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THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE
TO ORGANIC MAKEUP

Introduction

Over the last few decades, organics have taken off in a big way. Organic food, organic drinks, organic skincare, organic clothes, organic cleaning agents… suddenly, organics are big business.

But what about organic makeup? Isn’t that big business too?

Surprisingly, the answer – at least until recently – has been, “not so much”.

In comparison to its organic cousins, organic makeup has lagged behind, despite our growing awareness about the dangers of toxic synthetic chemicals in personal care products and the harm they can do to our skin, our general wellbeing, and our planet.

Why is this so? The simple answer is that we wear makeup to look good and feel good, and organic makeup has long suffered from the widely held belief that it doesn’t work as well as conventional makeup.

A common refrain is that it “doesn’t wear as well,” or, “its pigments aren’t bright enough,” or, “it’s too expensive,” or, “there’s not enough choice…”

The reasons for not using organic cosmetics are many and well-entrenched.

The question is, are those criticisms still valid? Or has organic makeup finally come of age?

This guide is offered as an insight into the world of organic makeup. We’ll look at what separates it from conventional cosmetics, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of using it, and we’ll offer some advice about what to look out for should you decide to take the leap and purchase some for yourself.

Let’s get started!

1. Why Should I Switch to Organic Makeup?

When it comes to something as personal as makeup, switching things up can be difficult, especially if your current products are giving you the kind of color payoff and looks you want.

Throw in the fact that organic makeup is a great unknown for many of us – untested, unproven, and with a reputation for being expensive – and it’s easy to see why we might want to stick with the tried and true.

In the end, making a switch is a judgement call, based upon a diverse set of criteria which include the value you place on your general wellbeing and the health of our planet, as well as your own, personal look.

Let’s examine some of the reasons why you might want to consider experimenting with organic makeup.

a) Conventional Makeup is Full of Toxic Synthetic Chemicals

Should our beauty products come with a warning label?

You almost certainly know about the dangers posed by synthetic chemicals. In fact, chances are, your concern for what they might be doing to your skin and your general wellbeing is the reason why you’re reading this guide right now.

There are more than 80,000 different chemicals on the market, with over 12,500 of them used in personal care products.

Which would be fine, presuming they’d all been tested for safety. But most of them haven’t. In fact, nearly 90% of them have been released onto the market based merely on the assurances of manufacturers that they’re safe for use.

And that? That’s a problem.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, lists 113 chemical agents as known human carcinogens. Of those, 11 have been or are currently used in our personal care products (yes, you read that right – 11!).1

If that’s not disturbing enough, there’s a growing body of evidence that connects the use of synthetic chemicals with a host of other medical conditions and problems, including reproductive abnormalities2 , early puberty3 , obesity4 , diabetes5 , harmful hormonal changes6 , allergies7 , and ADHD8 .

That’s quite a list, and it’s growing rapidly, as ever more extensive research is carried out on how these chemicals interact with our environment and with us.

So, what’s the solution?

Typically, this is where you might expect us to include some kind of list – something like ‘10 Beauty Ingredients We Really Don’t Want In Our Lives’ – but the truth is that such a list is too limiting. There are so many toxic chemicals in our beauty products we’d be better off without, that it would take a book roughly the size of ‘War and Peace’ to list them all and explain their dangers.

Instead, we strongly recommend sites like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database or an app like Think Dirty, to help you navigate the maze of ingredients you should look to avoid, especially if you continue to use conventional makeup and skincare products.

Another excellent site, for a comprehensive overview of all the major offenders when it comes to toxicity in our cosmetics, can be found at safecosmetics.org, ‘Chemicals of Concern’ – http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chem-of-concern/.

In the end, we can’t simply wish toxic chemicals away. They’re everywhere, not only in our food and our personal care products, but also in the air that we breathe. Short of going to live in a cave at the top of a high and distant mountain, we can’t avoid them.

But we can, thankfully, minimize our exposure to them.

One way to do this is to think carefully about our personal care routines, choosing wholly organic or natural products (including cosmetics!) that are derived from plants, rather than created in a laboratory.

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CASE STUDY 1: The Problem with Lipsticks

Lip-Service-home

Let’s talk about lips.

Even though they can sometimes become dry and cracked, lips are a real focus for all of us interested in beauty and a bright smile.

Which is where lipstick comes in.

Everyone loves lipstick, right?

After all, statistics show that well over 70% of women (as well as an increasing number of men and transgender people) regularly wear lipstick. And why not? After all, who doesn’t want a dazzling smile?

The trouble is, those smiles too often come at the expense of our health.

Especially if we wear conventional lipsticks.

