Belfast Telegraph

9 products that are healthy for your skin - and the planet too

Have you considered an organic beauty routine? Now is the time to go green, says Katie Wright

Organic September, an annual celebration of environmentally friendly agriculture led by the Soil Association, is when we shine a spotlight on the benefits of pesticide-free products.

We're used to seeing organic fruit and vegetables in our supermarket aisles and on restaurant menus, but have you ever considered that the pots and tubes in your bathroom contain ingredients that could be particularly bad for the planet?

That's why some brands choose to go au naturele - in a chemical sense.

"Organic beauty products are made using plant-based ingredients, but what makes them different to 'natural' is that they support the entire environmental concept of the preservation and growth of our natural world," explains Charlotte Vohtz, founder of Green People and pioneer of organic beauty.

"This includes avoiding exposure to chemical pesticides, herbicides [and] fungicides.

"As a result of this avoidance of artificial chemicals, organic agriculture creates a thriving and diverse ecosystem that supports a wide diversity of life, including plants, fungi, insects and animals - exactly as nature intended."

The approach benefits us as well, says Lou Green, head of sustainability at Neal's Yard Remedies. "No ingredient contains greater beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than those that have been organically grown," she adds. "This means that using certified organic beauty products is the equivalent of eating a freshly prepared, well-balanced, nutritious meal, rather than fast food."

Going organic is clearly a good idea, but don't be fooled by any old label. "Unlike organic food, there are no legal standards about what can and can't be called organic," Green warns. "This means that some beauty products may be labelled 'organic' even if they only contain 1% organic ingredients."

"The key to buying truly organic beauty is to look for the label and beyond the label," says Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda.

"Look for an independent quality seal such as NATRUE or the Soil Association. This means the origin of ingredients have been checked and verified."

Other standards include the Organic Food Federation and Ecocert, so with a variety to choose from, why aren't more skin, hair and make-up products certified organic?

"Sometimes sourcing an ingredient of organic quality simply isn't possible," Sterland admits, "such as in the case of almond oil, where there simply isn't the supply in the volume required."

Of the products that are on the market, plenty have gained cult status among beauty buffs and celebrities, from gentle but effective cleansers to rich moisturisers and plant-powered serums.

So if you're thinking of making the switch in September, here are nine awesome organic products that definitely deserve a place on your bathroom shelf...

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