I have shared many different products on my blog that fall under the ‘organic’ and/or ‘natural’ categories of skincare. The only products I will put on my skin now must either say organic or paraben free on the packaging, otherwise I won’t even consider it.
But I wasn’t always like that. I used to be an avid drugstore shopper for beauty products, simply because I wasn’t at all educated on skincare, and I honestly didn’t care seeing as I was such a penny pincher and every dime counted towards what I would spend on my skin. Now it’s a slightly different story. I think being in my mid-twenties changed me, as the realization that I was really going to need to start taking care of my skin hit me, and I knew I would have to start spending a couple more bucks for quality skincare.
I have read many mixed articles on whether organic skin products are really that much better for you or not. People rave about organic food and putting only healthy ingredients in their bodies, so wouldn’t it make sense to put organic and healthy ingredients on your skin too?
Organic v Natural
A cosmetic or skin care product can be certified organic by the USDA if the applicable ingredients (honey, berries, and other foods) are free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and other nonorganic substances (everydayhealth.com).
Essentially, if an item is organic or Certified organic, it is required to display the ‘USDA Organic’ Seal. Products can also contain the word organic in different variations, such as saying the item is ‘made with organic ingredients’, so if you are looking for 100% organic skincare items it would be beneficial to be aware of the difference.
The same goes for products that claim to be natural, anything can really be considered ‘natural’. If you kill a fish and eat it plain, the fish is ‘natural’ as nothing was added to it. Therefore, any company can make the claim that a product is natural as a marketing and advertising tactic considering people hear that something is natural and immediately make the association that it is healthy.
Ingredients to Avoid: Parabens
I started buying different products and actually reading the labels. I noticed that I could pronounce the ingredients for once on my skincare products, and I was avoiding any products that didn’t have the USDA Organic label or contained anything but clinically proven ingredients.
I started really researching different chemicals that are put into cheaper skincare products, and one that I kept coming across over and over was Parabens. These are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products as they prevent products from going bad, and they have been used in products for over nearly 70 years.
Parabens have increasingly been linked to breast cancer, especially from a study done by Philippa Darbre in 2004 that showed a correlation (NOT a causation) between breast cancer cells and parabens. This is not to say that cancer is attributed to parabens and chemicals, but there certainly has been a gigantic rise of cancer in the last century. Though no causes have been found, could parabens be responsible?
I have only been using organic skincare products for about 7 months, which is arguably both long and not long enough to show adequate results. However, my skin felt softer, was clear of blemishes and acne, and resulted in a more even skin tone after ONE DAY of switching. I also noticed differences the next day in how consistent my skin was. It didn’t magically go back to being dry, it stayed hydrated and soft throughout the next day. I decided to keep trying out tons of different products and I have been experimenting with different organic products and essentially just seeing what’s better for my skin.
Although many products still aren’t completely clear with how natural their ingredients really are, its still better to put ingredients on your skin that are clinically proven and organic. Avoiding as many chemicals as possible is your best bet, as you will know exactly what is getting absorbed into your skin.