You see, most lipsticks are full of synthetic ingredients like methylparabens, proplyparabens, retinyl palmitate, artificial colorants, and tocopheryl acetate; ingredients which have been linked to endocrine disruption, allergies, nervous system damage, severe skin reactions, and even cancer!

In other words, they’re not the kind of ingredients you want anywhere near your mouth, especially since the average woman ingests an estimated 1.5kg of lipstick in her lifetime!

We know. Ewww…

But what if you could use a lipstick with nourishing natural and organic ingredients and no chemical nasties?

What about a lipstick with amazing colour payoff which actually cares for your lips and helps protect them?

That’s the kind of lipstick offered by the new generation of organic cosmetics.

The kind that promises a healthy, high dazzle smile.

No compromise.

If that’s the kind of lipstick that appeals to you, then you might want to check these beauties out.

b) The Benefits of Organic Makeup

Beyond the simple fact that high quality, ethically made organic makeup (we’ll get to what that’s all about later) is free of toxic synthetic chemicals, it also comes with the added benefits of being good for your skin, your general wellbeing, and – added bonus – the planet too.

Let’s break it down:

(i) Good for Your Skin

Unlike their synthetic counterparts, which are increasingly associated with allergic reactions, including rashes and irritations , organic ingredients generally react sympathetically with the skin.

A major reason for this is that they’re derived from wholly natural sources like plants and herbs (things which our bodies instinctively recognize), but it’s also worth remembering that they’re farmed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or – indeed – synthetic additives or chemicals of any kind.

As a result, organic products are free of contamination and less likely to cause breakouts, irritations, or inflammations.

Even better, they’re full of antioxidants like Vitamin C that can not only help limit the damage done by free radicals, but also improve the quality of our skin thanks to their anti-inflammatory, skin-firming, wrinkle-reducing, sun-damage-repairing, qualities.

It’s impossible to detail the benefits of every single organic ingredient used in organic skincare and makeup (we only wish we could!), but we do put the spotlight on one of our most loved ingredients – organic castor seed oil – below. Hopefully, it gives you an insight into the wonderful versatility of organic ingredients and why they can be so good for our skin.

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CASE STUDY 2: The Beauty Benefits of Organic Castor Seed Oil

Castor-Oil-Benefits

A skincare essential for thousands of years – and something your great grandmother would have kept in her beauty cupboard – castor seed oil fell out of favor in beauty circles a few decades back (replaced by synthetic chemicals that couldn’t do the job nearly as well), before making a remarkable comeback in recent times.

Here’s 5 reasons why you should keep an eye out for it in your organic makeup:

1. It’s ultra-hydrating and moisturizing.

a) Technical Explanation: Organic castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that acts as a humectant and which helps guard the outer layer of the skin against water loss.
b) In Plain English: Organic castor oil? It’s like a drink for parched skin.

2. Wrinkle. Buster.

If you’re looking for something that helps fight off wrinkles and doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars a shot, then castor oil may very well be your answer. That’s because it readily penetrates the skin and helps boost the production of collagen and elastin, both vital in helping soften and hydrate the skin and iron out those unwanted lines.

3. Out, Damned Spot!

Turns out, castor oil is a bit of a superhero when it comes to getting rid of the acne villain. In particular, it has antimicrobial properties which help fight the kind of bacterial overgrowth that leads to problem spots, including Staphylococcus aureus (can’t pronounce it, definitely don’t want it).

4. Heals Wounds and Irritations

Castor oil not only creates a moist environment that promotes healing, it also helps stimulate tissue growth and reduces the build-up of dead skin cells that can get in the way of clearing up wounds and irritations.

5. Prevents Inflammations

We started our list with a nod towards ricinoleic acid and we’re going to end on the same note. That’s because it’s not only a brilliant moisturizer, but because studies have also demonstrated that it can help reduce pain and swelling, making it a highly effective agent when it comes to relieving the kind of dry, irritated skin that comes with inflammatory conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

That’s a pretty impressive line-up of benefits, right? Castor oil is no longer the humble, almost forgotten ingredient you’ll find languishing at the back of your kitchen cupboard. Instead, it’s a modern beauty powerhouse; a multi-tasking natural wonder that your skin will fall in love with.

(ii) Good for You

If you’re a beauty lover (like us!!), and using anything up to 15 products a day, then this is something to never, ever forget.

WHAT WE PUT ON OUR SKIN ENDS UP INSIDE OUR BODIES.

By way of example, a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, which focussed on how our largest organ absorbs chemicals found in drinking water, found that our skin takes in nearly two thirds of the total contaminant dosage .

That’s bad news. But when you take into account the fact we’re applying the majority of our skincare and makeup to one of the most permeable parts of our body – our face – then the finding becomes truly frightening.

As we’ve already discussed, the extent to which toxic chemicals are entering our bloodstream and affecting our health is only just being understood.

