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Choosing organic beauty products

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Ode to organics

How green is your skin care routine? There are many reasons to think about ditching your current crop of cosmetics and opting instead for organic products. To get the inside scoop on green skin goodies and why we should make the switch, SheKnows turned to Margo Marrone, pharmacist, homeopath and founder of The Organic Pharmacy.

Woman shopping for organic beauty products

Why go organic?

Take a look at the list of ingredients on your average beauty product. Chances are you probably don't know what most of them are, or that a lot of them could be harmful. Marrone explains that opting for organic skin care products means you are avoiding a slew of chemicals that not only irritate the skin, but that can also have a negative effect on the body.

"Organic skin care is better for overall health as well as skin's health," she says. You would never knowingly put a harmful chemical in your mouth, so why would you put something potentially harmful on your skin? Skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs 70 percent of the creams, serums, gels and lotions you apply to it. Many of these contain carcinogens such as parabens, which are used as preservatives. Some studies have shown that parabens get absorbed into the bloodstream and disrupt the hormonal system.

 

Don't be fooled

Not all organic products are created equal, and just because you see the word organic on a label doesn't mean that product is as good for your skin as it claims. For example, Marrone explains that many companies mix harmful chemicals with organic extracts -- so even though you are getting some organic ingredients, the rest of the product remains potentially harmful. Other products use only a small percentage of organic ingredients. Still others contain nothing organic at all, but use the word organic in their marketing to lure consumers.

Shop smart

So if organic doesn't necessarily guarantee you're getting a product that's good for you and your skin, what's an eco-minded woman to do? To start, read the ingredients. If you aren't familiar with a particular ingredient, do some research. A quick Web search should tell you what it is, and a little deeper digging should help you get an idea of whether that ingredient is harmful. The Organic Pharmacy provides a list of chemicals to avoid. It's a good idea to print it out and take it with you when you shop so you can steer clear of the most harmful.

Organic Pharmacy product picks

Most of The Organic Pharmacy's products are between 95 and 99.9 percent organic, and they use no artificial preservatives. Marrone shares some of her must-haves for gorgeous, glowing skin:

  • Organic sheer tintCarrot Butter Cleanser: This gentle but effective cleanser dissolves dirt, makeup and pollution while leaving skin soft and smooth. Plus, it smells great.
  • Antioxidant Gel and Antioxidant Serum: Marrone says she's been using these two power-packed products for eight years. "They help repair all the damage from the day and just make my skin instantly glow," she says.
  • Lip and Eye Cream: Marrone uses this ultra rich, nourishing product to soften fine lines around the eyes and mouth.
  • Organic Glam Sheer Tint: Marrone uses this antioxidant-rich tinted moisturizer (in Ivory Glow) mixed with foundation to give her skin a sheer dewy finish that's perfect for spring and summer.

More about skin care & beauty

Skin care: Get it right every night
How to make your skin glow
Cosmetic acupuncture: Younger skin

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