Chemical-free cosmetics hit their stride

The skin is our largest organ, so it makes sense for customers to want to use products that are free from chemical nasties that go by equally nasty names. From parabens, diethanolamine or DEA, polyethylene glycol or PEG, and sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, or SLS and SLES, for starters.

But what about cosmetics? Considering that research has established that most of what is put on the skin is absorbed into the human body, and that the skin on the face is actually several times more permeable than the broader surface areas of the body, why shouldn’t customers also insist on chemical-free makeup?

Not surprisingly, savvy consumers are doing just that, and at an increasingly rapid rate. Which is why it makes good sense for retailers to stock at least one of the many natural cosmetic ranges now available.

Chemical-conscious consumers know that more and more brands are joining the clean, green makeup bandwagon, and they want to be able to choose from more than beeswax lip balms and beetroot-based blushers when they are striving to look their best, naturally.

How to recognise the real deal

Naturally Safe Cosmetics was founded in 2007 to provide a one-stop online shopping place for organic and green beauty products as well as personal and homecare products.

“Many mainstream cosmetics and beauty products are traditionally made from ingredients that are harsh and potentially toxic to humans and the environment,” Naturally Safe Cosmetics owner and director Angela Gross says.

However, Gross warns that businesses and consumers need to look further than claims on the packaging that promise ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ ingredients.

“The use of these terms is not regulated, so you need to check the ingredients list or look for independent organic certification,” she says.

Angela Gross, Owner and Director, Naturally Safe Cosmetics

Growing awareness

A relative newcomer to the natural cosmetics scene is Australian brand Dusty Girls, founded by natural skincare company MooGoo. Brand manager Gabby Ruiz says the demand for chemical-free cosmetics is growing steadily, and more and more products are becoming available in response to that.

“I think consumers are more aware of what they are putting on their faces,” Ruiz says. “They know the benefits of using the right natural ingredients in their food to fuel their bodies, and that has translated to skincare and now to make-up too.”

Are natural brands as good as conventional products?

Ruiz says that by opting for natural cosmetics, consumers are doing something good for their skin, instead of “just putting on a mask”.

And although hard-hitting chemicals that prolong the endurance of conventional cosmetics are not used in the Dusty Girls and other natural makeup ranges, she says that natural products go above and beyond when it comes to competing with their mainstream counterparts.

“We say to consumers, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean you have to compromise on coverage, colour and how it looks,” she says. “Plus, when it comes to cosmetics, it makes sense to find products with ingredients that are good for your skin.”
And if using healthy instead of harmful makeup is not enticement enough, Ruiz says the cost of many natural cosmetics is appealing to consumers too.

“They are actually very affordable, which is great because it means consumers are more likely to think, ‘that’s a good price, I will give that a try.’”

Gabby Ruiz, Brand Manager, Dusty Girl

Home-grown heroes

Other homegrown chemical-free cosmetics to look out for include:

  • Eye of Horus, based in Byron Bay, specialises in colour cosmetics and features a range of eye makeup based on an ancient Egyptian formula.
  • Ere Perez uses premium oils, plant extracts and minerals to create nourishing makeup “not tested on animals, just family and friends”.
  • Inika Organic is a multi-award-winning, cruelty-free and certified organic make-up brand designed to hydrate and nurture skin.
  • Kester Black creates vibrant nail polishes that are water permeable, breathable, “10 Free” and chip-resistant. The company also uses recyclable materials and small batch manufacturing to minimise wastage.
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