The once small world of organically produced beauty products is now one of the biggest growth markets for consumer products in the UK. In 2006 there were just 73 beauty products made out of natural ingredients on the UK market; just a year later approximately 200 natural beauty products have been added to that. That is a 200 % increase, which indicates the companies’ belief in the marketplace.
Worldwide, this sector is also booming. Australia is home to several producers of organic beauty products and cosmetics for women. Tea tree is a wonderful natural ingredient and healing herb that lends itself well to many applications, including moisturisers and cleansers.
The well-established beauty companies have also realised the potential of this market, and have started producing their own range of products, produced organically. These companies have wealth and power to put into marketing their products, but don’t forget the small companies and their products – often these smaller producers get overlooked.
Organic Cosmetics: Ethics and Packaging
As well as being made of natural products, which don’t have long-term harmful effects upon the body and the environment (in its manufacturing process and in its disposal), consumers should take care that the packaging of the product they are choosing can be recycled as well. Many products that use plastic bottles can be recycled – check with the instructions on the product, and with the Local council’s recycling programme.
Also it is worth looking on the packaging of the products to see if the company has used fairtrade ingredients (as well as organic), which give producers in developing countries a fair price for the goods they grow and trade. This is important because part of the ethos of an organic lifestyle is that as well as being grown organically, any use of or trading of the ingredients should be done non-exploitatively, to both humans and animals, as well as the environment.
Some of the bigger beauty products companies have reputations for animal testing, and it is important that as they step into the organic products market, this practice is stopped once and for all. Consumer power ultimately controls all production and marketing decisions, and particularly in the world of organics, which is led by health and ethical concerns.
Choosing Organic Beauty Products
There is now such a range of organically produced beauty products,it can seem confusing as to which ones to try. There are a number of websites which ‘road test’ organic beauty products, which are well worth reading.
If a consumer is planning to switch from a regular non-organic brand, then often it is a good idea to ask friends who also use organic products, as well as doing some Internet research. In most stores that sell organic products and particularly beauty products, there will normally be a knowledgeable member of staff who will have tested them and can give advice. In many of the bigger pharmacies, staff are often on hand to help customers browse the range of organic products, and help apply the lipsticks and makeup. Take advice and ask questions. Be aware they may be promoting particular brands.
Once a consumer has found a brand of organic product they are happy with, its possible to browse online some of the many green and eco shops, buy in bulk, perhaps get some discounts and loyalty club perks, such as free samples, and get the beauty products delivered to the door.