Why Organic Skin Products Matter More Now

By Dr. Deborah Leible, manager of The Spa at Shangri-La Springs

As people concentrated on health during the pandemic, sales of organic food and drinks surged by 25% for 17 weeks through the end of June, according to Nielsen data. That is faster than the pace of growth in food overall.

But it is not just what you put in your body that matters. We are also constantly exposed to environmental factors that distress the integrity of the skin. Daily we are exposed to UVA and UVB rays from the sun, free radicals associated with air pollutants, and blue light from electronics, all of which break down collagen. In addition, the skin is the largest organ and is sensitive to products you use on it.

The choice of using non-organic vs. organic skincare products is not only skin deep. Non-organic products have synthetic or manufactured chemicals can cause harmful results that can include skin irritation, organ toxicity and cancer.

Synthetic, non-organic product ingredients may include:

  • Formaldehyde is added to prevent cosmetics from spoiling and prolong shelf life. Considered a tissue preservative, formaldehyde can cause skin and eye irritation, neurological effects, headaches and nausea. Long-term exposure is associated with shortness of breath, bronchitis and cancer.
  • Oxybenzone, commonly found in sunscreen. A potential endocrine disruptor, it is considered an eco-toxin in aquatic environments and has been linked to coral bleaching.
  • Phthalates petroleum-based chemicals commonly found in cosmetics as lubricants and in nail polish, hair spray, fragranced lotions and shampoos. Phthalates are potential endocrine disruptors, affecting fertility and reproductive development. Researchers have also linked phthalates to breast cancer and asthma.
  •  Parabens, chemicals used as preservatives to prevent bacteria and mold growth found in moisturizers, hair products, shaving creams, facial cleansers, deodorants and cosmetics. Parabens mimic estrogen properties, which can increase the potential for breast cancer.
  • Propylene Glycol, a synthetic alcohol in facial cleansers, bath soaps, moisturizers, conditioners, fragrances and cosmetics, is a humectant that slows moisture loss. Considered GRAS, “generally recognized as safe,” propylene glycol can cause allergies, rashes, and eye and skin irritation.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) a foaming agent, is found in body wash, soap, toothpaste, shampoo and household cleaning products. Reactions may include topical irritation to the eyes and skin.

Certified organic skincare products have a minimum of 70% organic ingredients including plants and other natural ingredients grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and free of genetically modified organisms. Organic skincare products are nutrient-rich in vitamins and minerals that are extracted from parts of a plant including seeds, pulps and peels. They may also be found wild in nature, such as seaweed.

Absorption of organic ingredients does not damage the integrity of the skin, nor weaken the body systemically. Organic skincare is non-allergenic (unless someone may have a specific natural ingredient allergy, such as a nut allergy) and works in harmony with the body.

Benefits of organic skincare products include detoxification, vitamin and mineral-rich hydration, antioxidant repair, anti-inflammation and protection of the skin from the environment.

Further, organic products grown under stringent, federal organic farming practices protect the soil and air from contamination, promoting the welfare of wildlife.

Organic farming practices do not use synthetic pesticides and herbicides, so soil still is nutrient rich and abundant in beneficial bacteria. Organic practices help combat global warming, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by requiring less energy than petroleum-based fertilizers, reducing air and water pollution.

At the Spa at Shangri-La Springs, we incorporate the most natural practices into our services with a focus on vitality. We hand-harvest cotton grown at our on-site organic garden for use in our facials. We sell loofahs that are grown from the Luffa aegyptica plant in our certified organic garden. They are wonderful for skin cleansing! We recycle as much as possible, use LED lighting, no VOC paints and wash our organic linens with biodegradable cleaning products.

Products we use in our treatments as well as ones we offer for sale meet the highest international standards for natural ingredients.

Eminence, which is based in Hungary, practices sustainable farming at a certified organic farm. Ingredients in the products, which include vegan and gluten free, are hand-picked and hand-mixed and higher in vitamins, minerals, nutrients and active compounds than traditional organic ingredients. Through their Forests for the Future Program, a tree is planted for every product sold.

For seaweed treatments, we use VOYA products, which are certified organic and hand-harvested in Ireland within two hours to ensure maximum nutrient retention. Inspired by a 300-year Irish tradition of seaweed bathing, products are anti-aging, antioxidant, re-mineralizing, detoxifying and stimulating to the skin’s circulation. Products improve sensitive and allergy prone skin and skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis. Because seaweed has iodine, products help balance metabolism and aid the thyroid. Even VOYA skincare product boxes are made from seaweed and vegetable inks. Because they are biodegradable, the boxes can be mulched into home gardens, adding to their mineral content!

With the focus these days is on health and wellbeing, do not overlook your skin. When you use organic skincare, you have peace of mind knowing that your products are safe and free of contamination and so is your body.

About the Author

Dr. Deborah Leible has a doctorate in chiropractic and certified in acupuncture and is also a licensed massage therapist, certified in holistic spa management and trained in a variety of spa services including medical massage, Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi massage, oncology massage, manual lymphatic drainage and reflexology. For information, visit www.shangrilasprings.com/spa/.

This article was featured in the Living Well section of The News-Press

View our spa specials @ www.shangrilasprings.com/spa/specials.asp

To book an appointment, please call The Spa at (239) 676-7334.


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