More and more cosmetics are hitting the market claiming to be organic and all-natural. But are these products any better for your skin than conventional ones? According to the USDA, a certified organic product should be free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), sewage, ionizing radiation, antibiotics, and growth hormones. So, if you want to avoid products processed in those ways, then there is definitely some benefit to using organic.
Other than that, the health benefits of an organic moisturizer really depend upon the quality of the product. The term organic is not regulated in the cosmetics industry; therefore, what seems like an organic product could just be all marketing. For example, a product could brand itself as “organic” and contain zero or very few organic ingredients. That kind of product won’t be any more beneficial for your skin than a conventional one. On the other hand, an honestly crafted organic moisturizer can improve the health of your skin.
For the purposes of this article, when we refer to the benefits an organic moisturizer, we mean a product that meets these criteria:
- No synthetic preservatives or fillers
- Made with a majority all natural and certified organic ingredients
- Has been certified organic by a third-party certifying organization
Here are some of the things that an organic moisturizer of this caliber could do for the health of your skin.
No Harmful Chemicals
According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, women in the US apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every single day. Additionally, it is very possible for many of those chemicals to be absorbed through our skin and into our bloodstream. By using a truly organic moisturizer, you are protecting your skin from a host of potentially toxic ingredients.
An organic moisturizer should not contain harsh chemicals, cheap fillers, GMOs, pesticides, and synthetic preservatives. Chemicals like parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, propylene glycol, synthetic fragrances, and formaldehydes have been linked to health conditions ranging from irritation to cancer.
Improves Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin types may find that the right organic moisturizer can do wonders to soothe their skin. Did you know that some of the ingredients in conventional moisturizers can cause irritation and redness? Conventional moisturizers often contain cheap fillers, synthetic fragrances, and potentially irritating preservatives which can exacerbate sensitive skin conditions (source).
If you have rosacea or eczema, then using a solid organic moisturizer made with totally pure and calming ingredients like aloe vera juice, chamomile, calendula, and sunflower oil might be your best bet. These ingredients all have anti-inflammatory properties and can restore moisture to the skin.
Many organic moisturizers contain 100% natural and organic ingredients. Instead of fillers and cheap additives, these moisturizers use ingredients which are beneficial for the skin like vegetable oils, fruit juices, essential oils, and plant extracts. These ingredients are packed with omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can reduce wrinkles, clear dark spots, heal sun damage, and boost moisture retention. Additionally, the natural forms of some nutrients are better absorbed by the skin than their synthetic counterparts.
Mineral SPF Protection
There are two kinds of sunscreens on the market: mineral and chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens are made with natural minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals cover the surface of your skin and reflect sunlight away from the skin.
Chemical sunscreens are products made with oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Chemical sunscreens work differently than mineral sunscreens. Instead of blocking UV light, chemical sunscreens absorb the UV radiation and dissipate the energy via a chemical reaction which happens under the surface of the skin. Additionally, dermatologists and researchers are concerned that chemical sunscreens may cause allergic reactions.
Because of this, most well-formulated organic moisturizers are made with mineral sunscreens. As an added bonus, zinc oxide (the most common mineral sunscreen) has antibacterial properties which can help fight acne and other inflammatory skin issues.
Wear Less Synthetic Makeup
Wouldn’t it be great if your makeup actually helped your skin? Conventional makeup products contain synthetic ingredients, like dimethicone, which cover the surface of the skin and traps dirt, oil, and bacteria underneath. This can cause clogged pores and breakouts.
Instead of wearing synthetic makeup, you can improve your skin by wearing a tinted organic moisturizer. A tinted moisturizer offers all of the benefits of organic moisturizers and light foundations without the gnarly ingredients. For color, natural tinted moisturizers often use natural minerals (like skin-healing zinc oxide) or fruit pigments to achieve their tone. These ingredients won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. You can also find a tinted moisturizer that is formulated for your skin type (acne, rosacea, eczema, oily, dry, etc.) so that you can treat your skin while covering up blemishes.