% of what you put on your skin,” warns organic, coconut loving Teisha Lowry, affectionately known as ‘Queen Coco.’ “The skin is the largest organ, it is absorbent and therefore it’s important to feed your skin with the right nutrients.”
Many brands are responding to a growing demand from consumers to switch to organic and natural ingredients, but natural ingredients can be more expensive to use. In some cases it's cheaper for the brands to use just a few natural ingredients and put more emphasis on changing their packaging to make it look like they're more natural than they are.
“Be aware of misleading brands claiming to be organic,” says organic expert Nina Weston of Beautiful Because, “In fact, their products may only have a small percentage of non-certified organics ingredients.”
The certification is important, as it provides a third-party guarantee that the ingredients have been rigorously proven to be organic, offering protection from synthetic fillers sneaking into the skincare. As with all skin care, remember that it is important to shop around and test products to see how they react on your skin type, as Weston reminds us, “just because a product is healthy and organic does not mean that it will perform for your skin concern.” Just because it works for Karlie Kloss, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Both Weston and Lowry agree that in the same way you wouldn’t (or, more accurately, shouldn’t) feed yourself with an ingredient that you can’t pronounce, you shouldn’t feed it to your skin either.
We have rounded up our favourite organic beauty buys and the problems they target below.
For Sensitive Skin:
Soothing notes of chamomile and energizing rose make up this ultra-hydrating, yet super gentle moisturizer. Vanessa Megan’s range is famous for its high standard of organic content and this super gentle face cream in no exception, it's thick but not greasy.
For Dry Skin:
Hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory jojoba is the perfect way to quench dry, coarse skin. This essential fatty acid-rich oil ‘base nectar’ is a sure fire fast track to glowing, hydrated skin as it locks in moisture and feeds the skin with vitamin and mineral rich calming oils.
For Full Coverage Tinted Moisturiser:
Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics is a skin care line committed to organic certification. This tinted day cream is the perfect way to begin the transition into organic skin care. Opt for this tinted moisturizer instead of your usual foundation during the day, for a complexion-perfecting option that lets your skin breathe.
For a Gentle, Impurity-Removing Mask:
This is quite a different masking experience, but great for a gentle yet effective way to remove impurities. The Signature Mineral Mask by MV Organic is the IKEA of masks, in that it is boxed with the powder, a little container and a brush. By simply adding water and stirring you create your own single-serve of fresh mineral mask, which is so gentle it is safe for eczema sufferers.
For Cure-All Rosehip Oil:
Rosehip oil is the worst kept secret of health nuts the world over. Filled with essential fatty acids, anti oxidants and healing oils, Rosehip oil is the skincare equivalent to a green juice! Apply to acne scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, age spots, eczema, or pigmentation – there is nothing that rosehip oil can’t fix.
For Dry Hands:
Teisha ‘Queen Coco’ Lowry’s Indah range is based on – you guessed it – coconut. This essential oil filled coconut balm is exactly what your hands need when they are dry, chapped or dehydrated. Nourishing coconut oil is the perfect way to give your hands a much needed boost.
For Dull, Lackluster Skin:
Filled with Vitamin C rich Kakadu Plum, and Vitamin A, this cream brightens and hydrates to bring a glow back to dull skin. Apply a small amount across the skin and décolletage to give tired skin an organic boost.
For Fresh Breath:
It should come as no shock that the body directly absorbs that what goes in your mouth, and organic crusader Therese Kerr is here to keep your breath fresh without nasty, preservative-filled mints or mouthwash. This combination of essential oils, aloe vera and roobios provides a natural alternative for a post-lunch breath freshener.
For Inflammation and Fine Lines:
Beauty Chef Carla Oates’ Beauty Balm is an organic dream. Full of health boosting nutrients, including fermented coconut, rosehip and Shea butter this Beauty Balm is hydrating and rejuvenating. Apply to inflamed skin spots or fine lines and wrinkles for a soothing, nourishing way to fight and protect the skin.
Story by Lauren Rose Burke.