Because so many people try to live a healthier lifestyle, organic beauty products have become popular. It’s important to know what an organic beauty product is and what its benefits can be for your skin.
What Does “Organic” Mean?
In chemistry, “organic” is a chemical compound containing carbon. Organic products are not as easy to define. The United States Department of Agriculture regulates the manufacture and sale of organic foods through standards regulated by the National Organic Program, and these standards include things like use of pesticides and promotion of biodiversity, but these standards are only applied to food, and not to beauty products. Beauty products can be labeled organic without compliance with strict government standards, and companies label their products as organic when they want to imply the product is natural, or made from natural ingredients. Since many beauty products, such as shampoos or body wash, are made primarily of water, then a company can label the ingredients as 90% organic with some truth, because the product is 90% water based. This suggests a superior product, but in reality the product is similar in ingredients to anything on the market.
If buying an organic product is important to you, then you should learn to read labels, to determine for yourself what ingredients will make their way to your hair or face. Some beauty products that contain at least 95% organic ingredients can be USDA Certified. After you determine whether or not your product is organic, you can then decide if it’s really a better product for you. Has the product undergone testing to meet the claims the producer is making? Will your skin really be smoother and healthier? You should look at the manufacturer’s site to determine if the product has been tested and if it meets the claims.
Ask An Aesthetician
Another way to determine if a beauty product is a worthwhile investment, organic or non-organic, is to get the advice of a qualified aesthetician or dermatologist. If you have any allergies, you should check the label for ingredients that might result in an allergic reaction, although that won’t help you determine how effective the product will be. Organic, or natural, ingredients have been used as cosmetics for thousands of years, and some of these ingredients have a large following. As recently as 2008, one in every seven beauty products launched was organic or all-natural, according to market research by Mintel, a Chicago firm. Ecocert is a French seal of approval that also ensures 95% of a product’s ingredients are natural, with at least ten percent from organic farms that do not use chemicals or pesticides.
Some Popular Organic Ingredients
Here’s a quick list of organic products and their purported benefits:
- Wintergreen oil: Used for blemishes, this oil is applied to the skin by dabbing with a cotton ball.
- Yeast speeds up the rate at which your cells flush excess liquids, shrinking swelling.
- Zemea is a plant-based substitute for moisturizers derived from petroleum. It is made from corn, and traps water to act as a humectant.
- Apple tree stems in one skin cream decreased crow’s feet in a German study by 15%.
- Fruit and vegetable extracts like carrots allow you to enjoy antioxidant activity without synthetics.
- Horsetail is an herb that is rich in silica and is used in nail polish to help strengthen nails naturally.
- Natural oils, like jasmine absolute, have lingering scent.
- Ketchup has lycopene, a pigment that gives the tomato its red color, and it can be used on your hair for fifteen minutes before rinsing to remove greenish tints caused by oxidation or chlorine.
- Lupine is an oil-absorbing powder made from the seeds of the wildflower with the same name, and it is also full of protein and can be found in dry shampoos.
- Manganese is an antioxidant mineral that works to block UV rays and also inhibit melanin, which can help diminish formation of ugly brown sunspots.
- Narcissus extract is sometimes used in dandruff shampoo, as it inhibits the production of skin cells that flake off your scalp.
- Olive oil and coconut oil, when used to cleanse your skin, don’t strip it like synthetic products that bubble.
- Quillaja is also known as the soap bark tree, and grows in several South American countries. It provides glucoside saponin, a gentle soap alternative that will not dry your skin.
- Reservatrol is a natural substance from grapes that works to preserve your skin’s antibacterial defenses, and its antioxidant qualities will help prevent wrinkles and sun damage.
- Tea extracts, including white, green, and black tea, contain antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. Tea has benefits both sipped and used as a topical ingredient.
- Extracts from vanda orchids help your skin retain moisture, reflecting the natural quality of the plants to store water for several weeks.
You should have complete information before you put something on your skin – not only could you have a serious allergic reaction, but you could end up using a product that results in irritation or redness, or worse.
Be Aware of Irritants
The doctors at BHSkin recommend avoidance of potentially irritating ingredients without your doctor’s approval. A dermatologist can assist you with your skin care regimen by analysis of your skin type and with a thorough knowledge of all cosmetic ingredients. Although it is annoying to purchase a new cosmetic and discover that it is ineffective, it’s much worse to end up with a rash or redness.
The FDA Regulates Pharmaceuticals
The FDA regulates our drug supply, but that’s not all. The United States Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the health of the American public, by regulating some foods, electronic product radiation, tobacco products, and cosmetic and dietary supplements. Click here to see an FDA website page to assist you with determining what ingredients you may be using on your face.
Learn About Your Products
The FDA website has many consumer product guides that will guide you as you select your beauty products. If you choose a product, you can find the ingredients on the site, and you can even discover how those ingredients may or may not be worth your purchase price.
Ask Your Doctor
A cosmetic dermatologist is aware of product specifications and can direct you to pure and safe products to protect both your skin and your health. At BHSkin, we will assist you as you determine the safest and most effective way to preserve and maintain your greatest beauty asset: healthy skin!