Green beauty at Orgánachs

It’s no secret that Siobhan McKinley believes in green beauty.

The owner of Orgánachs Farm to Skin, an organic skin care and cosmetics boutique in Westport, sells — and uses — all-natural products exclusively, from hair care to makeup, bath and body lotions, essential oils, nail polish and even faux eyelashes.

But in addition to being a business owner, McKinley considers herself an educator.

She says she’s the owner of the only green beauty store in Connecticut, so she feels a responsibility to teach others about the importance of going green. 

“Our skin cells recognize the natural and organic ingredients more readily than chemicals and synthetics,” she says. “From my personal experience, organic skin care has dramatically improved the texture, appearance and firmness of my skin.”

For McKinley, green beauty started as a topic of interest that snowballed into a business. While researching the skin care industry for personal knowledge, she became alarmed with her findings and immediately felt compelled to find alternatives.

“I was living as organically as possible,” she says. “So I began searching for healthier alternatives for skin care, as I did not want to continue applying chemical-laden products on my body and on my children’s bodies.”

McKinley traces her roots to Ireland, where she began researching and testing domestic brands. She later extended her search to the rest of Europe, due to the overall stricter skincare laws and regulations on the Continent, she says.

“What I noticed is that the brands I became interested in had high-efficacy standards, in terms of where the ingredients are sourced, how they are sourced, their impact on the environment, the extraction process used and the noticeable effects on the skin,” McKinley says.

Unable to find these products locally, she decided to offer them herself.

Orgánachs Farm to Skin, which recently celebrated one year in business, boasts a carefully curated selection of more than 25 brands — including Josh Rosebrook, Ursa Major, Uma and Kjaer Weis — which have been worn by such celebrities as Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gisele Bündchen.

“I’m very strict with what I allow in,” she says. “I strictly vet everything so there’s absolutely no chemicals and toxins, such as phthalates, parabens, SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) and phenoxyethanol.” 

In addition to skin care and cosmetic products, Orgánachs Farm to Skin offers facials, as well as in-store and on-site professional makeup applications. The specialty facials use VOYA, an Irish skincare product created from wild seaweed blended with organic ingredients, and Dr. Alkaitis, natural skincare created from organic, biodynamic or wild-crafted herbs, plants, seeds, sea vegetables and oils. The store’s bespoke facial uses de Mamiel Skincare, which is handcrafted using the ancient principles of Chinese medicine. 

A little goes a long way in terms of organic beauty, McKinley says. And for those unsure of where so start, she suggests beginning with your most-used product. 

“I always recommend that if you can begin swapping out the one product you use the most with an organic product, then that’s a good start,” she says. “Whether it’s a cleanser or moisturizer or both, but start simple…”

And if you’re still unsure, McKinley will be happy to assist. 

 “I’ll tell you one thing,” she says, with a smile. “Once you go organic, you’ll never go back.”

Orgánachs Farm to Skin is at 15 Post Road West in Westport. For more, visit organachsfarmtoskin.com.

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