October 6, 2007

Why Use Organic or Natural Beauty Products?

Coco Chanel once quipped that "Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty." Well, Eco*Pretty believes it is up to you to use nature to give you an exquisite face at fifty!
But when you can buy shampoo or face wash from the drugstore for only a few bucks, why shell out, say, $16 on a natural or organic product—especially if you don't (yet) have Al Gore's environmental devotion? Nine times out of ten, the results are better. Here's why:

Fewer Irritating Ingredients
Our skins absorbs about 60% of what we put on it.  So why not feed it nutritious stuff? When I decided to "green" my beauty products, like my lifestyle, I started by switching to a more natural cleanser (after I ran out of my old one). After just a few uses, it was "goodbye post-cleansing ruddiness, hello even skin tone." 

Usually organic and natural cosmetics don't contain irritating and potentially risky chemicals such as:

• Parabens
(ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben)
:  Parabens are preservatives that mimic estrogen and have caused reproductive changes in lab rats. Parabens have been found in breast cancer tissue.  Butylparaben is the most potent.

Phthalates: Mostly used to soften plastics, they're also added to deodorants, hair sprays, and shampoos to make scents linger longer as well as to nail polish for chipping resistance. They've been linked to allergies, asthma, cancer and reproductive damage and are banned in Europe.  In 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning phthalates use in kids’ toys.

• Sulfates
(sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl/laureth sulfate): Surfactants found in face cleansers, shampoos and body washes that remove grime but can strip moisture from skin and color from hair. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the harshest and can also be comedogenic (pore-clogging)

• Propylene glycol
A moisture-binding ingredient that can irritate sensitive skin (and is also used in car engine coolant).

Artificial dyes and fragrance: Can irritate sensitive skin. In fact, synthetic fragrance is the No. 1 cause of allergic reactions to cosmetics.

More Nutrient-Rich, Performing Ingredients

Natural products are not only free of potentially toxic chemicals, but they often contain less fillers and cheap thickeners and more healing botanicals and seed oils.  For example, rosehip seed oil
a popular emollient in natural skin carealone contains vitamin A, vitamin C, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids! 

No Animal Testing

Nearly every natural beauty brand refuses to test on animals.  They don't shave guinea pigs and bunnies raw and apply products to them to test for irritancy, rashes, redness and swelling
as if animal skin is the same as human skin anyway!  You wouldn't do that to your furry loved one, so why support companies that do?


Anonymous said...


FYI: Plato's Closet will purchase new & partially used body care products. They seem to offer more in monetary return for them than secondhand clothes.

So, if you acquire any products that you are less than estatic about--and don't want to be wasteful--you can recycle them by reselling them!

Not sure if/where you could do this in NYC, though...