Problematically, these chemicals are not just affecting us, but our children too.

A study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, to discover whether chemicals were present, even in new-born babies, found more than 200 chemicals in each new-born11 , whilst another study, conducted by researchers at Indiana University, found trace amounts of flame retardant being passed from mothers to babies through umbilical cord blood, even though those retardants had been banned for a decade!12

If you’re interested in your general wellbeing, and (for those of you with a partner and/or children) if you’re concerned about the health of your family, then you might want to think about limiting your exposure to synthetic chemicals.

One way to do this, of course, is to use organics when you can, including organic makeup and skincare.

They’re not only good for your skin, they can help protect against toxic overload too.

(iii) Good for the Planet

Organic ingredients are farmed using only natural resources like manure and compost, and without recourse to synthetic ingredients like pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or GMOs.

This has several benefits for our planet, including the maintenance of healthy soil ecosystems. Soil microbiologist, Elaine Ingham, closely links our health with that of our soil. Notably, her research indicates that whilst one teaspoon of compost-rich organic soil may host up to 1 billion helpful bacteria from 15,000 species, one teaspoon of soil treated with chemicals may carry as few as 100 helpful bacteria (in other words, chemicals are destroying our soil – and the vital ecosystems which sustain us – every bit as much as they’re impacting negatively on our gut health and our own vital ecosystem, the human microbiome)13.

Other benefits derived from organic farming, beyond the health of our soil, include cleaner waterways and cleaner air, as well as less erosion.

Surprisingly, a long term study has also demonstrated that a healthy organic agriculture system can help reduce the production of greenhouse gases and help slow climate change14.

Throw in the fact that organic farming also encourages biodiversity, supports animal health and welfare, and helps prevent damaging algal blooms, and it’s clear that the more organic farming we can encourage, the better.

So, the next time you apply your organic makeup or organic skincare? Give yourself a pat on the back – you’re not only helping your skin but our planet too!

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CASE STUDY 3: Fighting the Good Fight

In-the-Spotlight-Rose-Gold-1

When you put on your organic lippie, or apply your organic highlighter, chances are you’re not simply helping our planet indirectly, thanks to the benefits of organic farming, but also doing good directly.

That’s because almost all organic beauty companies are committed to causes that give back to the environment, in one form or another (and, it should be noted, some are leading the drive to more sustainable packaging, too).

At The Organic Skin Co., for example (and we’ll proudly use ourselves as an example here!), we’re committed to planting one tree for every single product we sell.

Here’s why that’s important:

Our trees are running out. Deforestation has been called ‘a modern day plague’ by National Geographic and it’s easy to see why. Because, when you look at the numbers, your stomach sinks a little and you find yourself wondering whether we humans care enough for this planet of ours.

15 billion. According to the most comprehensive study of its kind, that’s how many trees we’re cutting down globally every year. It’s a staggering number – almost difficult to believe – but it’s happening and it’s doing us and our environment terrible harm.

Here’s the problem with deforestation on the scale it’s happening right now:

  • Loss of habitat for animal and plant species. Nearly 70% of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests and their homes are being destroyed.
  •  Increased greenhouse gases, perhaps the major contributor to global warming.
  • Disruption to the water cycle, leading to drought, dryer soils, impoverished crops, and even desert landscapes.
  • Soil erosion and coastal floods.
  • Destruction of homelands for indigenous communities.

 

Wow, right? The consequences of deforestation are devastating and we only have ourselves to blame. Trees are amongst the most prominent and critical organisms on Earth. For the sake of future generations, we need to find a way to restore healthy forests worldwide.

At The Organic Skin Co., we aim to play our part by partnering with Eden Reforestation Projects, who are not only working tirelessly to help reverse deforestation, but also provide jobs and hope to local, indigenous, communities worldwide. Their mission to plant a minimum of 100 million trees every year by 2020 is making a profound difference environmentally and sociologically, and – as part of our work with them – we plant one tree for every ‘The Organic Skin Co.’ product purchased.

It’s a chance to give back, to help redress the balance.

2. How to Choose Your Organic Makeup

You might wonder why we’re devoting a whole section of this guide to choosing your organic makeup.

Shouldn’t that be a relatively simple task? After all, all you need to do is look for products that are promoted as natural or organic, buy them, and you’re done.

Not so fast. Putting aside for the moment the important matter of quality (we’ll get to that later), there’s some things you need to look out for, and some things you need to know, before you can be sure you’ve got your hands on makeup that will not only help you look good, but care for your skin and the planet too.

Here’s a series of steps we can all benefit from taking, when it comes to choosing our organic makeup.

a) Step One: Look Out For Greenwashing

We’ve already discussed the lack of regulation surrounding the safety of synthetic chemicals used in personal care products. Sadly, the same problem also arises when we look at how makeup and skincare is marketed.

