Once you’ve decided to make the switch to organic beauty, it can be difficult to know where to start. Which products should you tackle first? Imelda Burke, founder of Content, answers that very question.
Switching To Organic Beauty
Most people will want to switch their facial skincare first and although it is often the most fun to switch, for me the key product to upgrade first is anything that covers your whole body – it’s the largest surface area of skin, after all. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Switch your pharmacy bought coconut butter lotion for raw coconut oil and the shea whip from your local body care shop to pure shea butter. Or look for other alternatives from natural and organic beauty brands. By choosing an organic and natural body lotion or oil, you quickly and dramatically reduce the synthetic ingredients you are using over your largest area of skin.
You are eating it every day so consider how much mineral oil and glossy polymers there is in each tube, how long it lasts you, and how much you have eaten over your lifetime. Natural lipsticks, by contrast, will start with a base of plant oils such as jojoba, sesame, castor, coconut or sunflower and use either beeswax or plant waxes to stabilise the stick format. Natural colorants will vary from mineral, fruit and vegetable pigments or, in some instances, to achieve brights whilst still being vegan (i.e. avoiding the carmine) a fraction of approved-for-use-in-food synthetic colour.
It may seem like this should be the last on the list to switch, but there is a good reason why you should consider switching your scent sooner rather than later. Fragrance is big business and companies actually don’t have to declare the ingredients they use, as the formulation is deemed intellectual property and is, therefore, protected to avoid it being copied. is means you don’t have any idea what is in the product. It does have to be safe for use, but it is one of the products I find people react to most frequently. If your perfume lasts the whole day without reapplying, there is a good chance it employs a synthetic fixative. If you are not sure – test the product. A natural perfume will typically last about 2 hours and dissipate almost completely at around 4 hours. This is good news – not a faulty product.
The keyword here is deodorant NOT antiperspirant. It is not possible to make a natural antiperspirant and why would you want to stop the body from one of its crucial functions, perspiring? Instead look for brands that use antibacterial and odour-neutralising natural ingredients like bicarbonate of soda, tea tree and coconut oil.
From here you can then switch out cosmetics, skincare and everything else. Wash-off products including shower gels can be left until last as they are not staying on the skin for long. It is however important to note that some of the foaming agents used can both dry out the skin and make it more permeable. For those with dry skin or eczema, you may notice a difference when you swap out products containing sodium lauryl sulfate and for those who find they have an irritated scalp and even dermatitis around the ears, neck and eyes, you may find it improves when you switch your hair products.
Based in or visiting London? Call us to book a free Detox Your Make-Up Bag consultation on +44 (0) 20 3075 1006. Outside London? Our resident green beauty experts can talk you through our selection of organic skincare and natural make-up via email on help(at)beingcontent.com
Parts of this post were adapted from The Nature of Beauty book by CONTENT founder Imelda Burke.