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Why Using Organic and Natural Skincare Products?

By Estival Life / 3 June 2018

You may always be cautious of what you eat and drink.  In fact, many more people nowadays get used to check the ingredient lists before they buy the food and drink items.  However only very few will do the same when they purchase skin care and personal care products.

Skin is our largest organ…

Do you know that our skin is actually the largest organ of our body? It is a living system that has the hair, nails, glands and receptors performing 9 essential functions for our bodies:

  • Excretes salt, water and toxins through sweat;
  • Protects us from physical, chemical and biological damage;
  • Regulates moisture;
  • Responds to heat, cold, pain and pleasure;
  • Helps maintain a steady temperature;
  • Prevents mineral loss;
  • Converts sun rays into vitamin D3;
  • Metabolizes fat; and
  • Secretes sebum.

Our skin could absorb topical products and let them penetrate into the bloodstream.

Decades of Misconceptions…

Most of us believe that the more it foams, the more it cleans; the more slippery, the more hydrating it is; the more we lather on, the more effective it will be. 

Thus far, cheap ingredients, such as alcohol, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and mineral oil, which give us the feeling of being clean, and moisturized, are in fact the same ones slowing our skin’s ability to generate healthy cells and strip it of its natural moisture.

Every day, an adult is exposed to nearly 170 types of harmful chemicals. Almost all popular personal care products are overloaded with industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. 

Natural & Organic Products Being Used for Millenniums… 

 

As more consumers get aware of these astounding facts, more tend to look for safer and healthier alternatives.  Natural and organic products are on the growing trend because of their benefits of being free from hazardous ingredients.  In fact, natural and organic skin care products are not something new to human history.  Thousands of years ago our ancestors have already made use of the natural stuffs for medicinal and cosmetic uses, just like Chinese having used Chinese herbs for millenniums.

Till date, a worldwide legitimate definition for organic and natural cosmetics is still not in place.  Thus a lot of manufacturers can freely use the words “organic” and “natural” when describing their products, even though there may only be a small percentage of natural / organic ingredients. 

Many products still do not carry ingredient list.  Even having one, they are probably all in chemical names.  If without professional knowledge, customers basically could not tell what they are and if they are harmful or not.  What’s worse?  Many chemical / synthetic ingredients under question are still widely available in most products because only a few governments, e.g. European Commission, are banning them from the shelf of food and cosmetic products.

Importance of Organic / Natural Certification…

Choosing certified organic / natural skin care and personal care products become far more important than ever before.  It’s however still a voluntary motive for manufacturers to apply for organic / natural certification. 

Internationally acclaimed certifying institutions set a series of stringent requirements from plantation and choosing of raw materials to every single step of production to the packaging, products’ effectiveness and consumer communications.  Every 1-2 years manufacturers have to process the audit once again so as to renew the certification. It demands tremendous efforts and resources. The certification not only verifies the products’ quality and meeting of the strict conditions, but also tell consumers how much dedication these manufacturers have in producing the highest quality of truly organic and natural products.  

Other than the benefits of making the products hazard-free, what else do certified natural / organic products give us?  First of all you have to know what means “natural” and “organic”. 

“Natural” refers in general the product contains a certain percentage of natural ingredients.  But they may still contain some chemical / synthetic ingredients.  “Certified Natural” products however have to meet a much higher standard.  

Taking ECOCERT as an example, to be “certified organic”, a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients must come from natural origin; and a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. 

Please note for both “natural” and “organic” certification, some ingredients very frequently found in cosmetics (water, salts, minerals) cannot be certified as organic because they are not sourced from farming. 

“Organic” refers to plantation / farming only. Plants grown organically would yield the purest oils and extracts, free from chemical and pesticide contamination. Using organic products also means that you are supporting the sustainability of our environment by producing less pollution, carbon dioxide and dangerous wastes.  Again, taking ECOCERT as an example, to be “certified organic”, a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients must come from natural origin; and a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. 

Please note for both “natural” and “organic” certification, some ingredients very frequently found in cosmetics (water, salts, minerals) cannot be certified as organic because they are not sourced from farming. 

Organic products may cost you more up front but considering the alternatives, it becomes obvious to see why organic cosmetics are worth of investment.

Traditional cosmetics are basically made of whichever chemicals can prolong shelf-life and produce strong scents and bubbles for the lowest price. It’s no surprise that those ingredients aren’t what’s best for our bodies.

Always Read the Ingredient List…

Organic cosmetics provide nutrition for your skin and hair with ingredients you know and can pronounce. Many of the components you’ll find in organic cosmetic products are the same ones you’ll find in a health food store or a beautiful botanical garden. These common organic cosmetic ingredients nurture your body from the inside out (and they sound a lot prettier too).

We also recommend consumers to read the ingredient list on your products. Take note of the order in which ingredients are listed. The top ingredients usually have the highest concentration in the formulation and the lowest the least. Look for trustworthy organic natural beauty seals like ICEA, ECOCERT, COSMOS, BDIH, NATRUE, and others. And lastly, avoid synthetic chemicals like parabens, petrochemicals, fragrances, or other harmful additives. 

Be back to nature and make better choices of the safest products for you, your loved ones and the Earth.