Because natural and organic cosmetics have become so popular, a number of companies have jumped on the bandwagon and adopted marketing techniques designed to convince us that their product is made from natural sources.

Unfortunately, what they want us to believe doesn’t always match up with the truth.

Just because a product has a natural sounding name, or contains a natural ingredient (an ingredient that might make up as little as 1% of the entire product), it doesn’t mean it is wholly natural and good for you, something that will quickly become apparent when you take the time to read beyond the marketing hype and take a closer look at the ingredient list on the packaging.

We call this process greenwashing, and – in the absence of government regulation to stop this unscrupulous practice – the best way to be sure you’re getting what you want (short of qualifying as a chemist) is to look for products that are certified organic or as made from organic.

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Case Study 4: Why Your Vegan Makeup May Be Doing You Harm

Lip-Service-Spice-Bazaar-Girl

Here’s something that might surprise you. Your vegan makeup? It’s likely no good for you.

Right now, vegan beauty is trendy: a rising, powerful market segment that promises riches for those who can tap into it.

Sadly, this has led to unscrupulous behaviour. You see, whilst vegan claims might guarantee that a product is cruelty free, it doesn’t mean that the product is good either for you or the environment, as so many manufacturers claim.

That’s because a lot of vegan makeup, in particular, is made almost entirely from synthetic chemicals; toxins manufactured in a lab and – because they’re entirely man-made – marketed as vegan.

But does that mean they’re 100% safe? Good for you? Good for the planet? No, no, and no. Many of the chemicals used in cosmetics, and promoted as vegan, won’t break down easily, if at all. When you wash them off your face, you wash them into the environment, where they accumulate, exposed to the very animals that most of us want to protect.

And as for what they’re doing to your skin? Well, you be the judge.

Sadly, when it comes to beauty products, vegan claims often amount to another form of greenwashing.

The good news is, once we understand this, we can take action. We can start to learn about the ingredients in the products we use, we can take advantage of apps like ‘Think Dirty’, and we can look for truly natural vegan products that are certified organic.

Do this, and we’ll be doing ourselves, the environment, and – ultimately – the whole vegan movement, a favour.

b) Step Two: Understanding Organic Certification

Okay. So, we can’t always trust a product to be free of synthetic chemicals, simply because it has a natural sounding name or is marketed as containing the latest natural ingredient.

But there’s no such worries when it comes to certified organic makeup, right? We can at least be sure that we’re getting what we paid for – something that is made from wholly natural ingredients – if it comes with an organic seal.

Well, yes… kind of.

In the end, organic certification may not mean exactly what you think it does.

Plus – and this is really important – not all certifications are born equal.

Here’s what you need to know:

(i) Organic certification is a guarantee that a product comes free of harmful synthetic chemicals. To gain certification, a company and its manufacturing processes will be carefully vetted by the relevant certification agency.
Certification will only be granted if a product has been produced using:

  • A soft manufacturing process (i.e. one that avoids unnecessary synthetic processing)
  • Environmentally friendly practices
  • No synthetic fragrances and colours
  • No petroleum derived products (paraffin, PEG, -proplyl, -alkyl, -etc)
  • No silicone oils and derivatives
  • No genetically modified ingredients (complying with EU organic regulation)
  • No irradiation of end products and botanical ingredients
  • Products may not be tested on animals

(ii) Organic certification does not mean a product is 100% organic. Unlike organic foods and drinks, very few beauty products are 100% organic. In part, this is because certification agencies don’t recognise some makeup ingredients as organic (natural minerals, commonly used as pigments in eye makeup, are one such example), in part because companies require an extended shelf life for their products, necessitating the use of preservatives which have been rigorously tested for safety (and have been approved for use by certification agencies), but which aren’t organic in origin.

As a result, even the very best organic cosmetics are likely to be certified as ‘made with organics’ (meaning at least 70% of the product is made of organic ingredients), rather than being certified ‘organic’ (meaning 95% of the product is derived from organic ingredients).

In the end, to get a full sense of what’s gone into a product – even one that carries organic certification – it’s worth checking its percentage of organic ingredients. An ethical and trusted brand should always show this percentage, both on the product packaging and on its website.

(iii) Not all certifications are born equal. This might surprise you. Different certification agencies set different standards when it comes to organic certification.

For example, Ecocert, one of the most widely known and widely used certification agencies, only requires that 20% of the product is derived from organic ingredients for the purposes of organic certification.

On the other hand, agencies like Natrue, USDA, and BioGro, require a minimum of 70% organic ingredients before a product can win a coveted ‘made with organics’ seal.

