We asked you what you wanted to know about organic beauty.

Organic September is well under way. The annual event was set up by the Soil Association in order to promote organic living. We’ve already covered the small changes that you can make in order to live a more organic and therefore sustainable lifestyle, and now we’re looking at organic beauty. This topic can cover a lot of areas, so rather than overloading you will too much information, we asked you what you wanted to know. We took to our Instagram stories on Sunday to find out what your biggest questions are around shopping organically in the beauty industry. Here’s what we got:

Q: What is organic beauty?

A: If a beauty product is organic, it means it is made of ingredients that are organically farmed. They are grown without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and other elements that are considered ‘nasties’ in the industry.

Some beauty products are even Soil Association approved. If you find a certified product with the Soil Association symbol, you can be sure that there is no animal testing involved, no Genetically Modified Organisms, controversial chemicals or parabens and phthalates. They also ave no synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances in them. They also have higher levels of antioxidants, are made from sustainably sourced organic and biodegradable ingredients. They come in minimal, recyclable packaging and also protect wildlife and biodiversity.

Q: Why do people use organic beauty products?

A: Remember those ‘nasties’ we mentioned? Well they can be pretty bad for our skin and bodies. The ingredients that many non-organic beauty products are made from can contain a large amount of chemicals. From parabens, which have been linked to cancer, to formaldehyde, a regular lotion can be made from a whole cocktail of artificial additives. We have to remember, that whatever we put on our skin will end up in our bodies, so in the same way that people choose to only eat organic food to avoid consuming anything unnatural, some may choose to only use organic products.

Q: How can I tell if a product is really organic?

A: It can be complicated to find truly organic products, and its useful to know that ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean organic. One of the easiest things you can do is look for quality approved logos. In Europe, Soil Association, BDIH, Cosmebio, Ecocert and ICEA have teamed up to form a an internationally cosmetic organic product standard called COSMOS to ensure that all products are meeting the standards which they claim to.

Q: When was Organic September set up?

A: Organic September has been around for a long time. Back in 1994 it made its debut as ‘Organic Harvest’ which celebrated the best of naturally grown, organic food. In the mid-2000s, Organic Harvest grew into Organic Fortnight, and featured events throughout the country to help showcase organic food and drink. Then, in 2012, Organic September as we know it today came to life as a month-long event and campaign which is dedicated to sharing knowledge, helping people and growing the organic market.

Q: How can I contribute to Organic September?

A: We shared five tips and simple changes to make during Organic September. It really doesn’t have to be hard. If you want to go all out, you could start researching for future beauty products that can replace your current collection. However, don’t decide to instantly bin and replace your entire makeup bag straight away.

The most sustainable thing you can do is to finish what you’ve got and not waste any.

So, as tempting it might seem to stock up on organic products now, hold off and wait until you’ve used up what you have.

The same goes for clothes. You might assume that you instantly need to go and replace your black jumper with an organic black jumper, but that’s not the case. Wear it until it’s no longer wearable, fix it where you can, and only replace it when you truly need to. If clothes no longer fit, step away from the bin and take them to a charity shop.

Other aspects in life include shopping at local farmers markets for food and veg, walking instead of driving where you can do so, and even shopping for used and second hand clothes.

Q: What’s the difference between organic and natural in the beauty industry?

A: So we mentioned earlier that just because a product says its natural, it definitely doesn’t mean its organic. The term organic refers to how an ingredient was grown and farmed. To be classed as organic, it needs to be grown without pesticides, GMOs, parabens and other (here’s that word again…) ‘nasties’. A product that is ‘natural’, it just has to be derived from an plant, mineral or animal by-product.

Q: Are organic beauty products vegan?

A: To keep it simple, not necessarily. Organic products simply refer to the environment that the ingredients were farmed in, but that doesn’t mean that they’re vegan friendly. For a product to be vegan, it can’t feature any animal by-product ingredients in it and it can’t be tested on animals. In organic products, some ingredients might have come from an animal that was ethically and organically farmed, so be sure to check for vegan certificates when you’re shopping for vegan-friendly beauty.

Q: Are organic products as effective as synthetic alternatives?

A: Generally, choosing to use organic products does not mean having to compromise on the quality in comparison to non-organic beauty. In fact, the quality of organic products tend to be better for our skin. By removing harmful ingredients you’re likely to see a few changes like reducing redness, irritation or breakouts. You also might see fewer lines and wrinkles from using them. Like we said earlier, everything you put on your body ends up in your body and so organic ingredients will lead to a feeling of health and wellbeing on the inside and so your body will, in time, reflect that.

Q: What products on your site are organic?

A: We have a whole range of products and brands that are organic here on Indulge Beauty.

Find out about Organic September here.

All prices are correct as of date published.

Feature photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels