If the old adage, beauty is more than skin deep turns out to be true as proven by the latest scientific studies, it makes sense to be more careful about what we slather, rub, lather and spray on our skins. The skin is the largest organ in the human body and it acts like a sponge, absorbing an average of 130 different types of chemicals we expose ourselves to on a daily basis.
Although the FDA maintains that these chemicals are safe in small doses, 90% of the 10,500 ingredients in skin care known to the Food and Drug Administration have not been tested or evaluated for safety. Although manufacturers try to create products that will not harm customers, the complex chemicals used to formulate and preserve skincare ingredients have unknown potential side effects that caution us to err on the safe side. No one really knows how an accumulation of these chemicals that add up in our bodies will affect us over time and what the consequences will be.
Chemicals known to be dangerous to health such as phthalates (used in most fragrances) are hormone disruptors that have been linked to infertility, birth defects, and sperm damage. To date the European Union has banned more than 1,100 personal product ingredients used in cosmetics because of concerns regarding the potential harm they may cause such as cancer, birth defects and other reproductive disorders. It therefore makes sense to choose the safest, non-toxic products with organic, natural ingredients for skincare and steer clear of artificial chemicals that may be harmful to human health.
Organic ingredients come from plants grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. The best are ingredients come from botanically grown plants that use biodynamic farming methods with the emphasis on the holistic relationship between plants, soil and animals that go beyond mere organic. These organic skincare products have the certified organic seal from the USDA National Organic Program.
Moisturizing is an important step in beauty care as it replenishes lost hydration and protects natural oils to maintain soft, smooth and supple skin. The best organic moisturizers will contain:
- Nourishing elements such as fatty acids and antioxidants
- Hydrating ingredients called humectants to absorb moisture from the air and lock it into the skin
- Plant-based ingredients with healing properties
A good organic moisturizer will have all these properties in common – with herbal water or Aloe Vera Juice as a base and manufactured by a trusted brand. The biggest determining factor when choosing skincare is to hydrate the skin with non-toxic, minimally processed ingredients that are best for your skin type, age, the climate and personal skin concerns.
Learning about the different types of organic moisturizers on the market will help to find the right one for your personal needs. Oil based creams with emollients such as Shea butter, cocoa butter or coconut oil will protect and moisturize dry skin. Aging skin needs more hydration with heavier moisturizing ingredients than younger skin.
As age increases, use products with more antioxidants that will heal and reduce skin damage like Vitamin C, Vitamin K and emollients to moisturize and protect the skin. The environment in which you live will affect the amount of moisture that is in your skin and determine the type of moisturizer to use.
Choosing the right organic moisturizer can be confusing, but knowing your skin type, age and environmental factors that affect skin will help to narrow down concerns. Reading ingredient labels and testing different types of moisturizers will help you make an informed decision regarding organic skincare for your personal needs.