Finished up your farm-to-table meal? Make way for your earth-to-face beauty products.
Just like our food is healthier for us and the planet when it comes from a farm that looks like a farm instead of a factory, the same can be said for our beauty products – and a burgeoning industry is poised to meet the growing demand.
“Consumers seem motivated by a desire to support a farm-to-face ethos and by the belief that ‘pure’ products are more healthful and less likely to cause problems,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Such ‘natural’ products accounted for almost 17% of $3 billion in ‘prestige’ skin care sales from department stores and shops like Sephora this year.”
A whopping $7 billion was spent in 2011 around the planet in organic personal care and beauty products, making it the fastest-growing segment of the personal care industry.
And it’s no wonder: Research continues to link common ingredients in personal care and beauty products to serious illnesses and diseases including cancer. Those ingredients like phthalates, parabens and some sulfates are predominant in most personal care products—from deodorants to lipsticks.
While these ingredients do things like preserve and stabilize products, they also make artificial scents linger way longer than they should. And once you’ve cleaned up your diet, smelling like laundry detergent all day quickly starts to lose its appeal (if it ever existed).
Natural products made from botanicals, oils and stuff likely in your kitchen right now—think salt, cornstarch, vinegar and lemon—are not only the opposite of the toxic artificial ingredients in most other beauty products, but they have a longer history of efficacy, too. And while you could whip up all of your beauty products on your own, there are specialists—herbalists and alchemists—already doing it for you, and with incredible results.
The Times reports on several skin care boutiques in the Los Angeles area where you can purchase some of these natural brands (many of whom we regularly feature on EcoSalon). And, of course, if you don’t yet have a boutique specializing in clean skincare in your neck of the woods, you can find them all online.
Not only are these pared-down products better for our health, but moving away from the chemicals and the factories that produce these products is also significantly better for the planet. That’s something that’s going to be much more important to our health and beauty than ever before. The chemicals in conventional beauty products are largely petroleum-based, factories producing those products create pollution, and many of them still employ archaic animal-testing practices, something unheard of in the earth-to-beauty movement.
If you’ve been using conventional beauty products for a while, making the switch to a botanical-based product can come with a few growing pains. Number one: the sticker shock. It’s not uncommon to pay upwards of $80 for a one-ounce bottle of a proprietary oil blend. Or see such a short ingredients list that you can’t help but wonder if it’s going to be effective or spoil before you’ve used up the lot. But results speak for themselves. And they’re speaking loudly: “People want natural and organic. They feel like if they can eat it, it can be on their skin,” Paula Weiser-Vazquez, owner of Beautyhabit, a high-end apothecary in Westlake Village told the Times. “I think this is the new trend. It’s not going to be a flash in the pan.”
Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
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