Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that I may make a commission (usually between 5%-15%), at no further cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase. This does not, in any way, change or influence how much I care for the organisations, brands, and companies listed. As always, my thoughts and opinions on organic self-care are my own and this does not affect you or any of your purchases in any way.
I’ve come a long way in the past decade on my journey towards organic skincare and self-care. If I could, I’d go back and stop my teenage self from purchasing those affordable yet toxic mascaras from my local supermarket, or slathering fragrance, PEG, dimethicone, and paraben infused foundation on my face.
If you’re anywhere close in your journey to where I was as a teenager, I want you to know that alternatives exist.
More importantly, I want you to know that alternatives exist because the mainstream beauty industry is toxic af (mentally, emotionally, and physically). The reason alternatives exist is because there are people/brands out there working against the current so that we all can continue to perform our beauty and care rituals without quite literally poisoning ourselves.
Note: Major kudos if you’re a brand educating and healing simply through your work. Your work is so important and needed.
WHAT ARE ORGANIC PRODUCTS?
Organic products are products made from mostly natural and non-toxic ingredients, without the use of pesticides or harmful chemicals.
I feel like it’s important to note, at this point, that not all natural ingredients are good for you, and not all synthetic ingredients are bad for you. It’d be easier if natural=good and synthetic=bad but that simply isn’t the case. That’s why it’s super important to start getting to know individual ingredients and how they can help or harm.
In Australia, there is a voluntary standard which covers ‘organic’ claims for products, meaning that brands aren’t required to strictly comply with it. As strict compliance with the standard isn’t required from brands, it is possible for brands to make misleading claims about the ‘organic’ nature of their products. Take GAIA Skin Naturals for example, who paid $37K in penalties in 2018 for making alleged misleading claims about their products for babies.
So, as consumers, we have two options here:
- Know what ingredients to look out for and be willing to research the brand to see if the product really is safe to use
- Use certified organic products
I do both because I know that some smaller brands, who really are making safe and effective products, can’t afford certification yet, and because I also know of some awesome certified organic self-care products.
There are 6 certifying bodies in Australia. I’d say that Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and NASAA Certified Organic (NCO) are the two big ones to trust. Look out for their seals as a tick of organic approval on products:
If you’re curious, here are NASAA’s principles for certifying cosmetics as organic:
In short, products can be ‘NASAA approved’ if they contain between 70% to 95% organic ingredients. Products are only labelled NASAA Certified Organic if they contain 95%+ organic ingredients. The full NASAA Organic & Biodynamic Standard can be read here.
Similarly, ACO certifies cosmetic products according to the European COSMetics Organic and Natural Standard (COSMOS). The COSMOS Standard outlines that a product must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients, along with other requirements.
Please remember that while organic certifications are awesome, they don’t generally certify that a product is vegan or cruelty-free, or supports regenerative agriculture or Fairtrade, or is made sustainably from seed to sale. These standards have separate certifications.
MY ORGANIC SELF-CARE JOURNEY
In my late teens, I was curious about the alternatives – having noticed my mum use Sukin for my entire life, my dad use nothing but witch hazel and crystal deodorant (thank you to my parents for being awesome examples), and hearing my sister rave on and on about Pamper by Nature and A Bit Hippy.
However, it wasn’t until I started experiencing unusual cognitive symptoms related to toxicity that I sat down and re-evaluated what I was putting in my body (food), on my body (products), and around my body (people).
Clearing out the toxins and making the switch to a cleaner life was definitely made easier by a supportive family who had basically already done the groundwork. Plus, making more conscious choices has also only gotten easier with time, especially as the world starts to experience more small lightbulb moments.
However, in a world where toxic is still the mainstream, I understand how making small changes can be really hard. It helps to have guidance by people who have done the trialling and testing so you can save time and money. It helps to know where to start, why to start, and what to look for.
So, I thought I’d begin by sharing the brands that I love and that I have or have had in my home, as well as my official list of my favourite product per self-care category.
HOLISTIC SELF-CARE BRANDS
Organic self-care and/or holistic wellness brands I love and who pay me when you guys click these links:
Organic self-care online marketplaces I love:
My top recommendations per product*
*As of July 2020. As every human should, I reserve the right to change my mind. Not everything is certified organic on this list, but it is all-natural or a more earth-friendly option. If it’s not on this list, I either don’t use it or make it myself.
