Organic Aah: Organic Skin Care and Cosmetics for Better Health
Shannon Anderson, owner of the Maple Grove-based online skin care and cosmetic boutique Organic Aah, is passionate about helping people make the switch from traditional to organic body care products. Having changed her own health by adopting an organic skin care regimen, Anderson’s goal is to educate those who are new to organic products or are unsure where to begin making changes.
“There is a misconception that organic is extremely expensive, but it doesn’t have to be,” Anderson says. “I was a customer first, and I refuse to sell product that I do not believe in and wouldn’t use myself.”
Adopting an organic skin care routine is vital for improving people’s health at any age, Anderson says. “The average woman puts many chemicals on her body before she even walks out the door in the morning,” she explains. “It’s no wonder we have health issues.” Using a “small step” philosophy, Anderson helps customers understand the ingredients in the products they’re using. Customers can see the overall health benefit each product provides, and often develop a more cost-effective and enjoyable skin care routine.
For teenagers, or young people just developing their skin care regimen, Anderson recommends first switching to an organic face wash. “Most young people either start out with bar soap or something equally harsh, or they don’t wash their faces at all,” she says. “They just think it isn’t a big deal because they’re young, but it is a big deal.” Unlike harsh, chemical-based cleansers, an organic face wash gently cleans dirt from pores and helps balance teenagers’ natural oils, resulting in healthier skin tone and reduced breakouts.
For young women, specifically, organic mascara is the ideal first purchase for natural cosmetics. “One thing that’s popular right now is mascara that builds lashes or grows longer lashes,” Anderson says. “A high-quality, organic mascara is just as buildable as big box store brands and can help grow and boost eyelashes naturally and not have all those chemicals.” One of the mascaras sold through Organic Aah uses ingredients such as coffee bean extract for coloring, rice protein for lash building and sunflower oil for conditioning and strengthening lashes.
For young adults in their twenties and thirties, Anderson believes it’s important to take preventative skin care seriously and invest in organic moisturizers. “The most overlooked item in your twenties is your eye cream,” Anderson explains. “The skin under your eyes is thinner than the rest of your skin and one of the reasons you can get dark circles underneath is because the blood vessels begin showing through." In addition to eye cream, Anderson recommends using an aloe-based organic moisturizer or tinted moisturizer on a daily basis, and to get rid of any moisturizing product that lists alcohol as one of its ingredients.
Once people reach their forties and fifties Anderson often sees a hyper focus on moisturizing and an absence of exfoliation. Thinning skin can be sensitive to anything that feels abrasive, and aging skin is slower to recover from surface damage, but Anderson says exfoliating dead skin cells is the foundation to moisturizers’ effectiveness. She recommends first switching to a gentle, organic exfoliant. “Sugar-based exfoliation products can scratch skin because they’re rough,” Anderson says. “Organic Aah offers a bamboo facial polish, which is spherical so it doesn’t scratch your skin. It gives a healthy and fresh glow.”
Once skin has been exfoliated, Anderson says organic argan oil is a perfect moisturizer to use. “As we age, our skin is drier and women need more moisture,” she explains. “Argan oil is amazing. It is high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, and can be used on your face, skin and cuticles and in your hair to provide more moisture and prevent split ends.” Anderson says argan oil doesn’t leave a greasy residue and will keep skin looking youthful and soft. “Everybody should have a bottle, actually. It’s great for any age.”
In addition to selling skin care and cosmetics, Organic Aah offers one-on-one skin and makeup consultations, home or office-based spa parties and makeup demonstrations and makeup application for events such as weddings and graduation pictures. “I offer a lot of custom services and am open to working with customers on what help or direction they want Organic Aah to provide,” Anderson says. “Your skin is the largest organ in your body. If you can eliminate one chemical from being ingested through your skin, you can begin to change your life.”
Michelle Hamburger is a freelance writer for Natural Awakenings and can be reached at [email protected]