When I read descriptions of organic skin products they often seem so delectable that, for a brief moment, I am unsure if I should apply them or drink them as a smoothie!

Organic skin products are a fast growing trend in the US.

In contrast, this advance in skin care is well entrenched in Europe and Australia. Europeans and Australians view organic, vitamin, and cosmeceutical skin topicals and even vitamin and cosmeceutical skin injections as common sense additions to their more substantive Dermatologist office anti-aging treatments. FDA approved skin doctor’s office cosmetic treatments yield results that organic skin products for home use can’t touch.

But when selecting a home product for routine use, such as a cleanser, it certainly seems sensible to seek one with fewer chemicals if possible. Yet, there are many details to consider.

  • What is the source, and what is the water and soil quality in which the herb or other natural substance was grown?
  • Not all plants are desirable. (Remember poison ivy?)
  • Beware of misuse of and confusion over the terms “organic,” “natural,” “vegan,” and “pure.”
  • There are different levels of organic and it is unlikely that an entire product line is totally organic. One reason is that products need some type of preservative so they don’t grow bacteria while stored in your bathroom cabinet. Not all products can utilize a natural preservative while simultaneously maintaining their effectiveness.

Always remember to read the list of ingredients of each product. Think about what ingredients are present and what important ones may be missing. Remember the ingredients are listed in descending order of how much is present. I shake my head when a product is advertised as anti-oxidant with resveratrol, (my favorite anti-oxidant) only to find that the anti-oxidants are confined to the lower end of the ingredient list!

Don’t be deceived by the brand names of store or internet bought products and by cosmetic company marketing. Caveat emptor! (Let the buyer beware!) A brand may be called “100% pure,” but that doesn’t gaurantee that each product is 100% organic or chemical free. Select a brand recommended by someone truly in the know. Of course, I am partial, but I think your Dermatologist is best equipped to help you navigate through this process.

NYR Organics (Neal’s Yard) has been in business for 31 years. I respect this company because they are upfront about each product’s ingredients and level of organic-ity. For example their pomegranate lipstick is 81% organic. Their Chamomile cleanser is 57% organic.

My personal favorite is a brand called The Organic Pharmacy. I first stumbled upon this brand while window-shopping in Beverly Hills. I emerged two hours later, informed, impressed and lugging a few bags of products I was happy add to my existing medically proven home regimen. The Organic Pharmacy make up line is called Organic Glam. Their powder blusher goes on my skin more smoothly and with less chalky-ness than any other powder blush I have ever tried, bar none.

I strongly recommend their Carrot Butter Cleanser for night time use for women in their 40s and beyond. This product is great for those whose skin feels severely parched by exposure to dry, indoor heat during winter in New England or because they use drying medications, or for anyone with dry facial skin!

I also like their Collagen Boost Mask. This contains a myriad of ancillary anti-aging goodies like alpha lipoic acid, CoQ 10, DMAE, and grapeseed and gives your skin an instant boost. As a side bar, the smell makes me swoon with citrusy delight. I literally embarrass myself with the sounds I make as I apply this serum to my face.

If you don’t want to full on “dive into the deep end of the pool” regarding alternative “natural” skin products, at least try to find eye and lip products with fewer chemicals as you do absorb more of whatever you apply to those sensitive facial structures.