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The issue of organic vs non organic, or natural vs synthetic, has never been a huge issue for me as a consumer.
As a student I always chose the cheapest stuff, especially in terms of food, and if I had the luxury of buying make up, it was always the neon pink lipstick, rather than the ethical, natural brand.
As I've got older and become a mother, I've been much keener to try and eat and use products that are not packed with chemicals. I try to buy organic milk and meat, but sometimes struggle to justify the cost difference, so often I only buy
it for my daughter. She is also lucky enough to bathe in gorgeously organic bubbles, free from parabens and other nasties. I, however, like stuff that smells good, whatever is in it....
In the last few years, sales of organic food have fallen dramatically, for a multitude f reasons. The obvious one is financial, given the tough economic climate, which is very easy to understand. I know my husband fails to believe organic stuff is better for you (controversial I know, but as a biochemist, his opinions are aired very loudly and confidently, which makes arguing about the hollistic benefits of Fifi's organic lavender shampoo a challenge). However, sales of natural beauty products are growing significantly faster than their non-natural counterparts, boosted by companies such as L'oreal and Estée Lauder acquiring and developing smaller, natural companies (Origins, Sanoflor, Body Shop).
I have been trying out some natural products, mainly because it's fun to try new things, but also to see if they actually work. So far I have been ridiculously impressed, Oskia are current faces, with the most nourishing and gentle skin are products I have ever used. I also highly rate Aveda products, their Damage Remedy range rivals my Kerastase staples that I can't live without. The science behind natural beauty products really makes me question a lot of the stuff I use, with parabens imitating oestrogen (and upsetting hormone balances) SLS (the stuff that makes things bubbly) containing known carcinogens and PEGs causing dreadful skin allergies and containing toxins. I struggle to find a single product that isn't branded as being natural that isn't full of these chemicals, and a whole lot more. Being pregnant, I think the time has come to start reading labels and understanding what goes into my body.
As well as actual products, there are lots of wonderful treatments, which utilise this world of gentle, plant based products. I was lucky enough to have an Aveda Pregnancy Massage at Gina Conway on the Fulham Road this week, which was utter bliss. Using natural, plant based massage oils, my tense shoulders and lower back were massaged into heavenly submission, while I floated away on a bed of pillows. As a new convert to the world of natural beauty, I was pleasantly surprised at how soothed and relaxed I felt afterwards.
This is a great way to try out a natural brand. Gina Conway also offer a full menu of beauty treatments and hairdressing, all using this great brand. Oskia have recently opened a treatment centre in London (definitely next on my list of places to try!). www.ginaconway.co.uk, 0207 731 7633. treatments start from £43 for a Fusion Massage