6 Most Important Beauty Products To Buy Organic

A definitive ranking of the most toxic skin care items you're using.

January 20, 2017
makeup
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Your skin is like a sponge, and it absorbs whatever you put into it. Same with those toxic chemicals in many beauty products. 

Related: 8 Powerhouse Herbs You Need To Add To Your Beauty Routine

Cleaning everything out of your medicine cabinet and starting from scratch with a new, all-organic arsenal can be expensive and time-consuming, though (so many products to research!). Instead, start with the products that’ll have the biggest impact on your health, and add new ones as your wallet (and online shopping schedule) allows.

Here’s where to begin, starting with the most important products to buy organic.

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face cream
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#1 Face and body lotions, moisturizers, or creams

When it comes to stocking a cleaner personal care cabinet, these items should be at the very top of your list, Sheperd says. Since you slather them on a bigger part of your body, more of the ingredients have an opportunity to get absorbed by your skin. Picking organic face lotions is particularly important, since the skin on your face, neck, and chest is thinner and even more absorbent.

Try These:
Nourish Organic Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion ($14 for 1.7 ounces)
Birchrose + Co Organic Hydrating Body Balm ($22 for 4 ounces)

lipstick
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#2 Lipstick and lip balm

Yep, your lips are a pretty small part of your body. But the skin is very thin and packed with blood vessels, so it easily absorbs whatever you swipe on, Sheperd says. That can include scary ingredients like lead, suggests one FDA test of more than 400 conventional lipsticks. And if you’ve ever had your lipstick disappear after a meal, you know that some of the stuff gets ingested when you eat or drink.

Try These:
Axiology Organic Lipstick ($28 for .14 ounces)
Badger Classic Lip Balm ($9 for a 4-pack)

Related: 3 Common Lip Balm Ingredients That Irritate Your Lips

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concealer
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#3 Concealer or foundation

These go on your face, too, so why are they ranked lower than moisturizers? Unlike lotions, most concealers or foundations are designed to sit on top of your skin, and not to get fully absorbed. (Especially loose powders, which contain fewer absorbent ingredients than liquid concealers and foundations.) You should still seek out an organic version, but only after you’ve checked that organic moisturizer and lipstick off your list, Sheperd says.

Try These:
RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Concealer ($31 for .2 ounces)
Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin CC Cream ($8 for 1.2 ounces)

face wash
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#4 Face and body wash

Unlike the products above, cleansers are only meant to stay on your skin briefly before being washed off. “Having a shorter contact time means less absorption than a ‘leave-on’ product,” says Shepherd. Even so, buying organic is still worth it. “They’re used from head to toe, so there’s more surface area for absorbing unwanted ingredients,” she says.

Try These:
Avalon Organics Brilliant Balance Cleansing Gel ($12.50 for 8 ounces)
Jason Invigorating Rosewater Pure Natural Body Wash ($11 for 30 ounces)

shampoo
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#5 Shampoo and conditioner

Like face and body wash, these products are washed off quickly. What’s more, the only absorbent surface affected is your scalp. Since your hair is dead cellular tissue, there aren’t any blood vessels to carry potentially unhealthy ingredients back into your bloodstream.

Try This:
Desert Essence All Natural Organic Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner Bundle ($18 for two 8-ounce tubes)

Related: How To Make Your Own Shampoo

 
 
mascara brush
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#6 Other types of makeup (like mascara, eyeliner, and blush)

Powdery products like blush are designed to sit on the surface of your skin, so they tend not to be all that good at getting absorbed. As for eye makeup like mascara and eyeliner? Because it’s applied to such a tiny part of your face, it’s less likely to prove a toxic burden on your body, says Shepherd.

Try These:
Physicians Formula Gentle Wear 100% Natural Origin Bronzer & Blush ($20 for 3 ounces)
W3LL People Bio Extreme Mascara ($23.50 for .23 ounces)
Juice Beauty Defining Eyeliner ($16 for .2 ounces)

Related: I Swapped My Drugstore Makeup For All-Natural Versions And Here's What Happened