Before I started making skin care products I was a label reader. I couldn’t pick up a product without immediately turning it around to see what was in it. I was highly critical too!! I would be constantly wondering, ” why have you used that ingredient – I wouldn’t!!” I didn’t appreciate the science behind the formulation. There are still some products I feel that way about, but I now understand the complexities of making a product so that it’s of Natural/Organic origin and does what it’s meant to do for the skin, as well as being safe and not falling apart after a short time.
When I first embarked on making my own skin care products I had the most basic of ingredients to work with. The first cleanser I made was with 2 natural ingredients! It was great for a little while until it started to separate and it wasn’t brilliant as far as my skin type was concerned. It was good for a first try, but I needed to do some more experimentation to get the results I wanted for my skin. This required much research of ingredients and testing small batches.
The first batch of moisturiser I made was Brilliant!! I was so excited!! When I went to make it a second time I hadn’t recorded the measurements properly (as a good scientist should) so it was different and didn’t hold together properly! From then on I have always recorded any measurements that have been changed from the original to make sure I can recreate the same formula each time. The process I went through was a scientific one.
I feel as though people see scientists as people who are not really concerned with the health of the human being and the planet, & that Organic, Eco conscious don’t mix with science.
I believe there is a new generation of scientists who are deeply concerned with the health and well-being of the human being and also the planet. That is why we are seeing so many organic skin care brands coming on the market.
I asked Amanda Foxon-hill who is a professional Cosmetic Chemist to give me her comment on this subject. Here’s what she had to say:
There is a huge misconception of what science is in the world of cosmetic creation and indeed in the wider world. Science is just a way of thinking, of organising ones curiosity into a series of steps that might lead somewhere. Science is creative, it's intuitive, it's fun and it involves all of the senses.
A scientific approach allows you to reproduce your findings, to understand how your product works and more importantly to have some control over that.
I have written a few blogs on science as a way of thinking and also about not calling me guru (or anyone) as the main thing that science needs is an open mind and an appetite for exploration. Thinking you are right and I'll show you is not going to get you anywhere...... I sometimes think that the general public think that scientists are arrogant, are socially awkward and feel they are superior and always right. That isn't what great science is about.
In terms of ingredients it is science that enables us to captures the essence of a flower and turn it into an essential oil.
Have you ever tried distilling oils? I have and it isn't that easy. Yes, once you have the right equipment you can get somewhere but without an appreciation of the role of timing, temperature, plant biology, ratio of botanic to water etc you haven't got a business, your product will be far too wide a specification and your customers will not want to pay.
Essential oils require more than just a squeeze of a leaf.
And what about aloe vera gel. Yes you can squeeze it from a leaf. I do that, I have some. However, the plant gel is often tainted green due to the presence of Aloin. Aloin is highly irritating and carcinogenic. It isn't the kind of ingredient you want in your skin care. Creating aloe gel from aloe requires a scientific knowledge of the plant chemistry, management of micro issues and an appreciation for how the ingredient might be stored and used.
From where I sit I see many people move from making their own products to making for friends and family then onto markets then onto the world (if they can). This is awesome to watch when it goes well but I am frequently met by frustration from clients as the scale-up batch doesn't work, nobody will manufacture for them, the product falls apart after 8 months, mould starts growing on top etc.....
An appreciation of the science behind the product and ingredients allows for these potential pitfalls to be identified and managed ahead of time, saving money, brand reputation and time.
Science isn't about the origin or processing of the ingredients you use, it is about the understanding of what you have and what you expect from it. It is about getting results time after time. It is about being reliable.
Science isn't just about that, it is also about sustainability and about appreciating and valuing materials. A good hands on the science of your product allows you to increase your products efficiency, improve its sustainability footprint, make it safer and more pleasant to use and make it cost effective.
Yay for science
Amanda is the owner of Realize Beauty http://realizebeauty.wordpress.com/
My conclusion is that I have absolutely used science to make and evolve my skincare products & it has been absolutely essential for the process! I still have a passion to use as many Certified Organic Ingredients as possible and the rest are Naturally Derived.
Hooray for science and for Organic/Natural products created with Passion, Love and Science!
