The organic skincare market has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Once relegated to a few shelves in health-food stores, organic products have gone mainstream, and can now be found at supermarkets, drugstores and department stores. Long gone is the “hippie” stigma associated with going natural, and more and more women and men are choosing organic over conventional personal care products, but why?
1) Less Chemical Exposure
The skin is the body’s largest organ, so most of what you put on it can find its way into your body. The main reason to go organic is to minimize your body’s exposure to chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Case in point: The European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals that are known or believed to cause cancer, birth defects and other bodily harm while the United States has only banned less than 15. Among those not banned here are parabens, sulfates, phthalates and petroleum, which are used as preservatives, foaming agents and plasticizers to make nail polish less brittle and hairsprays more flexible. These have all been suspected of a wide range of potential side effects including hormone disruption, cancer, reproductive issues and more. Beyond helping consumers avoid these suspicious ingredients, organic skincare products are also free of synthetic fragrances, which are a main cause of skin irritation in many women and men, and not just those with sensitive skin.
2) More “natural” benefits
As the saying goes, “Mother knows best,” and in the case of skincare, Mother Nature knows more than a thing or two. People have been turning to natural remedies for every skin concern under the sun since ancient times, and from soothing and healing to rejuvenating and invigorating, there’s a plant for that. Organic skincare taps into these benefits in their virgin form, while synthetic ingredients simply try to mimic the effects—often producing unsavory side effects in the process.
3) Better for the planet
Organic crops are allowed to grow according to their natural cycle, and the process isn’t manipulated to maximize a harvest’s yield. As part of this “hands off” approach, chemical-based pesticides and fertilizers are avoided, which translates not only to less human exposure, but less damage to the soil, water supply and delicate ecosystems. Organic agricultural rules also include giving soil ample time to renew and rejuvenate itself naturally before planting the next crop.
Organic skincare also takes packaging into consideration. Recycled materials and Earth-friendly glass are the norm to minimize waste, and some companies go as far as to incorporate seeds into outer boxes so they can be planted.
So have you gone “green” yet?