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Going for green skincare?

 | July 2, 2012

Get back to basics if you're confused by all the hype.


THESE days, the beauty industry is filled with products that tout the virtues of being all “natural” or “organic”.

Walk into any store and you’ll be inundated with aisle upon aisle of lotions, potions and cosmetics that helped push sales to US$11 billion last year. Yet, for many of us, the terms “organic” or “natural” may still remain just fanciful, flamboyant phrases—unless you’re one of those beauty buffs who read and research arduously into your skincare and make-up.

Some may still be wondering whether going all natural or organic is the right step for them. Should you make the switch to go green?

For the information of beginners, opting for a natural or organic product does not mean dousing yourself with hemp seed oil or frankincense. Some natural and organic skincare are priced more highly than the conventional range, and the effects can be felt if you’re having a total overhaul of your skincare and cosmetics cabinet.

The best place to begin is with your skincare, in particular facial moisturisers and anything that comes in close contact with your eyes and lips. These areas are the most sensitive and delicate, and they also easily absorb and ingest the ingredients from your products into your body. Keeping your moisturisers free of chemicals will be beneficial to you in the long run.

So what’s the difference between a product labeled “natural” and one labelled “organic”?

A natural product usually contains a higher percentage of plants compared to its conventional sibling, but not necessarily free of synthetics. The more natural ingredients listed first in the labelling, the better the product. After that, the list usually reads like a chemistry book. You may not understand them all, but for a glossary of what’s what, check out cosmeticsinfo.org

Organic products go a step further. Their ingredients are not only natural, but also grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. When choosing an organic product, look for brands that authenticate their organic ingredients with an organic certifying agency, such as Soil Association (UK), Ecocert (Europe) and USDA (USA).

Some reputable brands, such as Neal’s Yard Remedies and Dr Hauschka, also highlight non-GMOs, genetically modified organisms, in their ingredient lists so you can buy your product with ease of mind

Another reason to go organic is that the products often do not contain preservatives from synthetic sources. You’ve heard it before – parabens and other synthetic preservatives have been linked to health issues.   .

Natural and organic skincare are also ideal if you have sensitive skin. They are generally gentler on skin and are unlikely to cause skin irritation. However, bergamot, rosemary and cinnamon oil are known to cause redness or irritate skin for some people. It’s still advisable to do a patch test when using natural or organic products for the first time.


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