Why Go Organic (And What It Means)
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s consider for a moment precisely what we mean by the term “organic beauty.”
By “organic,” what we really mean is “without using artificial products.” The term organic can be explained as “relating to or derived from living matter.” That doesn’t mean that the ingredients are necessarily alive, but means that they must be natural and “related” to living things.
Minerals count as organic for instance, but rocks aren’t alive! Because rocks are created by the tides however, and because they are found naturally inside the body (yes, your bones are made from calcium and magnesium just like that found in nature), they count as “organic.”
The fewer steps the product had to go through before it was packaged, the more “organic” we consider it to be.
How does this relate to beauty?
Organic beauty means creating the beautiful look that you want, but without resorting to the use of chemicals, compounds, and other unnatural substances.
Why you ask?
There are actually a huge number of reasons to go organic when it comes to your beauty. Let’s take a look at just some of them.
Synthetic Products Can be Harmful
One of the biggest and best reasons to go organic, is that nonorganic products designed for health and beauty will very often include synthetic products that can actually be harmful. Here are just some of the dangerous compounds you might encounter if you rely on mass-produced cosmetic products:
1 Estrogenic Compounds
One of the biggest dangers when it comes to using non-organic products, is the large number of estrogenic compounds that are found in many cosmetics and even in our water!
Estrogenic chemicals are found in everything from shampoos, to Tupperware, to makeup. They include parabens (used as preservatives), placenta extracts and more.
So what’s so bad about this? Well essentially, it increases the amount of estrogen in the body. For men, this is particularly bad news as it means lower muscle mass, more body fat, lower sperm count and possibly even depression, lethargy and infertility!
Many of these compounds are even found to be carcinogens, meaning that they increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer specifically in men and women.
Aluminum is found in a large number of different products, including antiperspirants and some makeups. Aluminum works by temporarily blocking the skin’s sweat ducts but it can be absorbed into the skin where it will also have estrogen-like effects.
Parfum is a catch-all that describes a large number of synthetic compounds used to add ‘fragrance’ to our products. That means products that are specifically designed to be fragrances and it also means other things like shampoos and fabric softeners.
These products are well known to cause a range of problems including headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration and more. Some studies also suggest that they can affect the central nervous system and lead to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Phthalates are very difficult to avoid and are found in everything from body lotions to nail polishes and hair sprays. These are used to strengthen the parfums and introduce more issues all of their own – including reproductive problems and an increased risk of breast cancer.
Why do companies insist of adding artificial scents to their products when there are so many fantastic smelling essential oils out there already?
5 DEA, TEA and MEA
This sounds like the name of Nickelodeon program about three twins… In fact though, these three products are additives found in cosmetics such as sunscreens, moisturisers and foundations. They are used to act as surfactants, which are well known to combine with nitrates to form nitrosamines – potential carcinogens.
This is quite ironic because some research suggests that a number of natural sunblocks may actually slightly increase your risk of skin cancer. Repeated application of DEA is also shown to cause liver and kidney damage in animals.
Led was removed from school pencils long ago because it was found to cause a number of health issues. And yet it is still commonplace in your makeup…
Ammonia is found in a lot of cleaning products and is a powerful irritant that can cause headaches and breathing problems. It’s almost always inhaled during use and it can lead to bronchitis and asthma in the most serious cases. This is maddening too, seeing as baking soda and vinegar can clean most surfaces just fine!
Fluoride is found in toothpastes and is very effective in preventing tooth decay. Unfortunately, though, it’s also strong enough to actually cause damage to the enamel and it’s something that you’re better off avoiding where possible unless you want to experience ‘mottling’ or ‘fluorosis’. This is especially true seeing as there’s also lots of fluoride added to our water!
The golden rule to remember here is that anything that comes into contact with your skin, or anything that you inhale, will eventually enter your blood stream. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable eating it, then don’t rub it on your body or spread it around your house!
And we were just scratching the surface here too – we hadn’t even gotten to chlorine, triclosan or the many harmful food additives out there…
More Reasons to Go Organic
Another reason to go organic is simply that organic products tend to work better. In the place of potentially harmful substances, companies are now instead forced to use natural ingredients that help to nourish and heal the skin. That’s hugely preferable and far more effective at providing stronger skin for longer.
Instead of burning away the top layer of oil for instance and potentially destroying your natural skin barrier, an organic product would use substances that help to health the hormone balance of the skin to naturally fix those oil levels. Which sounds like it would get better long-term results?
Finally, organic products are kinder to the environment AND your wallet. Instead of ordering products that have been mass produced at a factory that billows smoke into the air, you’ll be using products made from natural ingredients you can find around your home. Many of these you don’t even need to buy – you can just make them yourself!