Potentially, this discrepancy can make a big difference to a product, not only in terms of the depth of its organic claims, but its quality too.

It pays, then, to know about the standards imposed by different certification agencies, and – as suggested above – you should always look for products where the organic percentage is clearly labelled on the packaging.

c) Step 3: Know Your Extracts

Here’s something about makeup and skincare you almost certainly don’t know – it’s not a sexy something, in fact, it’s a bit ‘sciency’. But it’s really, really important.

The extraction process an organic ingredient undergoes, matters. A lot.

You see, organic ingredients are commonly extracted using chemical solvents like alcohol or glycol, which are washed through the plant at a relatively high temperature. Unfortunately, this process (which is used by most all-natural beauty companies) degrades and compromises the potency and efficacy of the extract itself, meaning that the full spectrum of nutrients available from a plant fails to make it to your skin.

Fortunately, there are some new extraction methods out there, and they can make a profound difference to the quality of product delivered to your skin.

Perhaps the biggest breakthrough can be found in a process called CO2 (or supercritical) extraction. Unlike conventional extracts, CO2 extracts are full extractions, accessing almost all the nutrients a plant has to offer, including the plant’s oil content.

They’re super-clean, super-pure, and super potent (in fact, they can be up to 500 times more concentrated than conventional extracts!).

On the flip side, CO2 extracts are expensive, which is why you don’t see too many companies using them.

We think this will change though, as consumers (like you!) become more educated.

That’s why, here at The Organic Skin Co., we’ve already made the switch. We use CO2 extracts in every single product we make, and that’s great news for your skin.

d) Step 4: Know Your Oils (Plus… the problem with Coconut Oil)

Organic plant oils are a blessing. They are wonderfully hydrating and their addition to cosmetics can help your organic makeup and skincare blend effortlessly and weightlessly with your skin.

This is especially true of oils like castor seed oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil, sunflower seed oil, almond seed oil, apricot oil, and camellia seed oil. If you see them in the ingredients list for your makeup or skincare, you know you’re in for a treat!

A word of warning, though, about coconut oil, which is used as a base oil by some makeup companies.

Whilst it makes for a luxurious and nurturing body oil, coconut oil is not nearly so beneficial as a moisturizing agent for the delicate skin of our face, or as a key ingredient in natural makeup.

Here’s why:

  • It’s highly comedogenic. That means coconut oil clogs pores, suffocates the skin, and causes breakouts.
  •  Because coconut oil clogs the skin, makeup which uses it as a base tends to sit on the skin, rather than blend into it. The result is pigments which dilute quickly and makeup which doesn’t wear very long.

Avoid coconut oil if you can, at least when it comes to your organic makeup. There are many other alternatives out there which will blend better with your skin and provide the kind of highly pigmented, long-lasting, good-for-your-skin, product you’re looking for.

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CASE STUDY 5: Makeup that Works as Skincare

TOSC Primer

The single most important difference between high-quality organic makeup and conventional makeup, is this – organic makeup is good for your skin.

But, increasingly, there are other benefits too, including ‘wearability’, ease of application, depth of pigment, and an increasing range of shade and colour choices.

In almost all respects, organic makeup now measures up to conventional artistry lines, which have long been considered superior in terms of application and color payoff.

An example of this new generation of organic cosmetics can be found in The Organic Skin Co.’s ‘Primp n’ Prime’ Primer.

The perfect base for your makeup application, this easy-to-apply Primer works on all skin types and contains a host of ingredients designed to provide a luminous look and care for your skin at the same time.

Numbered amongst these ingredients are Organic Castor Oil (we’ve already explained how great this is!), Organic Aloe Vera (so hydrating and nourishing – the perfect ingredient to soothe your skin), and no less than four shots of enriching CO2 extracts, including Pomegranate, Honeysuckle and Rosemary (all of them helping to form a natural, antioxidant-rich barrier between your skin and makeup, at the same time as they help your skin to glow), and Amla Berry (an incredible source of Vitamin C, minerals and proteins, all helping to promote collagen and skin firmness).

Throw in the fact that the Primer is vegan and cruelty free (as all authentic organic makeup is), that it’s presented in recyclable packaging, and that you plant a tree every time you purchase it, and you’ve got a product which represents the next generation of organic cosmetics – great for your looks, great for your skin, and good for the planet too!

3. Questions and Answers

We’ve done our best in this guide to give you the low down about organic makeup and we hope it’s proved useful! But, you may still have some questions you’d like the answers to.

Here’s a list of questions we’re often asked in relation to our makeup, here at The Organic Skin Co. Please note that the answers are reflective of where we stand as a company, but many of them will have general application to organic cosmetics generally.

Please don’t get us started on GMOs. Let’s just say we’re not a fan…

No. Wait! Actually, you know what? Let’s get started. This isn’t something we should step over.

