It’s official: I’ll never become an organic skincare fanatic.
I’m a lazy pragmatist: I want skincare products that are both safe AND effective. If their ingredients are derived from plants or made in a lab, it’s 100% irrelevant.
I have better things to do with my time than sifting through thousands of skincare products in search of chemicals that are dangerous only in your imagination (FIY, most chemicals are friendly – yes, really).
What brought on this rant?
Well… Even though I started this blog to set the record straight on what your skincare products really contain and why 90% of them aren’t as dangerous as the mainstream media and scientifically illiterate organic beauty bloggers claim, a lot of you still ask me for natural alternatives that can miraculously get rid of your wrinkles, fade your dark spots and make you coffee, too.
But, I’m not here to judge. I’m here to help. If, after reading the latest scientific research, you still want to go down the all organic route, I’ll help you find the best natural products for your skin. Even if I’m getting a headache in the meantime…
The Problems With Organic Skincare
When I first got the idea of writing a post about the best organic skincare products out there, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Most organic products are far from the synthetic-free, safe concoctions they claim to be. Here’s why:
1. Most organic skincare products contain synthetic ingredients
Don’t get me wrong. These synthetic ingredients aren’t dangerous. But, I guess if you want to go down the organic route, you’d rather not seem them on the label.
2. Most organic skincare products are full of irritants
Most people don’t realise that plants are made up of tens of thousands of different substances. Some of these compounds are beneficial for your skin but others are irritating as hell.
Breaking news: ALL plants contain toxins to protect themselves from predators.
Some plants are more toxic and irritating than others. Essential oils, such as geranium and anything citrusy, are the worst culprits. Yet, people happily slather them on their skin but make a fuss about mineral oil, even though ALL its toxic impurities have been safely removed. Go figure.
A lot of you may be happy to use them anyway, but I can’t in all conscience recommend them. Especially to those of you who have sensitive skin or acne.
Remember: natural DOESN’T equal safe.
3. What The Heck Does Natural/Organic Mean Anyway?
I think it’s pretty safe to say that olive oil is natural and mineral oil isn’t. But, what about vitamin C, for example?
Yes, when you eat an orange, you’re getting a natural dose of vitamin C. But, do you really think the vitamin C in your organic skincare products comes from oranges? Of course not. It’s made by men. In a lab. So, is making vitamin C synthetically ok but making mineral oil the same way will suddenly kill you?
And what about antioxidants like resveratrol? It’s naturally found in grapes, but how do you think it’s taken out of there and put in your skincare products?
When you start to dig deeper, organic ingredients are often synthetically processed, too. Where do you draw the line?Organic skincare ingredients are often synthetically processed. Where do you draw the line?Click To Tweet
I didn’t mean to turn this post into a rant. I just wanted to show you how complicated going down the all natural route is. Every time I picked up a product, there was something in there that shouldn’t have been!
I wanted all the products in this list to be as natural as possible. That’s why most of them are oils or chockfull of oils. If you’re looking for a natural way to moisturize skin, you have to use oils or butters. If you have oily skin, that makes finding the right organic skincare products all the more harder.
I also kept the antioxidants. Even the most purist of organic fanatics don’t see anything wrong in using their synthetic versions. They work. They’re safe. Why keep them out?
A few of the products have the odd synthetic ingredient or preservatives. I mean, I HAD to have some products on this list.
Without further ado, here are the best organic products out there:
Best For Anti-Aging: Trilogy Rosehip Oil ($39.00)
If you pointed a gun to my head and forced me to choose only one organic product for the rest of my life, it’d be rosehip oil (not necessarily from Trilogy but I had to choose one for this post and this is as good as any). Rosehip oil is a natural source of vitamin A, an antiaging superstar that boosts collagen production, fights free radicals and accelerates cellular turnover – 3 things that prevent and treat wrinkles. Plus, vitamin A helps keep acne and pimples at bay, too. That’s not enough. Rosehip oil also contains more antioxidants, like vitamin E, and moisturizing acids, such as linoleic acid. In a nutshell, it does it all. Available at Skin Store.
Best Cleanser: Yes To Coconut Hydrate & Restore Ultra Hydrating Melting Cleanser ($9.99)
This oil-based cleanser has a semi-solid texture that turns into a balm when you mix it with water. It works thanks to the like attracts like principle. Rice bran oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil attract the oils in your makeup and sunscreen so they can easily be removed from your skin. Plus, oils are moisturizing so your skin doesn’t feel tight afterwards. The only con? It struggles a bit with waterproof mascara. Available at Ulta.
Best Sunscreen: Badger Balm Unscented Sunscreen SPF30 ($15.99)
This sunscreen contains only zinc oxide and a handul of botanic extracts and oils. It doesn’t get more organic than this. Plus, zinc oxide is the best sunscreen ingredient ever. It can, on its own, protect skin from the entire UV range. It’s super gentle, too. Even people with sensitive skin can usually slather it all over their bodies without any problems. If you’re worried about white cast it leaves behind, go with the tinted version. Available at Iherb.
Best Moisturizer: Andalou Naturals Acai + White Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer ($24.95)
If you have oily skin, you know how hard it is to find a natural moisturizer that doesn’t contain any traces of oil. This is it. It uses aloe vera juice and vegetable glycerin to hydrate the skin and a bunch of natural antioxidants, including white tea and kombucha tea extracts to prevent wrinkles. Bonus points: these tea extracts soothe the irritation caused by sun damage. Just ignore the stem cells claims. Stem cells in skincare are just glorified antioxidants. Available at Holland & Barrett.
Best Facial Oil: Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil
Facial oils are a great way to naturally moisturize dry skin. This formula contains olive oil, argan oil and camellia oil, three oils that are super moisturizing and have antioxidant properties to boot. Plus, there are plenty of botanical extracts that help fight wrinkles, too. A couple of them may be irritating if you have super sensitive skin, but their low amounts won’t cause any problems for most people. Available at Nordstrom.
Best For Acne-Prone Skin: Jurlique Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil (£16.00)
Tea tree oil is the only natural remedy I know that’s effective against acne. It works because it has anti-bacteria properties that kill the bacteria that causes it. It works more slowly than other harsh, synthetic remedies like benzoyl peroxide, but if you’re cool with that, it’s a great option to consider. But, get the real thing. Tea tree oil is effective only at 5% concentrations or higher (most products out there won’t contain enough). One more thing: tea tree oil can cause allergies and irritations in some people. For best results, use it only on pimples. Available at Jurlique.
Now, I’m curious. Are you making the switch to natural beauty? What are your fave organic products? Share them in the comments below.