How to Choose Organic Face and Body Care
I apply the same principals to skin care as I apply to food. Both are entering my body, whether through my skin or through my mouth. Therefore, because I care about myself, I choose beneficial and healthy substances to eat and use on my skin. Unlike the food industry, there are no legal standards for personal care products sold in the United States, meaning that we need to be savvy when shopping for healthy skin care, or organic face and body care.
1. Become a Conscious Consumer
Read labels! If you can’t pronounce it, forget about it. And if it doesn’t sound natural, it probably isn’t. You might expect a product labeled “pure, natural and organic” to be, well … pure, natural and organic. But you might be in for a surprise. Because there are no legal standards for organic or natural personal care products sold in the United States, companies can, and often do, use these terms for marketing purposes. Just because a product is found in a natural foods store, for example, does not automatically mean it’s safe. Read and analyze the ingredient list carefully before buying.
2. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!
When you’re reading the contents of a bottle of shampoo, or any body care product, ask yourself “Would I eat this?” If I needed to, how would it feel inside my body? Even if you have no idea what an ingredient is, it’s very easy to get a gut-level instinctual reaction, especially when the ingredient you’re looking at is named Butoxyethanol, Nonoxynol-10, Propylene Glycol, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Dioxane, or Ethanolamine.
The skin is our body’s largest organ. It is also our body’s first line of defense against disease. Our skin is easily damaged by external factors (chemicals, synthetics, pollution) and internal factors (poor diet, drugs, etc.).
Our skin is actually the primary means by which we absorb toxic substances. In fact, absorption by the skin is usually many times more efficient than ingestion. The skin absorbs chemicals into the bloodstream, which, in turn, are distributed throughout your body system. That is why there are medicinal patches for Hormone Replacement Therapy, or Nicotene patches. The chemicals are released slowly and absorbed quickly through the skin.
Even though many of the skin care products we put on our skin promise to beautify the skin, the chemicals and synthetic ingredients actually take a terrible toll on the skin and on our general health. Compounds in synthetic cosmetics and perfumes stay trapped in the fatty tissues under the skin and remain there for years. These synthetic compounds require massive amounts of energy for assimilation, absorption, and detoxification – and that’s energy that is being taken away from your health, your beauty, and your life!
3. Define what's Important to You
I have a vast array of criteria when formulating, creating, or selecting skin and body care. Define what your personal criteria for selecting organic facial products, skin care, or body products is.
This is my criteria for elaa products:
- Natural and plant-based - free of synthetics of any kind.
- Organic or Wildcrafted – free of chemicals and made from the most potent, living ingredients in nature.
- Raw – living natural ingredients that retain all their life energy, enzymes, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids.
- Sustainably harvested ingredients
- Hand-crafted in small batches - freshly made by an actual person, me, with great care and love.
- Any non-local ingredients are Fair Trade.
- Eco-friendly packaging and production practices
- Made with the highest integrity and ethics.
- Made with the highest quality ingredients possible.
4. Bring Your Own
What about when you go someplace where you are subject to their products, such as a hair or nail salon? Find a hair salon in your area that uses safe, natural products, or do it yourself at home. I have been performing my own pedicures at home lately, and when I do go to a salon, I bring my own toxin-free nail polish (base coat, color, and top coat). Every salon I’ve chosen to has been more than happy to use my products. Also, make sure the salon is well-ventilated; if the smell bowls you over when you walk in, choose a different salon.
Look for Nail Polish that is free of phthalates, formaldehdye, toluene, and acetate/acetone. Aquarella and Suncoat Water-based nail polish are safer brands. To check if your nail polish brand is safe visit the Skin Deep Database.
6. Stay Informed and Spread the Love
Sign up for elaa's Newsletter HERE to stay up to date on healthy, effective skincare.
Tell your friends and loved ones about those nasty, industrial skin care chemicals and share your healthy products with them. Choosing products that are natural, healthy, and close to nature is simple when you feel how beautiful, effective, and enjoyable they are!