GMOs are organisms that have been genetically altered in some way. Generally, this is done to make crops more resistant to disease, or to help them survive the toxic chemicals that we routinely spray them with (chemicals which are strong enough to kill the weeds around the GMOs, or the insects which feed off them, but not the GMOs themselves).

That’s fun, right? Mother Nature has worked for millions of years to get something right and we undo it in a heartbeat. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, this. According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (https://www.aaemonline.org/gmo.php), several animal studies have shown that there are serious health risks associated with eating genetically-modified foods, with links established to an increase in allergies, asthma, intestinal damage, and inflammation.

That’s not only bad news for our general wellbeing, it’s also bad news for our skin. Remember, the skin is our largest organ and it can absorb whatever we put onto it into our bloodstream. Do we really want to be putting GMOs on our skin? When we reach for our moisturizer, do we really want the lauric acid in it to be sourced from genetically modified canola?

Our answer is a resounding ‘No!”. That’s why we steer clear of GMOs and work with certified organic ingredients. Organic standards do not allow for GMOs. When you use our organic makeup and skincare (including our moisturizers!), you can relax knowing that what you’re putting on your skin is as Mother Nature intended; that you’re using pure, safe, nurturing organic ingredients, and not exposing yourself to potentially harmful GMOs.

All our makeup and skincare is gluten free. It’s more a preventative measure than anything – the jury is still out on whether the topical application of beauty products with gluten in them can adversely affect those with gluten allergies – but we prefer to err on the side of safe, rather than sorry, and offer organic makeup and skincare that is free of gluten.

Perhaps the major concern for those with a gluten sensitivity is the prospect of ingesting beauty products which contain gluten. Because gluten is hydrating and contains antioxidants, it is sometimes used not only in face moisturizers, but also lipsticks.

Given that the average woman ingests well over a kilogram of lipstick in her lifetime, if you have a gluten sensitivity (or indeed, an aversion generally to consuming toxic synthetic chemicals), then we recommend you look for natural, organic lipsticks (and other cosmetics!) that are gluten free and free of dangerous synthetic chemicals.

The answer is yes. Generally. BUT… everyone is different (which is a good thing!). Some people may have individual allergies – and react to tomatoes, for example, or peanuts, or milk – which will cause their skin to react. The same applies to natural makeup and skincare.

Occasionally, the active ingredients in plant botanicals and essential oils will cause a reaction in some individuals. For this reason, we strongly recommend that people go slowly when they first begin to use natural makeup and skincare and that they conduct a patch test prior to use.

All our products have a three-year shelf-life (and most will last even longer than that!). Once they’re opened though, if you want to experience the full skin-enhancing benefits of our organic ingredients (and why wouldn’t you?), we recommend using within 6 months.

Nope. No way. Uh uh. Not ever.

There are approximately 20,000,121,091,000,000,000 reasons (that’s 20 quintillion to the uninitiated, which is the number of animals estimated to exist on our planet) why all our products are cruelty free and why we would never test on animals, but let’s drill it down to this:

TESTING ON ANIMALS IS UNNECESSARY AND BARBARIC.

We make great natural skincare and makeup, using the very best organic ingredients, and we do so by employing exacting methodologies in our manufacturing plant, and by testing on ourselves (which might sound brave, but it so isn’t…. because we only work with natural and organic ingredients, the only adverse reaction we have to worry about is whether a new shade or color suits our skin tone!).

It’s important to remember too, that we acquire the ingredients for our natural makeup and skincare from organic farms. That means no synthetic, chemical herbicides or pesticides – toxic products which leach into the environment and do great damage to the delicate ecology that animals are so dependent on for their survival.

There’s plenty of information about the effect toxic chemicals have on the environment and animals, but this article from One Green Planet gives you some idea of the extent of the problem – https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/how-pesticides-are-harming-animals/

So, are we cruelty free? You bet. In fact, the only time any of our products comes anywhere near an animal is when our resident, in-house pug, Winnie, gets a rash and we apply a little Task Force Nine to her belly (seriously, it works a treat – nature is such a great healer!).

Yes. Child labour is a terrible wrong. If you’re using a particular brand of makeup, and you’re uncertain whether the mica in the product comes from an accredited source (guaranteeing that fair wages are paid to adults and no child labour is used), it’s worth getting in touch with the manufacturer to find out.

The sooner child labour to mine mica is stamped out, the better.

