21 August, 2023

We’ve all heard the phrase “Look good, feel good”, and it turns out there’s a lot of truth to this old saying.   

In the past, beauty regimes were seen as superficial, but maintaining healthy skin care, hair care, and overall hygiene can be essential to maintaining good mental health. However, they can also impact our physical health in positive and negative ways depending on which products you use. 

Moisturisers, face masks, eye creams, shampoos, and conditioners are beauty staples that make up most of our daily routines. Although they keep us fresh-faced and smelling good, some of these may contain harmful chemicals. These can potentially increase our risk of getting breast cancer.  

Without knowing it, many of us are applying these chemicals directly onto our skin to be absorbed into our bodies. These chemicals are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can interfere with your hormones and may contribute to certain cancers developing. Read our A-Z list of cosmetics ingredients to learn about EDCs that may impact breast cancer risk.  

What is organic beauty?

The growing concern around the harmful effects of beauty products has prompted many people to seek out safer alternatives. It is hoped that by transitioning towards products with natural ingredients, we can avoid the health risks of chemical-based products.

So, it should come as no surprise that organic beauty products are on the rise. When people think of organic products, words like ‘chemical-free’ and ‘sustainable’ often come to mind and this isn’t entirely.  

Organic cosmetic products can be all these things, but the term ‘organic’ is very loosely regulated, and the bar for what classifies as organic can be very low. Whereas the food and drink industry requires organic products to contain at least 95% certified organic ingredients, cosmetic products can be classed as organic or natural, even if only 1% of their ingredients come from natural sources. 

How can I make sure my products are organic? 

Here’s what we imagine you’re thinking right now, ‘so I should I buy organic beauty products or not, seeing as they might not actually be organic?’ It can all get a little bit confusing, can’t it? Thankfully there are easy ways of making sure that the products you are putting onto your body are truly organic. 

COSMOS or Soil Association certified 

Rather than looking out for the word organic, keep your eyes peeled for the COSMOS or Soil Association logo. These are independent certification bodies that check every step of the manufacturing process to make sure that a product has met strict organic and natural standards.  For a beauty or wellbeing product to carry the Cosmos Organic symbol, 95% of the ingredients must be organic. 

The YUKA app 

Prior to purchasing any cosmetic product, check out the ingredients using the free mobile app Yuka. The app allows you to scan the barcodes of food and care products to see their impact on your health. It will also suggest alternatives if it does rate poorly. 

Looking good doesn’t need to come at a cost to your health, you really can have it all!  

For more information, advice, and tips on organic products – see here. 

Want to find out what changes you could make to reduce your risk? – Take our quiz 

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