Can you guess what the #1 question is that I get asked all the time?
Let me give you a hint.....
......if you were to meet me, what would be the first question (in relation to my products) that would pop into your head?
I guarantee that 9 out of 10 of you will think of the same question.
And it would be:
Are your products 100% natural?
We are becoming more and more conscious of the food we put in our stomachs and of the products we put on our skin, so this is a perfectly plausible question to be asking.
And what answer are you expecting me to give you?
I find that most people who ask this question feel they don't even have to wait for my answer. Because I hand-make my products, because 100% natural is the expectation of customers, and because so many cosmetic manufacturers are professing that their products are 100% natural, people expect me to answer "Yes".
Do you also think that's my answer?
What's your gutt saying to you right now?
Hmmmmm.... I reckon you're thinking "Yes" but also wondering if this is a trick question. Am I right? I thought so.
The confusion you're feeling right now..... that's perfectly natural. You're starting to wonder what answer I'm about to give you, aren't you? And what does that mean? It means you're starting to question your question.
Yep - that's right - you're starting to question your question.
And that's a good thing.
See that wee lemming in the cartoon with the parachute?
That lemming is how I see myself and Simply Skin.
Just because other cosmetic companies profess or imply (yep - there's a lot of very clever marketing out there, folks!) that they're 100% natural, doesn't mean I want to follow suit and just be one of the crowd.
My customers are way too important to me.
I want to wear my parachute and I want my customers to wear a parachute also.
Well - that's a very easy question to anwer: I want my customers to be safe.
So go on - ask me that question.
Ask me the #1 question that I get asked all the time:
Are your products 100% natural?
And my answer would be? (I think you probably know by now): "Not always. But they are safe"
Whilst I would love to only produce products that are 100% natural, it is much more important to me that I produce products that are safe for you, my customers. Does that make sense?
Here are a couple of things I think you should know:
- Any cosmetic which lists "aqua" (ie water) in its ingredients label, must have a preservative in it unless you refrigerate it and use it within 2 weeks (max) following production date. Now there are a whole variety of preservatives available (too many to mention here) and one such family is the paraben family (eg methylparaben, butylparaben.... basically anything ending in 'paraben'). These preservatives are currently considered controversial so I have decided not to use them in my products containing aqua (water). But this does not mean they are or are not safe..... the jury is still out. But I have chosen to play on the cautious, safe side.
- If a manufacturer / shop assistant tells you that citrus essential oils are being used as a preservative, ask them: "Can you 100% guarantee my safety when I use that product?" (and think carefully about their response). You see citrus essential oils can fight off bacteria in water. In fact they can fight off approximately 75% (maybe a bit more) of the bacteria..... but what about the rest? You can't see them.... but does that mean they're not there? Of course not.
- Be cautious when told "We don't use preservatives because they are toxic". Did you know that preservatives only need to be used at 1% in cosmetic products? If you greatly exceed this amount then, yes, the preservative being used may become toxic but so can essential oils, for example, if they are used in excess (and they're natural). And bear in mind that, for products made within the EU, the cosmetic law is really stringent and strict.
- Be careful if buying products from a small-scale manufacturer (such as Simply Skin). Just like large manufacturers in the EU, small manufacturers (this includes anyone who sells their cosmetic products at markets etc) must have a current up-to-date Safety Assessment (or Cosmetic Product Safety Report) which has been provided by a qualified safety assessor (usually a professional Chemist) in line with the Cosmetics Products Regulations 1223/2009 as this regulates the use of ingredients with the aim of looking after your (the customer) safety. Just ask them if they have a saftey assessment covering all their products. It shouldn't be a difficult question to answer. (Ps Incase you're wondering - Simply Skin has a current Cosmetic Product Safety Report)
If you have any questions you want to raise following this post or any issues that may have just popped into your head, add a comment below and I'll get back to you.