Organic Skin Care – The Natural Successor?

Time was the word ‘organic’ invoked images of knobbly, humorously shaped vegetables still caked in their mud encrusted cloaks. But things are changing and the growing demand for all things natural is, it seems, a lot more than just a passing fad. What was once seen as a responsible and old fashioned approach to looking after the environment has become part of a much more modern lifestyle drive to looking after ourselves.

Nowhere more than the beauty industry have we seen the greatest shift with new products springing up all over to match the demands of an increasingly aware public. And with momentum being added by a long list of celebrity it seems things are set to continue. But why should we bother with organic skin care, and who says it’s any better that the usual list of suspects?

“The fact is that around 60% of the products we use on our skin are absorbed deep into the system so we’re being affected as much by what we rub on or rinse through as we are by what we eat or drink” says Pur Natural Skincare director Linda Jones. “Our skincare, like our food, is often imbued with a cocktail of ingredients that offer nothing but a cheaper alternative to the natural ingredients they replace”.

Studies have shown that these little nasties can build up and store themselves in parts of the body you’d really rather they didn’t! But how does organic skincare work?

Linda explains: “In simple terms, if we’re keeping the toxins out and introducing the right mix of naturally beneficial compounds we’re improving and enhancing the skin’s natural repair and renewal rhythm”. So by opting for organic are we fighting a winning battle? Unfortunately things are never quite that simple.

All great breakthroughs have their imitations and with a lack of strict controls on labeling many ‘organic’ pretenders are finding a lucrative niche. It seems that in many cases it doesn’t ‘do exactly what it says on the tin’. So how can we be sure that what we’re buying is the genuine unadulterated article?

“Organic certification is a good place to start” says Pur’s marketing director Simon Ford, “but even here we have to be cautious because by their own admission many certification agencies check paper trails for organic ingredients rather than the actual product”. But unless you have a Caesaresque talent for Latin, reading the label won’t be much help.

“If you want to be sure of what you’re getting you have to read the label” says Simon. “We spend a lot of energy translating our labels into plain English, but if you’re still not sure about something you can phone our ingredient helpline listed on the label and we’ll happily advise you”.

In the meantime here’s a quick summary of the most common suspects to avoid:

AHAs – Alpha-hydroxy acids
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
DEA – diethanolamine

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