If your goal is to go 100% organic when it comes to organic skin care, you can probably manage it because there’s a decent range of organic skin care out there. If your goal is to go totally organic with skin care AND cosmetics, shampoo, deodorant and other body care, you’ll have more trouble.
There’s not much out there in terms of real organic cosmetics. Additionally, many companies simply haven’t managed to make organic products that work as well as their non-organic counterparts. You may not like fake colors and chemicals, but in many cases, these are the ingredients that make products work as most people expect them to work. Not that this is cool, but it’s just the way it is. For example, I can’t find an organic conditioner that works to save my life. I have unruly curls and thus far, organics can’t tame them like some of the non-organic conditioners can.
Organic formulations are also difficult due to both higher costs and available included ingredients. For example, most cosmetic companies use mineral pigments that are not approved for use in USDA Certified Organic products (i.e. the ingredients aren’t on the national list).
You may have to compromise:
If you’re okay with zero makeup, no nail polish and products that may not work like you thin, then it’s possible to live totally organically. If, like most people I know, you like to wear make-up sometimes, want to get rid of frizzy hair, or would like to wear sunscreen that doesn’t cost a small fortune, you may need to compromise a little.
How to compromise:
The most perfect compromise would be to ONLY use organic products, which would limit your choices, but keep you toxin-free. I’m talking about wearing almost zero make-up and spending more $ most of the time. I’m not this extreme.
You can compromise with body care and cosmetics anyway you like, but here’s my basic strategy…
- I don’t wear many cosmetics – sometimes I feel like getting dressy, but usually I go make-up free.
- When I do wear make-up I attempt to choose products with more natural, less toxic ingredients, but that’s not always possible.
- I rarely wear extras, like nail polish.
- I don’t buy a ton of other products – do you really need a face-firming pack, eye cream, neck cream and the millions of other products companies try to pass off as necessary? No, likely not.
- I try to buy American-certified products, mainly because I understand USDA organic certification and and NSF/ANSI 305 standard products, but I’m not as clear about other countries certification methods. I will sometimes use EcoCert products, but I avoid weird labels like, “Natural” or “Green” that have no actual meaning.
- I try not to stress about my hair. My curls are a constant source of problems for me. If I felt like, I could buy a bunch of seriously chemically enriched hair products and smooth my curls out. Instead, I buy less toxic stuff that doesn’t work as well and deal with imperfect curls. Not that I wouldn’t LOVE some real organic hair care that works on curls, but for now, I haven’t found any.
- I don’t comprise when it comes to my son. My son is young, doesn’t need make-up and has a very small body care regimen – soap, shampoo, lotion and sunscreen, so it’s easy to make healthier choices for him, and I try to.
- I aim for healthier options for other kids. My partner has two daughters who like tons of chemical products. They’re not different from any other teen girls in this respect, but if I buy them something, I try to choose the least offensive products I can find, since most of the time they’re slathering chemicals on their developing skin without concern.
- I make some stuff homemade. I don’t have time to make everything I use and I don’t have the means (or pigments) to make homemade cosmetics, but I can make homemade body scrubs, toners and some other stuff, in 100% organic form.
- I try not to purchase products made by companies that I consider organic fakers. I KNOW it’s impossible to make everything for the body or face in organic form, but that doesn’t mean you should buy fake organics from companies who are clearly greenwashing. For example, if a company uses organic wording, and zero organic ingredients, that’s super lame, and I avoid them.
These are my basic compromises. Overall, I do wish that there were more organics (REAL organics) on the market in terms of body care and cosmetics, but since there’s not, I have to compromise or go skin naked 100% of the time.
Coming up I’m hoping to post two helpful pieces that should help you locate actual organics, less toxic alternatives (when organics not available) and a list of faker vs. non-faker organic companies.
Do you wear cosmetics and use body care products? How do you compromise since there’s so few real organics available?