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3 Reasons To Go Organic

Updated on December 3, 2015
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Never thought you’d be into “earthy” beauty? Think again: The reasons to try something organic are more compelling than ever.

Once relegated to natural food stores, organic beauty products like shampoos and all-natural cleansers and moisturizers have made their way to a drugstore, grocer and megamart near you. This movement toward mass marketing makes sense: Organic food sales have grown 20 percent a year during the past five years and show no signs of slowing down. The bottom line: As people become more aware of the potential health advantages of fruits, vegetables and even processed foods grown with little to no use of pesticides (what partially defines the term organic), they’ve also started to think about how the same chemical-free benefits can transfer to other areas of their lives, such as their beauty routines. Many people perceive organic beauty products as being more ‘pure’ and, therefore, kinder and gentler to the skin and the body as a whole. Here, three reasons why you should consider adding organic to your daily look-gorgeous regimen.

Organic = adj. 1. Term that refers to how agricultural products are grown, cultivated and processed before being used in food or cosmetic products. 2. To be considered truly organic, the plants must be grown without any chemical pesticides or fertilizers, genetically engineered seeds or irradiation.

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Organic products tend to be better for sensitive skin.

Why it matters to you. The fewer active ingredients in any beauty product, the fewer things that could actually throw your skin off kilter. Many organic cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums and more have less preservatives, color and fragrance, so there is definitely less risk of irritation.

Keep in mind. Organic beauty goods are typically made with fewer standard preservatives (added to keep bacteria at bay); some may have less than half the shelf life of nonorganic products (in many cases, they last only six months to one year instead of the typical two to three). To help get around this issue, some companies use natural preservatives, such as vitamin E, which have anti-bacterial effects. Still, look for a “use by” date and stick to it; otherwise, bacteria may thrive.

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The active ingredients are free of pesticides.

Why it matters to you. Some experts believe that pesticides act on the skin similar to free radicals (highly reactive oxygen molecules, created by exposure to environmental factors like sunlight and pollution, that have been linked to premature skin aging), but there’s no consensus on this. Certainly, if you’re concerned, it definitely won’t hurt to avoid extra chemicals. An added bonus: Many organic cleansers, serums and moisturizers are richer in botanicals like olive and grape-seed oils, pomegranate and green tea – all classified as natural antioxidants, substances that help neutralize the effects of free radicals, thereby potentially keeping your skin more youthful looking.

Organic products don’t deplete the earth.

Why it matters to you. More and more of us are thinking holistically about the things we buy and how they affect our bodies as well as the soil, the environment and the planet. As with organic foods, manufacturers of organic beauty products do minimal damage to the environment: Raw materials are farmed, refined and reputable companies may produce them minimally packaged (meaning less landfill garbage). Organic products are typically part of a conscious effort to be environmentally friendly. More than ever before, people are more aware of the environment and nature and want to do the best for themselves and the earth as a while. They’re looking at the products they buy as a way to make a difference.

Some brands, like Aveda and The Healing Garden Organics, go even further, donating part of their proceeds to earth-minded causes like The Nature Conservancy and Global Greengrants Fund. Truly, using organics overall can have a real positive effect: The higher the demand, the more organic farming – and farmers – will flourish, as will the environment.

For A More Radiant Complexion

…try these staff favorites

  • Inara 100% Organic Babassu Lip Balm packs a creamy blend of organic babassu oil, palm oil and vanilla-pod extract to soften chapped lips.

  • Alba Organics Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser uses organic aloe vera along with skin-sloughing papaya and pineapple enzymes to cleanse and polish skin.

  • Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum is rich in organic juices: white grape, orange and aloe leaf.

  • Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish contains organic extracts of plants like jojoba, marshmallow root, soothing chamomile and calendula to gently remove skin-dulling impurities.

  • Nature’s Gate Organics Have a Vine Day: Chardonnay Hydrator for Daytime bottles organic fruit and vegetable extracts like olive, soy and white grape seed into a lightweight daily moisturizer.

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Is It Really Organic?

Keep in mind: the word natural on a product’s label does not mean it’s organic. Organic products contain ingredients grown with little to no pesticides – a claim now regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). So look for the USDA organic seal (the same one used on food packaging). It tells you the company has provided proof that at least 95 percent of the ingredients are organically grown and derived.

Note. No USDA seal? It may still be worth using. The phrase “made with organic ingredients” without the seal may mean there’s little organic material in the package. Search for the seal or examine the product’s ingredients. If the word organic is high on the list, you’re probably getting much of what you’re paying for.

  • Naturopathica Evening Primrose Replenishing Eye Cream boasts organic evening primrose (a natural antioxidant) to help smooth fine lines.

For Healthy Hair And Soft Skin…

…try these organic bests.

  • Aveda Shampoo and Color Conditioner is available for different hair colors; for blondes, opt for lightening Camomile Shampoo and Color Conditioner. Brunette? Try the Clove Shampoo and Color Conditioner to enhance your shade.

  • Mop Mixed Greens Shampoo and Conditioner nourishes dry hair with organic extracts of parsley and alfalfa.

  • The Healing Garden Organics Fig & Lavender Body Lotion moisturizes with a combination of organic aloe, lavender and fig.

  • Kiss My Face Big Kiss Organic Soap quenches dry skin with certified organic palm oil.

  • Pharmacopia Ginger Body Lotion hydrates rough parts using safflower oil, avocado oil, shea butter and ginger.

  • Shea Terra Organics White Chocolate, Sweet Almond & Honeybush Shea Butter Hand Cream keeps hands smooth and soft with organic milk and honeybush tea, which is rich in vitamin C.

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