You’re thinking that natural and organic cosmetics may be better for you, but you want to ease into using them. So what can you do?

By Jenny Jin
Kate Mathis

Using natural and organic cosmetics doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing affair. Even small steps can lead to happy results.

  • “If you would like to keep as many of your conventionally formulated favorites in your routine as possible but still minimize your exposure to synthetics, body lotion is the best switch to make,” says Jody Villecco, the global quality-standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market. Lotion covers the largest percentage of your skin compared with other cosmetics, and you leave it on all day instead of washing it off. Since there are many botanical ingredients that hydrate efficiently, you can bet that natural or organic body lotions will be as effective as your old standby.

  • Just because ingredients are natural or organic doesn’t mean that they won’t irritate skin. Many are derived from plants that can trigger allergies, like lemongrass and thyme. “You can test any new product on a patch of skin before slathering it on,” says Spirit Demerson, the founder of Spirit Beauty Lounge, an online organic-beauty retailer.

  • While conventional skin creams often have comparable green counterparts, the strongest antiperspirants still require chemicals that are no-nos in the eco-realm. So “consider a seasonal switch,” says Villecco. Natural deodorants can be good for the colder months, when you don’t sweat as much.

  • A product that doesn’t boast a seal may still be natural or organic. The certification process can be costly, especially for small companies that may need to cover start-up expenses, so some choose not to undergo it.