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Are you overwhelmed by the number of different beauty brands available? Follow our five top tips to make choosing easier.

The new generation of natural and organic skincare is changing the face of the beauty industry. Here’s how to pick the genuine products that will give your skin the nourishment and the protection it needs.

1. Certified organic

Buying organic is the best choice you can make for your skincare, hair and beauty routines. However, it is important to understand the difference between a product that is labelled ‘organic’ and one that is actually certified organic. Sadly, unscrupulous manufacturers can label a product as ‘organic’ when, in fact, it might only contain a tiny quantity of an organic ingredients.

Choosing organic skincare and make-up products which have been certified by an acknowledged certification organisation is the only way to guarantee that your purchase will not contain synthetic chemicals and preservatives, irradiated ingredients, or genetically modified organisms. Plus, when you use organic products, it means your skin is not overloaded with toxic ingredients, many of which may cause acne, blackheads and oily skin. Petrochemicals, mineral oils and silicones block pores and prevent the skin from breathing. No wonder so many people report an improvement in their skin’s appearance when they swap to organic products.

A certified organic product not only comes without harmful ingredients, it is also good for the environment because the certifying agency will have assessed how the manufacturer operates – for example, by looking at ingredient origin and production and farming methods. When choosing to buy organic, you are choosing a product that has been sustainably produced. Recognised and approved certification bodies include Australian Certified Organic (ACO), NASAA Certified Organic (NCO), Biodynamic Research Institute (BDRI), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), EU Organic Certification, Eco-Cert, and Quality Assurance International (QAI).

2. Sustainable packaging

Wasteful packaging is widespread in the conventional skincare and make-up industries, which are lavish with petroleum-derived cellophane, plastic blow-moulded inserts and unnecessary seals and stickers. Do your bit to keep our Earth clean and green, and remember every purchasing decision will make a difference, no matter how small. Natural and organic skincare brands excel in this area, having pioneered the use of sustainably-sourced packaging options like sugarcane-derived tubes, reusable ceramic spatulas and eye cream dispensers, recyclable glass jars. Along with plastic caps and lids, cardboard boxes and outers approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

3. Plant-based ingredients

A growing body of research and clinical trials supports the use of potent botanical ingredients in creating and maintaining healthy skin by supporting hydration and nourishment, as well as protecting the skin from environmental pollutants. Prime examples of these scientifically proven active ingredients include Rose of Jericho, a breakthrough botanical that has been shown to protect the skin from pollution by up to 90 per cent, along with maca root, grapeseed extract and caviar lime. You can find all of these ingredients in INIKA Organic’s new Phytofuse Renew skincare range which, just like their make-up products, is 100 per cent natural and certified to the world’s highest standards, including Certified Organic at a minimum of 70 per cent, Certified Halal, Certified Vegan and Certified Cruelty-free.

4. 100 per cent Halal

The word “Halal” is an Arabic term which means “permitted” or “acceptable”, according to Islamic law. For Muslim men and women, Halal certification is an assurance that the products they purchase and use are not made with alcohol or ingredients like gelatin and collagen, which may be extracted from animals like pigs.

5. Cruelty-free

The most important reason to choose cruelty-free skincare, haircare and make-up products is to prevent the death and suffering of the estimated half a million rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice that are used in cosmetic testing procedures every year. Choosing cruelty-free brands doesn’t just help animals by avoiding animal testing and the use of animal-derived ingredients. Cruelty-free brands usually contain safer, more natural ingredients in their formulas than brands that test on animals. Cruelty-free brands tend to care about the health of all living things, including you and our Earth as well as animals. It therefore follows that their products will not contain parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, carcinogens and other toxic ingredients. As with buying organic products, it is important to choose a brand which has been certified by an acknowledged body, such as Choose Cruelty-free. This ensures that not only has the product not been tested on any living creature, but that the suppliers of the product’s raw materials have also not been involved in animal testing.