As skincare quickly becomes the calling card of countless social media influencers, it’s important to know what constitutes an effective, safe routine. While everyone’s skin is different and you should spot test products before you use them, it may be best to ignore the marketing on the front of the bottles and head straight to the ingredient list.

Since there is very little regulation when it comes to what constitutes an organic self-care product, avoid purchasing anything without looking at the back label (via Elle). Once you look through the ingredient list, you can decide if the number of chemicals outweighs the marketing jargon on the front. However, the benefits of these organic ingredients can reach far beyond the verbiage. As natural beauty expert May Lindstrom told Elle, “Just like with food, organically grown ingredients often have higher nutrient levels, and are missing chemical residues that can irritate skin or potentially cause long term harm in the body.”

Organic skin care products often contain less artificial fragrances and ingredients that can cause breakouts or irritation. “Much of conventional skincare is filler and fluff and perfume and colorants,” Lindstrom added. So, if you’re looking for a cleaner, less-fragrant option, organic may be worth the price.

Focus less on the label and more on the quality

Your skin is your largest organ and everything that you put on it impacts your system (via Healthline). If you think about it from this perspective, you’ll recognize that you’re technically ingesting what you rub on your face, so you’ll want these ingredients to be extremely high-quality. Lindstrom noted, “Your skin absorbs whatever you put on it, so I follow the same philosophy for skincare as I would in my diet. There is simply no place for pesticides or unnecessary synthetics” (via Elle). 

When it comes to your health, prioritize quality over the words on the label. If you can’t pronounce half of the ingredients in your cleanser, it may be time to look at other, more natural options. Even if going fully organic isn’t for you, start by steering clear of known offenders like parabens and sulfates. These highly irritative substances can wreak havoc on sensitive skin and may be difficult for your body to absorb (via The Guardian). 

However, it’s virtually impossible to avoid all chemicals completely, so as a general rule, use the highest quality products that work for your skin and steer clear of parabens and sulfates. If you’re looking to pursue the fully clean route, continue to check the ingredient list and experiment to find what works best with your skin. 

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