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1 For those interested in learning more about the 11carcinogenic nasties identified by the IARC, they are: formaldehyde, phenacetin, coal tar, benzene, untreated or mildly treated mineral oils, methylene glycol, ethylene oxide, chromium, cadmium and its compounds, arsenic, and crystalline silica or quartz.
2 Wayne Sinclair, M.D., Richard W. Pressinger; ‘Environmental Causes of Infertility’; (M.Ed.); Graduate Research Project, University of South Florida, Tampa; http://www.chem-tox.com/infertility/
3 ‘Rises in Early Puberty May Have Environmental Roots’; Scientific American; https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rises-in-early- puberty-may-have-environmental-roots/
4 Kris Gunnars, BSc. ‘5 Obesogens: Artificial Chemicals That Make You Fat’; Healthline; https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-chemicals-that-are-making-you-fat
5 P Monica Lind, Bjorn Zethelius, Lars Lind; ‘Circulating Levels of Phthalate Metabolites are Associated with prevalent Diabetes in the Elderly’; PubMed.gov; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22498808/#affiliation-1
6 Jiaxi Zhang, George Mason University; ‘Mixed Chemicals in Beauty Products May Harm Women’s Hormones’; Medical Xpress; https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-09-chemicals-beauty-products-women-hormones.html
7 ‘Study Explains Why Some Creams and Cosmetics May Cause a Skin Rash’; Science Daily, Jan 3, 2020; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200103141041.htm
8 Larry Silver, MD: ‘Are Everyday Toxins Causing ADHD?’; ADDitude Magazine; https://www.additudemag.com/toxins-causing-adhd/
9 Virginia Sole Smith; ‘Seven Skincare Ingredients That Can Trigger An Allergic Reaction’; Everyday Health; https://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/skin-care-ingredients-allergic-reactions/
10 Brown et al; ‘The Role of Skin Absorption as a Route of Exposure for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Drinking Water’; American Journal of Public Health; 1984 May; 74(5): 479-484.
11 Sara Goodman; ‘Tests Find More Than 200 Chemicals in Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood’; Scientific American; https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/newborn-babies-chemicals-exposure-bpa/
12 ‘Banned Chemicals Pass Through Umbilical Cord From Mother to Baby, Study Finds’; Indiana University, June 2017; Published in Science Daily; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170629085016.htm
13 Lynda Brown; ‘The Roots of Your Health: Elaine Ingham on the Science of Soil’; Sustainable Food Trust, March 2015; https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/roots-health-elaine-ingham-science-soil/
14 Craig Mackintosh; ‘The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Farming Systems Trial Report’; Permaculture News, October 2011; https://www.permaculturenews.org/2011/10/13/the-rodale-institutes-30-year-farming-systems-trial-report/

5 WAYS OUR PRODUCTS
HELP YOU DO GOOD

At The Organic Skin Co., we believe that true beauty is about more than the way you look and feel (although these things are important, of course they are!), it’s also about the way you interact with the world around you. It’s our aim to play a part in this; to offer you products which help you in your desire to do good: not only by yourself, but by the people around you, by the creatures who share our world, and by the planet too.

And yes, we know! That’s quite some statement – ‘Our products help you do good.’ Here’s 5 ways in which we back it up:

  • Every time you purchase one of our products, we plant a tree on your behalf. This is not only vitally important for our environment, you should also know that our partners – Eden Reforestations – help, and are helped in turn, by indigenous communities worldwide, with villagers from these communities working side by side with Eden to help plant trees and regenerate forests.
  • Whenever you use one of our products, you’re helping fight the good fight against the beauty industry’s number one problem – excessive waste. More than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetics industry, most of it non-recyclable, and contributing to the loss of 18 million acres of forest annually. We’re working hard to help overcome this. Our packaging is recyclable, and we’re constantly refining our sustainable, refillable packaging systems to help support the environment and minimize waste (our customizable makeup palettes, for example, are all refillable, and we’re rolling out our pods in sustainable, pulp packaging).
  • All our products are cruelty free. You can use them safe in the knowledge that you’re helping to protect animals, not exploit them. Our certified organic ingredients play a part in this. They’re a guarantee that the plants and herbs we use in our formulations have not been exposed to synthetic, chemical herbicides or pesticides – toxic products which leach into the environment and do great damage to the delicate ecology that animals are so dependent on for their survival.
  • We’re a makeup company, which means we use mica in some of our products. But you can rest easy knowing that you’re supporting ethical work practices. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards child labor being used for mica mining and source our mica only from vendors who work with accredited NGOs and suppliers.
  • Every time you use our products, you’re helping to support community farms in India, where we source many of our organic ingredients. This is vitally important, as these farms are helping revitalize rural towns and villages throughout India; small communities whose very lifestyle has previously been threatened by the overuse of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

INGREDIENT 02

WHAT IS – AND ISN’T –
IN OUR PRODUCTS

And why that’s good news for your skin

Let’s cut to the chase. At a time when our personal wellbeing has never been more important, the chemicals found in many cosmetics are simply no good for our skin and our general health.

