The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ can be confusing when it comes to skincare. What does that actually mean? In Australia, there's no government-regulated body that certifies beauty as natural/organic. Instead, you must rely on independent organisations, brands, certifications and plenty of your own research to determine if a product really is (and contains) what it says it is.
A ‘natural product’ must contain a minimum of 95 per cent natural ingredients, defined by the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists (A.S.C.C.) as ingredients “that are identifiable in the original source material” and are not tested on animals. The product should also use biodegradable ingredients and the most environmentally sensitive packaging possible.
An ‘organic product’ on the other hand must be free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, genetic modification and petroleum derivatives (including mineral oil and petroleum jelly). It also must be made up from all natural ingredients and contain 70-95 per cent of organic ingredients according to the Australian Certified Organic (ACO), one of Australia’s most reputable certifications group.
‘Certified organic’ is another category, and is the gold standard in organic products as it's a controlled term under Australian cosmetic labelling regulations. Look for an accreditation from a trusted Australian or international body, such as the ACO. According to their website, for a product to be labelled ‘certified organic’, it must contain at least 95 per cent organic content, and must comply with the ‘organic’ standards.
The benefit of using natural and organic skincare is that you're using products that aren’t tested on animals, are created in a sustainable way and contain ingredients derived from plants, not synthetics.
New technologies have enabled natural and organic products to really compete with their cheaper synthetic counterparts, which have previously had the upper hand in anti-ageing.
Forget the patchouli-infused hemp creams of the past, and say hello to the new natural and organic breakthroughs in anti-ageing.
1. Antioxidant-rich kale, spinach, green tea and alfalfa combine in this gentle soap-free gel cleanser which helps protects against free radical damage and environmental stress. Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Cleanser, $50, in Sephora stores
2. This creamy cleanser can remove your makeup, while gently cleansing your skin without stripping valuable oils. Camellia oil and Damask Rose Otto Oil combine to restore and rehydrate your skin. Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, $55.95
3. Treat hyperpigmentation, sun damage and uneven skin tone with this lightweight cream that uses Lemon probiotic and the antioxidant CoQ10 to exfoliate the skin, revealing smoother skin. Acure Radical Resurfacing Treatment, $44.95
4. This green lotion uses chemical exfoliants in the form of alpha hydroxy fruit acids (AHAs) to gently break down the glue that binds dead skin cells together and the physical exfoliant jojoba beads which removes the layer of dead cells, revealing softer and more glowy skin. Mukti 2-in-1 Resurfacing Exfoliant, $69.95
5. This high-tech powder is pure vitamin C, and can be mixed with your current moisturiser for an instant skin brightening pick-me-up. Continued use over time will fight sun damage, and restore skins luminosity. Skin Juice Juice C, $49
6. A lightweight gel uses vitamin C and Gotu Kola extract to moisture your skin and reduce the appearance of age and sun spots. Sanctum HY C Recovery Serum, $39.95
8. This lightweight cream moisturises the skin with hibiscus extract which is a natural peptide; green tea and Chlorella Vulgaris extract help prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin and restore elasticity. La Mav Hibiscus Extract Ultra-Lift Crème, $39.95
9. This eye serum easily spreads under or over makeup to refresh your eyes throughout the day. It contains chis seed oil to strengthen delicate skin under the eye, liquorice root extract to soothe irritation and redness, and caffeine to reduce puffiness. Trilogy CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate, $36.95
10. Antioxident Resveratrol Q10, Shea Butter, fruit stem cells and Argan Oil combine to create a lip balm that repairs and restores your lips. Andalou Naturals Argan + Mint Lip Remedy, $9.95
11. Target cellulite, uneven skintone and problem areas with this caffeine-packed body oil. Massage it into skin to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage. Mádara Sculpturing Oil, $46
12. This body oil is rich in jojoba oil and antioxidant pomegranate oil to hydrate your skin, improve dullness and promote elasticity, all in a handy spray bottle. Essano Certified Organic Body Oil, $27.99