The lowdown on all-natural products

Natural & Organic Jan 2015 Also on Digital Edition

Mally Steves Chakola, founder of M. Steves, an all-natural, anti-aging skincare line, breaks down what we should know when buying organic and all-natural beauty products.

1 I’m a huge believer in oils, and you’ll find them in many natural beauty products. When choosing an oil, look for a cold-pressed formula. Cold-pressed oils haven’t been exposed to high levels of heat or chemicals during extraction that can degrade the natural properties of oil, so you know you’re getting maximized benefits from a cold-pressed formula.

2 I love aloe vera in my natural beauty products, and I choose products that contain inner leaf aloe gel often labeled as aloe barbadensis leaf extract. This clear gel inside the aloe vera plant has not been dehydrated and has been preserved in its best form. It’s packed with anti-inflammatories that have made aloe a popular topical skin healer.

3 Mineral makeup is the go-to product for many women who love natural products, but many contain fillers like talc. Talc can be very heavy on the skin and clog pores, and it may not be good for your health either. I also recommend women stay away from rough brushes, which can be irritating to skin.

4 All natural or 100 percent natural products often lack preservatives and while I avoid using preservatives like parabens, I am weary of products without adequate preservatives. Without any preservatives, natural beauty products tend to degrade faster so you end up putting a spoiled ingredient on your skin, which can lead to break outs and inflammation. I look for natural with some small amount of preservatives for efficacy and stability and stay away from purchasing natural products that sit outside in the heat from places like farmers markets.

5 Organic doesn’t necessarily mean high quality ingredients in beauty products. Many organic products still contain cheap fillers like glycerin or talc, and they may not be 100 percent organic, but only contain some organic ingredients. Read the label to see what quality ingredients are being used in the product and if all the ingredients are certified organic.