Did you know that nearly 11,000 different chemicals can be found in our personal care and beauty products, and only 11% of them have ever been evaluated for safety by independent bodies?1 Only now is research being done into their potential impact on humans and the findings are disturbing. Scientific evidence exists that exposure to some of these chemicals – which include ingredients commonly found in our makeup like parabens, phthalates, carbon black, retinyl palmitate,bismuth oxychloride, gluten, talc,and tocopheryl acetate -is contributing to:

  • cancer,2
  • reproductive abnormalities,3
  • early puberty,4
  • infertility,5
  • obesity,6
  • asthma,7
  • allergies,8
  • and other endocrine, neurological, and metabolic problems9

 

Ouch, right? Unregulated, untested, synthetic chemicals are everywhere in our makeup and they’re likely making us sick. But here’s the good news – You won’t find any of them in our makeup!! Instead, we use ingredients that are altogether different…

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We make natural, organic, makeup and skincare. Our organic ingredients are all certified by an independent agency and we list every single ingredient we use on our packaging, so that you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin.

Better still, the ingredients we use are good for you. Studies show that organic ingredients are naturally sympathetic to our skin, and our products are specifically formulated to help with your skin’s delicate pH balance.

We are also world leaders in the use of revolutionary supercritical extracts, which are not only more pure than conventional extracts, but up to 500 times more potent! We add these special extracts – we like to call them our superpower – to all our products, alongside a host of organic oils, so that we can offer you makeup that also doubles as skincare.

In the end, we aim to make products that not only help you look good but feel good too. But they also come with something extra, something that we think defines the future of beauty…

HOW TO APPLY
CREAM EYESHADOW

Our cream eyeshadow is highly pigmented and filled with moisturizing and revitalizing organic ingredients to care for the delicate skin around your eyes. It can wear differently on some skin types when compared with more conventional (non-organic) eyeshadows however, and – if you find this to be the case – we recommend applying as follows:

  1. Prep Your Lid
    • a. Let your skincare sink in so that it’s dried before you apply your makeup.
    • b. If you like, you can apply a bit of translucent powder to mattify the base and absorb any oil.
    • c. Begin by applying a concealer, primer or foundation. This is to even out any natural discoloration and gives the eyeshadow a base to hold onto.
  2. Start with the center of the lid, then sweep it across.
  3. Apply with the tip of your finger (make sure it’s clean) using a press and sweep motion.
  4. Keep your eyebrows raised when you apply – this gives you a flatter surface
  5. You can apply with your fingers and use a clean blending brush to blend it out.
  6. Prefer no fingers / long nails / want higher pigment payoff? Then a precise, small-head brush like this is perfect for the job.
  7. Set oily zones (e.g. crease) with a light touch of powder using a fluffy brush.
  8. Leave a little time to dry before you apply your mascara.

PART 1

THE ART OF BREATHING

When It Comes to Breathing, We Suck

Breathing. It’s one of the few things that all of us who are interested in the business of living must do. And we do it a lot.

16 breaths per minute, on average. That 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 a day, 8,409,600 a year and 672,768,000 breaths over the course of an average lifetime.

You’d think, with all that practice, that we’d be good at it. But we’re not. When it comes to breathing, most of us are hopeless and it’s making us sick.

Breathing

How Come We Suck at Breathing?

Our modern lifestyle has a lot to do with it. Stress is a constant factor and a lot of us spend our days busily sitting still. We park up at our desks, hunch over our computers, and take short, sharp sips of breath as we try to navigate a path through our work and our personal lives.

Even worse, we breathe unconsciously. With so much else to think about, something which takes so little effort and absolutely no thought is to be celebrated. We can put it to one side, not worry about it.

Trouble is, proper, healthy breathing requires conscious effort.

Why Does Poor Breathing Contribute to Poor Health?

Most of us only use one third of our natural lung capacity. Instead of using our diaphragms as our main breathing muscle, we rely on the weaker intercostal muscles in our rib cage. The result is that we breathe too shallow and too quick. We’re not drinking in the amount of oxygen that we should and we’re not ridding ourselves of sufficient carbon dioxide.

And so we become subject to ill health. Starved of oxygen, which is vital for the production of energy and for the maintenance of healthy cells, our bodies experience a toxic build-up. This not only reduces our levels of vitality, but also lowers our ability to resist disease. As a result, we become susceptible to a whole host of problems, including fatigue, chest and back pain, sleep disorders and stomach upsets, whilst other conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and hypertension can be exacerbated.

If we want to protect ourselves against ill health (and that’s a given for all of us), then proper, conscious breathing is a good place to start. In Part 2 of this article, we look at exactly how we can go about this.