I must start this post off by saying this, I absolutely LOVE organic/holistic products. I try to buy as much organic food as I can afford, and hormone free milk products, holistic toothpaste and makeup that’s not laden with chemicals that you can’t pronounce. BUT when it comes to organic skin care, I tend to lean towards products that have truly been tested. Here are the main reasons that most of my skincare is NOT organic:

EfficacyNanotechnology

While organic products feel good and smell good, they generally don’t actually work that well. If you’re talking about a simple cleanser or moisturizer then you could look at a more organic skin care product, however it may not really be doing much to actually improve your skin. At the end of the day, chemical based products have improved penetration due to things like Nanotechnology and other scientific research and can simply do more to actually change your skin over time.

Allergy Issues

avocadoI have an extremely sensitive skin and some food allergies to boot. Notoriously organic skin care leads me to hives, rashes and other irritations which obviously are not beneficial to improving the state of my skin. The allergy issue may be the biggest reason to stay away from organic products which are laden with herbs, fruits and proteins that may cause you to have an allergic reaction. For example, I can never have a full facial from an Aveda spa because I’ll end up leaving with hives or worse by the time I get home from the pineapple enzyme or grapefruit face wash that create extreme allergies for me. Additionally, there are many cross reactions to allergens that organic products make, for example, if you’re allergic to latex, that avocado mask isn’t great for you to use! See this list for cross allergens. This week alone I heard 2 stories from clients who reacted to organic products used on their faces during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Natural” Doesn’t Mean Safearnica flower

Sometimes even “natural” and “organic” substances are harmful too! For example, Chamomile application over and over again can actually create a ragweed intolerance and a rash to boot according to the Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch. Arnica, which even we use to treat bruising in our office (and is safe if properly used), if OVERUSED can cause eczema and other issues. There are many poisonous flowers used in organic products that I would never consider in a million years using repeatedly on my skin.

Organic Products Are Simply Not As Thoroughly Tested

testedThe upside to a chemical based product is in it’s testing. Products that are chemically based go through rigorous testing both from the companies that sell them and our government. You’ll not likely find a double-blind study to back up your organic product’s safety, efficacy or more but a chemical product can’t even make it to market without that kind of research. Here’s a study about the product CE Ferulic by Skinceuticals for example that shows it being tested on mice. You will not likely find those types of studies on your organic product.

So where I’m not trying to bash your beloved organic product, it is important for your to do your homework on it just like you would any other purchase you make. You may find better, safer, more effective chemical versions without the risk of rash or negative effects.

Jennifer Warmann-Bloss

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/fashion/28SKIN.html?_r=0

https://www.futurederm.com/controversy-why-natural-skin-care-isnt-always-better/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/beauty-pictures/the-truth-about-organic-skin-care.aspx#05

http://www.understandingnano.com/nanotechnology-skin-care-cosmetics.html

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2005/09/04/arnica/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3653797/

http://www.foodintolerances.org/non-food-allergies.aspx

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