dietary supplements to fabrics, toys and baby products, everything seems to be going organic
(or at least 100 percent natural).
And now the natural and organic labels have become huge in the makeup business as well: the
number of people switching from standard personal care and makeup products to cleaner and
greener alternatives is soaring in most countries, regardless of the economy and traditional
But do organic cosmetics in fact promise better quality and healthier looks than their chemical-
laden counterparts in the long run?
Let’s take a closer look at what organic formulas stand for and why they have become popular
throughout the world over the past few years.
“Synthetic substances such as parabens, phthalates,
lead and talc (all of which are common in the
makeup industry) can be doing greater harm
than good to the skin, nails, hair and human
health in general.”
Health Safety Concerns: A content label that makes all the difference
Organic beauty products have existed for centuries (they are an inevitable part of Eastern cultures such
as Korea and Japan), but it was only after broad public learned about a number of potential health hazards
of chemical ingredients and preservatives that their global popularity saw a major surge.
As the word got out that synthetic substances such as parabens, phthalates, lead and talc (all of which are
common in the makeup industry) can be doing greater harm than good to the skin, nails, hair and human
health in general, ladies and gents cautious about their long-term looks and well being started looking for
safer personal care alternatives.
This marked the onset of the boom era for the organic beauty niche, and marginal brands claiming 100%
natural formulas and environmentally-friendly production began to receive more and more orders, which
allowed them to expand their product palette and experiment with new raw materials such as botanical
extracts and herbal essential oils.
With plummeting revenues and increasing demand for safe cosmetics, well-known cosmetics brands
were forced to dive into the lap of Mother Nature for inspiration and foolproof ingredients as well.
Since its shy beginnings, the organic beauty business has by now pretty much become a mainstream in
North America, Japan and Western Europe and is on a steady rise in the rest of the world too.
“Before you slather on that body lotion,
check the content label and ask yourself
whether you would feel safe if your internal
organs were to absorb it.”
Rule of Stomach: How to recognize safe quality in a sea of options
You probably never considered taking a swig of your shampoo, moisturizer or shaving lotion–
but have you ever wondered what would happen if you did?
Upon ingestion, synthetic substances found in conventional cosmetics would trigger production
of special enzymes necessary for processing and excretion of toxins.
A one-time chemical-packed treat would probably not harm your bodily functions, but in case
your digestive system was to be regularly exposed to hazardous synthetic substances, your organism
would undergo a series of biochemical changes, impacting hormone levels, enzyme production, digestion,
excretory, respiratory and reproductive systems, and even your nervous functions.
That is why most organic beauty experts recommend using only the products which you would feel
comfortable ingesting, such as coconut and olive oil.
Before you slather on that body lotion, check the content label and ask yourself whether you would
feel safe if your internal organs were to absorb it.
If you do use it, be aware that your biggest organ is definitely going to soak in at least some of the
product content, and the substances listed on the package will soon find their way into your bloodstream
and tissues one way or another.
Organic Beauty in the Figures: Gradual yet visible upturn
According to certain estimates, the growth in U.S. organic personal care industry is expected to reach
USD 1.7 billion in the 2010-2015 period, and Chicago-based Freedonia Group estimates that the 2016
increase in demand for organic beauty regimens will total a stunning 4.8 percent.
In Asia, national markets of organic cosmetics are recording a double-digit growth this year, so figures
on both sides of the ocean speak volumes about the pressing need for clean and sustainable beauty
regardless of the price tag.
Along with the increase in sales, the number of celebrities, models and renowned makeup professionals
joining the organic bandwagon is on the rise: the show business has officially taken to natural formulas
and organic ingredients in place of the standard synthetic counterparts.
World-famous movie and modeling divas such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Gisele Bündchen,
Rachel Bilson and Rosario Dawson claim a penchant for eco-beauty regimens.
Jessica Alba made a reference about her partiality for 100 Percent Pure products (a brand commonly
used by Hollywood makeup artists) in her book The Honest Life.
Miranda Kerr even created her own line of certified organic beauty products.
There’s no denying the obvious: organic cosmetics is a major asset for both celebrity and corporate
Once a niche market for the posh and picky, organic personal care has become a go-to in the beauty world.
With consumers becoming increasingly conscious of the importance of lasting beauty, product safety
and resource sustainability, manufacturers are driven to invest millions of dollars in advanced production
procedures and fresh ingredients–and impressively capitalizing thereon, too.
Room for innovation and growth seems endless in the beauty niche, but if you truly care about your looks,
health and the planet as a whole, going organic beauty-wise may just be your next game-changing decision.
Valuable Cosmetic Resources:
Since 2004, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has used smarts and sass to pressure the cosmetics
industry to make safer products.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, a project of the Breast Cancer Fund, works to protect
the health of consumers, workers and the environment through public education and engagement,
corporate accountability and sustainability campaigns and legislative advocacy designed to eliminate
dangerous chemicals linked to adverse health impacts from cosmetics and personal care products.
The Campaign has educated millions of people about the problem of toxic chemicals in cosmetics,
which has led to an increased demand for safer products in the marketplace.
Now hundreds of cosmetic companies fully disclose ingredients and avoid the use of cancer-causing
chemicals, reproductive toxicants and other unsafe chemicals, demonstrating these practices are
not only possible, but profitable. Retailers, too, are becoming part of the solution by requiring the
national brands they sell to eliminate chemicals of concern and practice a higher level of ingredient
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Website: http://www.safecosmetics.org/
Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database
It’s their mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect
human health and the environment.
EWG’s Skin Deep database provides practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from
everyday exposures to chemicals.
They launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal
Their aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off.
Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish.
The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold.
EWG’s staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to
information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases.
Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a
wide range of products and ingredients on the market.
- Quick facts on Skin Deep
- Skin Deep Product and Ingredient Databases
- Data sources – toxicity, regulatory, and study availability databases
- Skin Deep’s Dual Rating Factors
Skin Deep Website: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
A Few Brands to Check Out:
There are humdreds of brands out there, however, here are a few brands to explore:
1. KORA cosmetics
2. 100 Percent Pure
3. Juice Beauty
5. Tata Harper
About the Author:
Kate comes from a family of sailors in Perth, though she has relocated to the Mediterranean Sea. She promotes a healthy, clean lifestyle and feels best on board her keel, in the company of her two dogs. She is part of the www.highstylife.com crew.
Do you use natural and organic skin care and cosmetic products?
What are your favorite safe, natural and organic products?
Share your suggestions, thoughts and comments with us.