Organic Cosmetics: What’s The Big Deal?

I love makeup. I love everything about it. From buying it, choosing the colours and packaging, to the daily routine of applying it, to taking it off at the end of the day; I enjoy the whole process of it.

My love affair with makeup started as a young girl, with the garish toy makeup sets I was given at Christmas and birthdays, in my teens I was spending all of my pocket money in Boots on budget mascara and face powder. By the time I got to my twenties and I had a full time job, I was spending a good chunk of my wages on expensive products, never realising  how much damage I was doing to my skin and my general health.

Now that I’m in my 30’s, and I have a mortgage and other responsibilities, I can’t spend as much as I’d like on make up or skin care. But since I’ve been working at the Wellbeing Clinic, I have started to become more aware of the amount of chemicals that we put into our bodies and I have been changing my lifestyle bit by bit, to try to embrace a more natural, organic life. However, I don’t want my beauty regime to suffer, and many of the well-known organic brands are quite expensive, so I have been finding myself in a bit of a quandary… I want to look after my skin, but I don’t want to bankrupt myself in the process.

After trawling through Natural Health magazine, and a lot of internet searching, I managed to find some great brands who all use only organic or natural ingredients, and are very reasonably priced. I’ve been sent some brilliant samples from several organic companies, and I am now starting to introduce these products into my daily routine, whilst still using up my old ‘regular’ products, with the idea to eventually filter out anything with nasty chemicals so that my dressing table basically only has natural and organic products on it and I can start each day feeling incredibly virtuous!

But why is it so important to go organic?

I still have a lot of love for my chemical-laden make up and moisturisers, and a year ago, it would have taken a lot for me to even consider changing over to a more natural range. I’ve been talking to Lyndsey Bates, Director of Zao Essence of Nature UK Ltd. who sent me a very generous sample package, and has been a wealth of knowledge on why we should all be going organic.

The Modern Day Asbestos

One of the main reasons I want to move to organic skin care is because of the use of nanoparticles. Lyndsey says: ‘Nanoparticles have been introduced into personal care products as they create a product that glides smoothly onto skin and fills in pesky crevices, making the user appear more youthful and with enhanced appearance of skin. It allows cosmetic companies to create an ultra-fine foundation powder (for example). Whilst this may produce a product that does the job efficiently and is pleasing to consumers, nanoparticles pose a serious health risk when inhaled or absorbed into the body due to their tiny size which makes them able to travel anywhere within the body and its cells. Nanoparticles can become embedded into the walls of the lungs, making them the modern day version of asbestos.’

Until now, I knew nothing about nanoparticles, and this information terrifies me.

So how would we know if our cosmetics contain nanoparticles? The trick is to look out for organic labelling. Anything certified organic by Ecocert is not permitted to have nanoparticles. Organic products are required by law to disclose every single ingredient, unlike chemical skincare which can omit trace ingredients. Some companies ‘greenwash’ which means that they throw in a few organic products, amongst the chemicals, and claim it’s organic. It’s not organic unless it’s certified organic, so don’t be fooled!

There are so many other reasons to switch to organic cosmetics, and so many chemicals we need to avoid, and so much more I need to share with you, but as I am finding out, this is an exhaustive subject, so I will be bringing you more in future blogs. But for now, if you do one thing for yourself, why not change just one of your regular beauty products for a certified organic product?