Organic cosmetics: definition, effectiveness, and composition

The organic cosmetics topic has garnered much interest in recent years, and the clean beauty trend is not fleeting; it is becoming ingrained in consumer practices. More and more people are seeking to adopt a beauty routine that is natural and environmentally friendly. But what exactly is organic cosmetics? Are organic cosmetics truly effective? How can one identify genuine organic cosmetic brands?

What is Organic Cosmetics?

The definition of organic cosmetics is simple: it is a beauty product made from natural and organic ingredients. Specifically, organic cosmetics consist of ingredients cultivated without pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals to both health and the planet. Brands producing organic cosmetic products are also cruelty-free, meaning they do not test on animals.

For example, an organic cosmetic brand would not manufacture eco-friendly beauty products with the following three ingredients:

  • Phthalates: Found in conventional cosmetics, these are considered endocrine and metabolic disruptors. Phthalates have harmful effects on neurodevelopment, childhood asthma, type 2 diabetes, ADHD, juvenile obesity, and in adults, breast and uterine cancers, endometriosis, and infertility, according to the Prevention Observatory.
  • Parabens: Suspected of disrupting the endocrine system by mimicking certain hormones, activating estrogen receptors, causing health issues related to fertility, and the risk of hormone-dependent cancers (breast cancer).
  • Sulfates: Nitrates in sulfates are believed to be harmful to the body. Sulfates penetrate the skin, then the blood, and according to some ongoing studies, may cause damage to the liver.

Are Organic Cosmetics Effective?

A cosmetic product consists of 80% water and lipids, termed excipient. An active ingredient is a substance that has a specific action; it is the ingredient responsible for the effectiveness of the cosmetic product.To better understand the difference between organic and conventional beauty products, here’s a summary table of their differences and advantages.

Organic CosmeticsConventional Cosmetics
Active Ingredients

30 to 40%

1 to 5%

Skin Sensitivity

Natural ingredients for sensitive skin

Petrochemical allergenic and abrasive ingredients


Active (vegetable oils, floral water)

Excipient (water and lipids)


Rich in vitamins and nutrients

Lack of antioxidants or anti-inflammatory properties

Environmental Impact

Biodegradable and recyclable packaging

Negative impact on the environment

How to Choose Your First Organic Cosmetics?

A study by Greenflex – Ademe indicates that over 71% of the French population places great importance on product composition in their purchases. To meet this demand, many conventional brands are now offering products labeled as organic and natural without being certified.

If you are new to the world of organic cosmetics, it can be challenging to know where to start. Here are some tips to help you make your choice:

  • Read labels: Ensure that the products you purchase carry a recognized organic certification.
  • Scan the INCI list with decoding apps.
  • Do not rely on labels like “silicone-free” and self-labels like “natural,” which do not provide meaningful information about the composition; it’s simply a marketing term.

Natural Beauty Routine

Where to Buy Natural and Organic Cosmetics?

Organic cosmetic brands are now available in pharmacies and organic stores. However, the easiest way to transition to natural and organic cosmetics is to shop online. The European organic label, Ecogarantie, has certified over 60 brands of organic cosmetics and hygiene products since 2005, gaining consumers complete trust.

Are Organic Cosmetics Too Expensive?

Conventional beauty brands may seem less expensive because they use less noble ingredients, often serving as temporary fixes, such as silicones. The textures are fluid, gliding on the skin with pleasant fragrances that provide a sensory experience but may not precisely meet your needs. In contrast, certified organic beauty product brands have formulas containing real active ingredients.

If you are interested in organic cosmetics and have a limited budget, the ideal way to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle is to create your natural and organic skincare at home! This allows you to control the composition, test what suits your skin and hair, and personalize your beauty routine.

Here are some simple recipes to get started:

  • Homemade Lip Balm: Mix two tablespoons of beeswax, two tablespoons of coconut oil, and a teaspoon of honey. Melt the ingredients in a double boiler, then pour the mixture into empty tubes or pots. Let it cool before using.
  • Body Sugar Scrub: Mix a cup of brown sugar with half a cup of sweet almond oil and a teaspoon of vanilla. Use this scrub to gently exfoliate and moisturize your skin.


Feel free to explore specialized blogs like La Petite Gaby, a site dedicated to curly hair and natural cosmetics. You’ll find DIY recipes to care for your hair with environmentally friendly products.

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