Over the past year, organic skincare has become something I’ve paid a lot more attention to. Like the food I eat and the carbon footprint I leave behind, I want to put a little bit more thought into the chemicals I put into my body day after day. I want to know what ingredients are in my face wash, and understand exactly what they do. I also want to know if they’re tested on animals and sustainably sourced. You may, for example, only buy organic eggs and milk, but do you know the impact of your favourite serum?
Organic farms support up to 50% more wildlife, guarantee no animal testing and ensure sustainable management of the land from which each ingredient is sourced from. Now I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching, nor claim that everything I do is environmentally friendly – far from it. But, like the chicken I put in my basket at Sainsbury’s, I’m starting to spend my pennies on the brands that offer me more information and transparency.
The good news is that I’m not alone and many beauty brands such as Sanoflore (L’oreal’s new COSMOS accredited brand), Neal’s Yard, Vanderohe and Pai have got really, really good at ensuring their formulas are just as lovely and effective as those born in a lab. Sanoflore’s Perfect Skin Concentrate serum and Vanderohe’s award-winning No. 1 serum has become my favourite way to start a day – it also rivals any of the other beauty giants on my shelf such as Clinique and Estee Lauder. In fact, according to a new survey by the Soil Association, sales of organic health and beauty products have grown by more than 20% in 2016, with the market now worth approximately £61.2m in the UK alone.
It can, however, seem like a bit of a minefield when you first start to look for a more organic beauty routine. So, to help you on your way, I’ve created a quick list of things to look out for…
Get to grips with what organic actually means
If products are certified organic, it means they are free from GM ingredients, not tested on animals and vulnerable plants are not used. Beauty products can vary from those that use naturally inspired ingredients, to products which contain artificial ingredients manufactured in a lab to perform similar functions to natural ingredients – so make sure you know the difference. Even finer details such as packaging and the cleaning products used within the factory must be environmentally friendly to be awarded an organic certification.
Look out for accreditations
Unlike food, which must adhere to strict EU regulations, cosmetics are currently held to no legal restrictions on what actually constitutes them being organic. This has led to widespread greenwashing across hundreds of products where beauty brands confuse us into thinking a product is natural or organic when it isn’t with misleading marketing. Don’t just rely on packaging covered in leaves and flowers and words like ‘nature’. Instead, look for accreditations from trusted bodies such as the Soil Association, COSMOS, Nature and NSF/ANSI.
Familiarise yourself with the Soil Association
The Soil Association has a great website which gives loads of information on all-things organic, but also has a really informative section on cosmetics. Familiarise yourself with their list of accredited brands and contact them if you have any further questions. Here’s a few to start you off.
Certified organic brands
The Gentle Label
Until next time. xx