Choose Organic Skincare Over Natural?
I get asked all the time by customers why I think they should
buy skincare products which contain organic ingredients.
Is it really worth paying 2 or 3 times the price (at least)
for such a product?
Plain and simple, my answer is yes. And here are a number of reasons why I’m so passionate about using as many organic ingredients as possible:
- When you buy products which contain organic ingredients you can be sure you are seeing nature at its best and in its most natural form.
- When you buy a product that contains organic ingredients you can be sure that the farmer has been required to follow strict requirements and has been regulated to ensure he delivers only the highest quality plants that have grown in rich soil and not been treated with pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, or been genetically modified.
- You can also be sure that the plants used to make the skincare ingredients have not been polluted by air particles from pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified plants or other pollutants from neighbouring farms or factories, as organic farms have to be located within a safe distance from any air or soil pollutants that could contaminate them.
- Additionally organic ingredients do not undergo animal testing and are only subjected to a minimal amount of processing thus retaining as many natural benefits as possible. In contrast natural ingredients which have been subject to pesticides etc will need to undergo much more rigorous processing to make them safe for your skin; such processing will reduce the natural-occurring benefits of each ingredient.
- Most of the farmers and companies that grow organic ingredients tend to have a greater respect for nature and this respect for nature and the environment tends to be part of their company's broader philosophy e.g. they may be more conscious of their carbon footprint or may choose to use more environmentally-friendly packaging.
Why Are Organic Products So Much More Expensive?
Is it just because “organic” is a buzz-word and a growing
trend thus attracting inflated prices? Or are organic ingredients really that
more expensive to grow and produce?
When you consider the amount of work, care and additional
costs that go into growing organic ingredients, you’ll understand not only why
organic are much more expensive but why they’re the ingredient of choice for
those of us who aim to be sustainable, socially- and environmentally-supportive
Here are just a few:
- When a farmer doesn’t use pesticides, he needs to either work harder and longer or employ more staff in order to, for example, control weeds naturally, ensure the ground remains uncontaminated, and process the crop at differing times as it may ripen at different times.
- Because organic farmers cannot use cheap pesticides, they need to use natural fertilisers such as (organic) animal manure or (organic) compost. Such fertilisers are available in smaller quantities, are more expensive per kg, and cost more to ship. Also, because organic farmers cannot use pesticides to ensure their crop grows without attacks from insects etc, there is a much higher likelihood that an organic farmer will lose a crop to disease.
- Organic farmers need to use sophisticated crop rotation methods to ensure their soil remains healthy and uncontaminated. Such methods mean that a piece of land may not be used one season after the next as over-use could damage the soil. So crop rotation reduces the frequency in which organic farmers can grow profitable crops and it reduces the size of a crop that can be produced on the same size of land as a non-organic farmer. These two factors also lead to increased costs.
- When an organic crop is harvested it must be stored, shipped and processed separately from a non-organic crop to avoid cross-contamination. As there are less organic farmers and the crops they produce are smaller than the crops of non-organic farmers, the costs of shipping etc increase per kg.
- For a farmer to produce organic ingredients, he must first complete a long, intense and complicated certification process. Once he is certified he then needs to pay an annual fee to retain his organic certification.
- Organic crops take longer
to grow because organic farmers cannot use the chemicals used by other farmers
to encourage crop growth spurts. Time is money.
Aren’t All Simply Skin Products 100% Organic?
Whilst my preference would be that all ingredients used in Simply Skin products are organic, this is not possible. There are two reasons for this:
- Not all of the natural ingredients used in Simply Skin products are available as organic ingredients. Whilst more and more organic ingredients are becoming available and, as they do become available, I change from using natural to organic, not all natural ingredients are available in organic form. However, the majority of ingredients I use in my products are organic with only a few being non-organic.
- In order to ensure my
products remain 100% safe, where water (aqua) is in a product, there needs to
be a reliable and safe preservative system in place. The most natural
preservatives available are parabens. But I have chosen not to use parabens in
my products; not because they are dangerous and cold cause cancer (these claims
are not supported by scientific evidence) but because the scaremongering and
fears around parabens have, understandably, frightened many of my customers and
they prefer paraben-free skincare products. So a small amount of my ingredients
are synthetic. However, my priority is and always will be that my products are
as safe as is naturally possible.
There have been growing concerns raised by the media that
ingredients listed in a skincare product may be falsely claimed as organic. As
a manufacturer, the only way to confidently ensure that the ingredients in my
products are truly organic is to ensure they are certified organic at source.
The Soil Association, founded in 1946, is a leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soil Association Certification Limited, the largest organic certification body. As sourced directly from the Soil Association website, the Soil Association is founded on the following principles:
- The Principle of Health - Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal and human as one and indivisible.
- The Principle of Ecology - Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
- The Principle of Fairness - Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
Principle of Care - Organic agriculture should be
managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and
well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
All Simply Skin organic ingredients have been certified at
source by the Soil Association.