The first initiatives for creation of natural cosmetics came from environmentalists, as part of their efforts to reduce soil and groundwater pollution.
People in the developed world take a shower at least once a day. Can you imagine the amount of ‘chemicals’ that flows into the drain? And where does all this waste water end?
With the development and pressure to reduce the prices, foaming agents, cleansers and preservatives also developed. Through the eyes of a producer or a consumer they became more effective and their added value increased. However, at the same time they became more aggressive and thus environmentally unfriendly. This prepared the ground for the development of natural cosmetics, as the need arose for cosmetics that contain mild and environmentally friendlier ingredients. Of course, environmentally friendly ingredients are basically also human-friendly ingredients. But the original idea for natural cosmetics derived from the desire and the need to protect the environment.
Many people wonder what the difference between natural and organic cosmetics is. If we look at it through the eyes of available certificates for different types of cosmetics, natural and organic cosmetics differ in the fact that in the organic cosmetics, the required share of the content of natural raw materials is higher, the threshold of the share of the content of organic raw materials is prescribed, the criteria for the integration of certain synthetic raw materials is stricter and more restrictive. However the end user will in fact not notice the difference between natural and organic. Perhaps only in the smell of the product or perhaps in the reduced foaming effects in cleansing products. Organic products usually do not smell as fragrantly as natural ones, as they use fragrances that are mainly made out of natural essential oils & CO2 isolates.
The most noticeable difference in the eyes of the manufacturer or the end user is in the share of organic ingredients in the product. But not from the perspective of higher percentage of organic meaning a better product. No, the real added value is in indicating the extent of the manufacturer’s support of organic farming. Why is this important? Because farming is one of the biggest polluters of our planet. But humans need farming to get food and survive. However we do have a choice to use or not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. By choosing not to use pollutant ingredients, farmers do not get as much out of their land as conventional farmers do, production costs are higher because farmers need more workers, products do not look alike, shiny and of similar and perfect shape. They are less attractive and eye catching. All of that makes organic farming, and by that ingredients produced through organic farming, more expensive. It’s a lot of work just to look after soil quality (by versatile crop rotations and additions of organic material), to recycle nutrients, and to enhance and protect biodiversity. Is it worth all that?
In our eyes, yes, it is; and that is why we invest 20–30% of our resources in organically produced active ingredients. We believe it is our responsibility as a manufacturer of cosmetics to pollute as little as we can.
Someone might now be disappointed, and say that benefits of natural/organic cosmetics are only for the environment. No, there are great benefits also for humans. Although those benefits are measured from the perspective of which ingredients natural/organic cosmetic does not or should not contain, rather than what it contains. As there are no EC regulations, no official clear definition and restrictions about natural and organic cosmetics, this is still a grey area, allowing individual interpretations and claims. When can product be considered natural – when it contains 5, 10, 90% of natural ingredients? Find out more in my next blog.
Using natural or organic cosmetics is not just a matter of fashion or trend. It is a personal contribution of every user to reducing his/her share of environmental pollution. It is one of the steps that each individual should make to maintain our planet clean, green, safe and healthy for our successors.