Credit: Ogee /

Without a doubt, one of the most positive beauty trends in the past few years has been the mainstream pull towards the merits of organic beauty and skin care products, a message that green beauty lovers have been preaching for years. While the concept of natural and organic beauty products sounds pleasant to most of us, there comes a point where many of us feel confused about what these words even mean.

In order to get the real inside scoop on what it means to be organic skin care, HelloGiggles chatted with Abbott Stark, the co-founder of Ogee about what it means to be truly organic. He said one of the keys way to find out if a brand is legit, is by checking if they’re organic certified, and not merely using the word organic. Abbott explained:

In his email to HelloGiggles, Abbott went on to explain what exactly is required to meet the NSF organic standard,

For Ogee in particular, a lot of their products feature the all-star ingredient Jojoba oil, which, according to Abbott, has been raved about in various studies,

For newcomers to organic skin care, and more specifically the Ogee brand, Abbott recommends the Sculpted Lip Oil, which has peppermint for plumping properties with the moisturizing goodness of jojoba.

Another one of our favorite organic skin care brands is Nourish Organic, who have a full-fledged line up of USDA certified organic products. They stand out even more then some brands because of their products are not only organic, but also vegan and cruelty free.

Their site shares,

For those feeling confused about the differences between vegan, natural, organic and cruelty-free, this is the breakdown.

Natural products don’t use synthetic ingredients; organic products are required to fulfill certified organic standards (as stated above); cruelty-free products aren’t tested on animals; and vegan skin care is free of animal products.

While it seems like all of these would overlap (and they often do), in most cases, products aren’t all of these at once.

However, the connection between organic skin care and general goodwill towards the environment does tend to run strong. The brand Promise Organic (which is both organic and natural) donates 1% of their profit to the Nature Conservancy. So you can feel ethical in a few ways when you purchase their Coconut Milk Hand Creme. Balanced Guru is another certified organic beauty brand that supports non-profit groups like Terrawatu and Connected Warriors.

Certainly, in the last few years more new brands have formed and jumped on the organic skin care train. But cult classics such as Dr. Bronner’s have been playing the game long before it was popular in the mainstream. The brand was first started in 1948 and has touted impressively progressive values for decades, with all of their products certified organic and cruelty-free, and everything except their lip balm is certified vegan (there is beeswax in the lip balm).

Dr. Bronner’s is also also certified fair trade, so the mildly spiritual labels about loving the earth and other human beings truly represent the company.

Beyond the comfort of knowing organic skin care is free of GMOs, held to a higher standard, and in many cases better for the environment, there are also just a lot of really beautiful and effective products.

One of our favorites is the Nourishing Orange Flower Night Creme from Neal’s Yard Remedies, which is a certified organic and vegan night creme that will make your skin feel like a soft baby flower. It combines the properties of neroli oil with orange blossoms, rosehip, sea buckthorn and pomegranate to treat your skin to nature’s decadent nourishment.

One thing we’ve learned is, besides being held to higher certification standards, organic skin care has a lot of truly exquisite options.