When I was creating my range of skincare products, looking after the health of my customers came first and foremost. So when I thought about what I would use to create healthy skincare, I thought of clean, pesticide and chemical free ingredients, and absolutely no added nasties. And there is no better standard of healthy skincare than certified organic. With September being Australian Organic Awareness Month, I wanted to take a closer look at certified organic skincare and what makes is so special.

The formulation of any certified organic skincare product is based on a blend of organic oils, butters, waxes and extracts. These must come from certified organic origins and make up at least 95% of the formulation. This is what makes certified organic skincare products so good as most commercial skincare products are primarily water and non-active fillers.

The great thing about certified organic botanicals is that they are incredibly potent. Organic plants contain a higher percentage of antioxidants, essential to fight free radical damage which can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. A higher percentage of vitamins and minerals have also been found in organic botanicals, the most relevant to skincare being vitamins A, C and E.

When you decide to go certified organic, you are severely restricted as to the other ingredients you can use in your products, including preservatives, emulsifiers, and fragrances. This is a good thing because preservatives and other ingredients used in commercial skincare products can undermine a product’s key benefits. For example, it’s all very well when a face cream contains great anti-ageing ingredients, but its effectiveness can be reduced when other ingredients in the same product are counter-productive. Take parabens for example. Parabens are a commonplace skincare preservative which act as broad-spectrum antimicrobials. But they have been shown to interact with UV rays and potentially increase DNA damage and signs of ageing.

Not only can ingredients found in commercial skincare products potentially undermine its benefits, but they may also be detrimental to your health. Commercial skincare products can contain a wide variety of synthetic ingredients and chemicals. The long term use and safety of many of these ingredients is yet to be established (look at the recent Johnson & Johnson talc product law suits) and some with questionable safety are still in use e.g. formaldehyde which can be found in shampoo, soaps and nail hardeners. Formaldehyde is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer. This means that it is a chemical known to cause cancer in humans.

Why do I love certified organic? Because it allows me to create skincare that is gentle on the environment, beneficial to health and great for overall beauty. Here’s to all the Australian brands advocating for better products that don’t hurt your health or the earth!