In 2012, the term organic in cosmetics is no longer synonymous with “granola” or barely-there shades—it’s all about luxurious, pigment-packed formulas that perform, naturally
By now we know that organic goods from markets are grown sans pesticides and usually come at a slightly higher premium. It makes sense because we’re eating them, but organic beauty can be a bit of a harder sell. “Throughout her lifetime, a woman is believed to eat about one liter of lipstick,” says Danish-born, NYC-based makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis. That alarming stat definitely wakes us up to the necessity of making that product, at the very least, more natural, and far less chemical.
But when it comes to skincare, hair and makeup formulas that deem themselves organic, what really is the difference? According to Kjaer Weis, for one, “It is ingredients in their purest forms. And all the ingredients when possible come from organic fields and harvests, so they’re as clean and untouched as possible.” The founder of the organic, high-performance, luxury (and refillable!) cosmetics brand Kjaer Weis was first turned onto the concept of her line through her day-to-day work. “I had too many women sitting in my makeup chair with skin breakouts and rashes from allergic reactions to regular makeup,” she says. “To me that was the short-term effect, while the long-term effect from a lifelong use of artificial ingredients on your skin [has to do with] the health of your body as it gets absorbed into your system.”
When it comes to the actual formulations, Kjaer Weis says for her organic formulas “all ingredients are natural—different oils, butters and waxes combined with natural mineral colors and fragrance. [There’s] nothing artificial.” While it may be ideal that women switch over to all organic—Kjaer Weis says with her regimen her skin “looks a lot more alive and glowing”—most people, of course, can’t or don’t want to make that seismic shift. If you’re looking to transition gradually, Kjaer Weis suggests starting with any problem areas you notice. For instance, if you have dry cheeks, try an organic blush; if your lips are sensitive or lacking hydration, try her beeswax-based Lip Tint. “As with anything, any step toward supporting better health is one step better than none.”
Kjaer Weis is a firm believer that anyone who tries organic cosmetics will feel the difference, and fortunately the number of brands making organic their mission (like Josie Maran and Physicians Formula, for example) is increasing. “Nobody is going to care that [a product] contains gorgeous ingredients if it doesn’t perform—and rightfully so. It can be done; however, it takes time to develop the perfect finish.”