Most of you know that I’m an alternative thinker. For a very long time I have been searching out a shampoo and conditioner that would do for my hair what I wanted it to. Unfortunately most of the natural conditioners on the market are using an ingredient in their products that makes the hair feel like it has a coating on it. Feeling frustrated with the choices before me I have recently discovered a new (possibly very old) way of looking after hair without shampoo and conditioner!! I came across an article about 6 weeks ago that was more to do with finding a shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t contain palm oil – which seems to be rather an impossibility! It gave links to this ‘No Poo Method’, which uses 2 ingredients only, to take care of hair!!! Now this might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but is worth sharing.
The ingredients are bicarbonate soda and apple cider vinegar!!*
So I have been washing my hair with bicarbonate soda like you would a normal shampoo. Just add 1 -2 teaspoons of bicarbonate soda to 1 cup of warm water, pour it over your head in the shower and scrub your scalp as you would normally, then rinse.
For the rinse add about a tablespoon of cider vinegar to 1 cup of warm water. Because I have long hair I usually dip my hair into the cup first and then pour the rest over my head. Wow, it’s amazing how easily you can get a comb through your hair after doing this!! Leave in for a few minutes and rinse.
Now if you decided to take up this method of washing your hair, it needs to be noted that there is a detox period of about 4 – 6 weeks. But you can use this method of washing your hair as frequently as you need to at the beginning until you can just do it once a week or even less. On one blog I read, the lady washes her hair this way once a month and just with water at other times!!!
Personally I’ve been using this method for about 6 weeks. I made the mistake at the beginning of doing a hot oil treatment (with olive oil) on dry hair. It took me about 2 weeks to normalise my hair and not look like I had wet hair all the time. I still feel like I’m in the experimental part of this journey, but I’m happy to keep going with it. I would like to make a leave in conditioner with very basic ingredients just to smooth the hair out. I’ll let you all know how that goes.
For the most part I am really enjoying this method, but understand it might not be for everyone. For more information, just Google ‘No Poo Method’ or ‘Washing hair without shampoo’. Everyone who has blogged about this method has a slightly different experience, but most of them are positive. Please leave me your thoughts on this - I am most interested in what people think.
*Herbs can be added to benefit the hair in the wash and the rinse as well. If you’re not keen on the vinegar rinse you can use lemon juice.
It’s part of Halo Organics’ policy to be transparent with all aspects of business. None is more important than the ingredients we choose. It had deeply saddened and frustrated me to learn that one of the ingredients in our products uses palm oil as part of its production.
The ingredient in question is Cetearyl Olivate & Sorbitan Olivate – two ingredients mixed together to make one. This ingredient is a fabulous emulsifier which is made primarily from olives. It is hypoallergenic (clinically tested on humans) and has proven benefits to people with severe sensitivities. It contains Olive Squalane and helps feed oxygen to the cells. It is very similar to human sebum and highly moisturising while being easily absorbed. These are fabulous qualities for an ingredient to have for a nurturing skin care line.
For a long time I believed it was only made from olives as it was presented that way to me and also my supplier. When I asked my supplier about the possibility of it containing palm oil he was quick to respond with all the information and was ‘in total shock’ to find that part of this ingredient uses palm oil for its production.
The Cetearyl Olivate part is the reaction of palm based Cetearyl Alcohol with olive oil fatty acids. Technically there is no direct palm oil derived component in the final product; it is used in the production. I have received a letter from the supplier stating that the palm oil comes from land which is legally gazetted for agricultural purpose and is Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. It also states that they only use palm oil suppliers who are active members of the RSPO (Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil).
As Halo Organics is dedicated to becoming completely Palm Oil Free we are now on a journey to find a replacement to this ingredient in the products that contain it. This will be a long and costly journey as all formulas will need to be tested for their consistency with the nurturing aspect of our products as well as delivering the same results for customers who already love and use the products.
Halo Organics products that contain Cetearyl Olivate & Sorbitan Olivate:
Both Body Creams
We ask for your patience as we rectify this issue, and for your continued support as we are one of the small people who genuinely care about the issues relating to the over use of palm oil in not just the beauty industry but also the food industry – leading to the devastation of many animals’ homes and endangering their species.
Nuturing Organic Skincare