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Sustainable Skincare: Everything You Need To Know In One Handy Free Ebook
From make up to moisturising creams, organic skincare is booming with brands ranging from affordable to luxury.
The organic skincare market was worth £106.4m in the UK in 2019 - up a whopping 23%. Organic is no longer a trend, it’s where forward thinking skincare brands are investing and inventing.
While ‘organic’ is a useful guide to what’s in your skincare, it doesn’t cover everything and it isn’t the same all over the world.
What is organic skincare?
Organic skincare means that the product has been created with:
- No GM ingredients
- No synthetic fertilizers on the ingredients
- No animal testing
- No controversial chemicals including nano particles
- No synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances
Be aware that just because a skincare product is labelled ‘organic’, it doesn’t mean that all of the ingredients in the product are organic.
In the UK, there are a lack of legal requirements around what constitutes organic skincare and the percentage of organic ingredients that go into it. As long as 1% of the ingredients is organic, the product can be labelled organic.
Organic skincare and palm oil
However organic doesn’t mean your skincare is palm oil free. Palm oil is used in a majority of skincare supply chains as it’s a natural preservative.
Palm oil can be responsibly sourced but there are still some debates over just how ‘responsible’ it can ever be.
Look for organic skincare brands that don’t contain palm oil or are transparent about what they use and where it has been sourced.
Is organic skincare sustainable?
Organic skincare doesn’t always mean that the products are eco-friendly or plastic free. The term organic refers to what’s inside the packaging and doesn’t come with any guarantees around packaging, recycling or plastics.
However many authentic organic skincare brands care deeply about the planet so strive to make their products positive for the environment.
Look for organic skincare brands who also:
- Use recycled plastic or no plastic packaging
- Make sure their packaging can be recycled or biodegrades properly
- Offer refillable options to reduce waste
- Operate a low waste or zero waste supply chain
- Commit to donating a percentage of income or profit (there’s a big difference) to charities, environmental causes or plant trees.
- Are a social enterprise. (What is a social enterprise?)
At pebble we only feature organic skincare brands that also commit to some of these ways of protecting the planet.
You won’t find single use plastic skincare products recommended on our site.
How to tell if your skincare is organic
Frustratingly, there is no global certification for what makes skincare organic. Each country has different rules and standards.
- Look for the Soil Association certification in the UK. This is the widest used organic skincare and beauty mark out there at the moment. The Soil Association logo means that the organic product has been “ sourced and manufactured using sustainable ingredients, not tested on animals, free from harsh chemicals, nano particles, parabens, synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances.”
- Also look for the COSMOS certification, which does cover 60 countries and has certified over 21,000 products. It also certifies ingredients and raw materials. The COSMOS standard details can be found here.
- Check the brand’s website and see how much information there is about where they source their ingredients, and who from, and how much they offer up about what is and what isn’t organic.
- Be aware that it’s very hard for many brands to be 100% organic as many natural ingredients such as herbs, spices and flowers, come from farms where it is difficult, or too expensive, to get certified. It’s entirely possible (and very common) to be sustainably sourced without being organic.
- If in doubt, ask. A brand should be able to prove the organic certification of any ingredients they tell you are organic on their website. If they can’t, don’t spend with them!
Scroll down to check out regularly updated collection features on organic skincare.
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We also highlight our favourite new organic skincare brands on our Instagram feed under our 2021 campaign, #365waystosave.
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