How can spa operators perk up their client loyalty through retail programs? We asked five experts.
The majority of us want to make healthier choices in the foods we eat and what we put on our skin. Buying a skin care line labelled organic or natural can be a good choice, however before you buy, it’s important to have more awareness about what organic and natural really mean when it comes to the skin care industry.
Many years of experience in the areas of product development, manufacturing and sourcing ingredients from around the world have taught me that there are many misconceptions out there about organic skin care products. First, it’s important to keep in mind that to call a product organic, not all ingredients have to be certified organic. Second, even if a product claims to be organic, the certification could just be referring to a few select ingredients in the formula sometimes used in a lower percentage. It is also important to note that even if a product is organic it can still have commonly used synthetics such as petrochemicals, sulfates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, fragrances, and colours. There are ways to actually “hide” the use of certain synthetics such as preservatives. Unfortunately, in the cosmetic and skin care industry, the labelling laws are still fairly slack when it comes to the authenticity of the claims made such as natural, organic, eco-friendly, and preservative-free , so it’s easy to get confused.
Rather than being focused on whether a product or its ingredients are organic, I feel it is more important to be sure that the product is safe. In natural and organic products, the more food-grade ingredients you use in the formula the more chances that there can be accelerated levels of bacteria, mold and yeast. It is important that the product is safe and stable. The other thing to look for is whether the organic product is free of commonly used synthetics and contains pure ingredients that are not over-processed. The truth is, if a raw ingredient (plant, herb or fruit) is taken and processed to extract its active components for use in a cosmetic formula, the pesticides in most cases are eliminated during the processing stage. Some raw ingredients grown and used for cosmetics and skin care have no pesticides to begin with.
My product line, for example, uses raw seaweed from northern British Columbia which is hand-harvested from ocean beds and grown by our harvesting partners. It is taken and cold-processed in its raw form with purified water, and then a small percentage of food-grade preservative is added. There are no pesticides or other synthetics involved before or after processing. The end result is more than 98 per cent raw cold-processed seaweed (the true definition of the word organic is an ingredient more than 95 per cent in its raw pure form).
Pure essential oils are another example. These are often processed using steam distillation which would eliminate anything other than the pure essence of the plant during the steam distillation process.
When it comes to skin care, the word organic has less to do with specific benefits to the skin and more to do with just letting you know what form the ingredient classified in the formula is in. In my opinion, it can also have a lot to do with marketing and growing revenues.
BUYING A SKIN CARE LINE LABELLED ORGANIC OR NATURAL CAN BE A GOOD CHOICE, HOWEVER BEFORE YOU BUY, IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE MORE AWARENESS ABOUT WHAT ORGANIC AND NATURAL REALLY MEAN WHEN IT COMES TO THE SKIN CARE INDUSTRY.