Shampoo + Conditioner – Ethique / EverEscents
Dry shampoo – Black Chicken Remedies
Hairbrush – Net Zero Co / Zerocare
Toothbrushes + Floss – My Humble Earth (you can get 15% off with ‘MOLLY’)
Toothpaste – Nelson Naturals / Georganics / Grants
Cleanser/Exfoliator/Toner/Moisturiser/Serums – Mukti Organics / Happy Skincare
Jojoba Oil – The Jojoba Company
Sunscreen – SunButter
Makeup Remover pads – Net Zero Co / Earth’s Tribe
Perfume/Cologne – Both Glenn and I love One Seed scents
Nail Polish – Sienna Byron Bay
Body Moisturiser – Weleda
Razor – Kappi (you can get 10% off with ‘MOLLY10’)
Face masks – Happy Skincare / Mukti Organics / Yellow Beauty
Soap – the ANSC / Dr Bronner’s
Deodorant – nuud / Woohoo! Body
Essential Oils – Tinderbox / Young Living
Condoms – Jonny but also Moments if you’re looking for more of a selection
Menstrual Cup – Juju
Period Undies – Modibodi (I’m yet to try others!)
Organic tampons – TOM organic / TSUNO
While I’d recommend using reusable period products first (#endperiodplastic), I get that it’s not always feasible or affordable in the short term (long term, reusables will save you money!). If you’re looking to stick with disposables for a while longer, please choose organic if you have the option.
Foundation (liquid) – Zuii Organic / Inika
Foundation (powder) – Eco Minerals / Nude by Nature / Inika
Concealer – Eco Minerals
Highlighter – Elate Cosmetics
Brow gel – Elate Cosmetics (Tip! Because I get soooo many comments on my eyebrows. I mix a drop of jojoba oil with my brow gel, paint them on lightly with a small makeup brush, darker in the middle and ends and faded towards the centre of my brow, and then comb them through with a spoolie. Perfection).
Eye shadow – Elate Cosmetics / Eye of Horus
Blush – Nude by Nature
Finishing powder – Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
Mascara – Dirty Hippie Cosmetics / Zuii Organic / Inika
Eyeliner – Inika (Pencil), Inika (Liquid)
Lipstick – NEEK / Zuii Organic
Lip Balm – Hurraw! / Black Chicken Remedies / Happy Skincare
Makeup brushes – Nude by Nature / Inika
Makeup palette – Elate Cosmetics
Supplements – VITUS
Prebiotics + Probiotics – The Beauty Chef
Superfood Powders – Power Super Foods
Tea – Yogi Tea (you can get 5% off with ‘MOL6757’) / Kakadu Plum Co
Ethical Coffee – The Co.Lab Coffee
Medicinal Mushroom Coffee – Four Sigmatic
Medicinal Mushroom Hot Chocolate – Loco Love
REDUCING PLASTIC IN YOUR CARE ROUTINES
You might have noticed that a few of my favourite products come in plastic, which isn’t very environmentally friendly. One of my goals is to reduce and eventually remove plastic in my care routines. There are some great brands that are helping me get there, such as Dirty Hippie Cosmetics and Elate, but I’ve still got a long way to go. If you have any tips, do leave them in the comments.
One of the most efficient ways for me to reduce plastic right now, is to make products myself. In DIYs, I’ll usually use ingredients bought from bulk stores and essential oils.
I hope to share some of my DIY recipes and tips in the future!
FINAL TIPS ON SWITCHING TO ORGANIC SELF-CARE
- Set an afternoon (or full day) to take stock of what you have.
- Split your self-care items into two piles: what you plan to use up and what you plan to throw “away”.
- Get rid of your “away” pile responsibly. Cosmetic containers usually can’t be recycled in your regular recycling bin, so see if a local independent recycling facility can take them for you or recycle with Flora & Fauna for a $10 voucher.
- Research and write a list of ingredients you want to avoid (I keep this in my phone for quick access).
- Only buy a new self-care product when you need it.
- When you need something new, research brands (feel free to use the list above to get started), their values, their certifications, and what products would work best for you.
- Take note of your purpose for switching to organic self-care. When a day comes where choosing organic seems hard, what will make you go for the organic option? It is your health, the health of the planet, or knowing that you’re supporting an awesome brand?
- Consider your mindset around care and beauty. Do you need to dismantle some dangerous or inaccurate ideas taught to you about health, wellness, and beauty? Do you need to reconnect with the way your body feels instead of just how it looks?
Above all, ask yourself: “What does working on my self-care in a holistic way look like to me?”. Does it mean starting from within? Does it mean doing a little bit every day to keep your mind, body and soul in harmony and balance?
I really believe that making more conscious choices, no matter what we’re choosing, starts with our thoughts and our values. Stay informed, find what sits well with you, and nourish yourself in all ways possible – hopefully with a little help from some plant power.
Care for that temple,