Organic beauty products are so popular that, with high-profile designers like Stella McCartney leading the way, mass manufacturers are scrambling to jump on the organic beauty bandwagon. But don’t be seduced by slick marketing campaigns and carefully phrased packaging using the words natural or pure to appear eco-friendly.

The use of the word natural is completely unregulated. Any manufacturer can toss a few plant-based ingredients into a product and call it natural, even if the product also contains toxic chemicals. Instead, look for beauty products that are labelled certified 100 per cent organic. They contain organic vegetable oils and herbal extracts that are not only richer in vitamins and nutrients but safer because they are not exposed to cancer-causing pesticides.

Also check the extraction method used to derive the natural ingredients, as various extraction methods affect the efficacy of the ingredient. Oil or wax extraction from a plant using either chemical solvents or extremely high heat destroys the plant’s botanical properties. Look for the words cold-pressed on labels.

Choose products that use essential oils as a natural preservative. Synthetic preservatives will give products a longer shelf life, but may contain carcinogenic ingredients. Essential oils have been extracted from the leaves and buds of flowers and are truly natural.

Your skin absorbs over 50 per cent of the cremes and lotions you put on it. When shopping for beauty products, just think of this: if you wouldn’t eat it, why would you smear it on your skin?

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