With a background in packaging design and marketing, I launched a high-style, luxurious, natural skin care line. I have always been passionate about taking care of the environment and being responsible about choices as they affect my body and the environment. As I’ve gotten older, I have grown to understand the benefits of natural products and how scary it is to learn of the chemicals we’ve all put on our bodies the majority of our lives. It’s quite astonishing!
I believe every consumer likes to have a choice when deciding between products. It could be value, brand or style. When it comes to making choices that benefit the earth and one’s body, style and value are too often sacrificed. With more and more natural cosmetic skin care products and brands on the market, there are more opportunities to capture at least two of these consumer desires in the buying process. There is more demand for natural body and skin care than ever before, allowing production volumes to go up and costs to come down. There are far more suppliers of materials too.
Salacia is proud to provide a high quality, hand-made all natural skin care line at a fair, competitive price. Salacia Salts skin care line of body butters, body lotions, hand and body scrubs, salt soaks, and lip balms and scrubs provide high-style and luxurious ingredients. A combination we are proud of! We’ve been able to appeal to three of these consumer desires in our all natural body and skin care lines. Each product from our natural skin care line is at least 99% natural and over half of our ingredients are organic.
In addition to ingredients, consumers seem to be in touch with their sensitive side and conscious of what’s fair and right. Polling our customers, we have found they will always choose cruelty-free natural skin care products over those tested with animals. Vegan is important to a smaller, but strong segment of the market. It is a growing desire within the most sustainable segments to live a vegan lifestyle, more than just diet. There are several alternatives to animal-testing but simply put, if a company uses ingredients that are already known to be safe for cosmetics, of which there are thousands, there is no requirement to test for adverse effects on the skin. These ingredients have been safely used for decades or have been tested in the past and do not require new testing. This is how so many socially conscious companies have been able to swear off animal testing. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (regulated by the Food and Drug Administration) does not require that animal tests be conducted to demonstrate that the cosmetics are safe, though some companies still use this approach due to the chemicals used in their products, or to extend shelf life, for example.
More consumers are conscious of what they are putting on their skin. The demand for organic and natural beauty skin care is expected to grow over $13 Billion by 2018 one report says. And what you put on your skin not only affects your body through absorption but also the water stream. All these chemicals do wash down the drain at some point! Consumers should be aware that the majority of hand soaps and shampoo contains chemicals that produce bubbles. Even those that claim to be natural may have these nasty chemicals in them, so beware! We have been made to feel and to desire bubbles when cleansing to “feel clean”, and therefore, assume cleaner hair or skin as a result. Ironically, these foaming agents are chemicals such as sodium laureth sulfate that break up oils and help get to the dirt, but there are many natural alternatives on the market that can do a great job without chemicals. Just be sure your natural skin care products don’t contain these Earth and skin enemies. Consumers have not yet been made fully aware of these alternatives.
Salacia is excited to announce we’ll soon be releasing a chemical-free bubble bath in a powder form. The bubble bath will be 100% natural and contains none of these nasty chemicals. The amazing thing? It bubbles like none we’ve seen on the market before! We can’t wait to share the ingredient deck. It’ll be short and sweet – and contain words you know and can pronounce.
Speaking of checking out labels. How often do you read what’s in your body care? I know we all have a habit of checking for salt content, calories and saturated fat in our foods, but let’s not forget what we put on our skin is just as important! Checking labels – and not just the front of the packaging – to see what’s really inside is a good habit.
Products can claim to be organic or natural, but the true test is in the label. Generally speaking, “natural” ingredients are derived, in whole or in part, from natural sources with no synthetic compounds. “Organic” ingredients should contain only plant-sourced ingredients that are cultivated without the use of chemicals.
How to Check a Natural Skin Care Label. What does Natural or Organic mean?
You’ll notice that of the many natural cosmetic skin care products on the market, many more state “natural” rather that “organic” as the USDA has difficult restrictions and a rigorous process a natural body care business must follow to earn this seal. Organic products are held to these standards only if they carry the USDA Organic Seal. So, you’ll see many smaller brands listing the organic ingredients used in the make up of their natural body care instead by simply saying “made with organic sunflower oil” for example. And, of course, they don’t carry the USDA Organic Seal. This doesn’t make one product more organic over another. The organic seal just means it’s been reviewed and approved by this entity.
Here’s a break down of terms you might see on the front panels of your natural skin care products.
“Made with natural ingredients”— There are no specific guidelines made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) regarding the term or even definition of natural products in the cosmetic industry. For the products in the Salacia Salts natural skin care collection, we define the exact percentage of natural ingredients are in each product. So, for example, in our Shoreline Body Butter, 99% of the listed ingredients are natural. The only element that isn’t natural is the fragrance oil, added at less than 1%.
The labeling guidelines for organic products as presented by the USDA are below.
- “Made with organic ingredients”—The product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients and the label can list up to three of the organic ingredients on the principal display panel. For example, body lotion made with at least 70% organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and only organic herbs may be labeled either “body lotion made with organic Vitamin E, aloe and chamomile,” or “body lotion made with organic herbs.” These products are not permitted to display the USDA Organic Seal. Our Midnight Garden Hand and Body Lotion contains organic aloe, organic soybean oil, organic sunflower oil, organic chamomile flower extract, and organic calendula extract. These ingredients make up for 72% of the ingredients in the natural skin care lotion.
- “Organic”—The product must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). When it meets the criteria, it may display the USDA Organic Seal after approvals. The remaining product ingredients must consist of approved nonagricultural substances not commercially available in organic form.
- “100% Organic”—Product must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients.
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) website has information on the safety of cosmetic ingredients that they have reviewed. CIR is an industry-funded panel of scientific and medical experts who review the safety of cosmetic ingredients. I recommend checking out this handy list – especially when a name on the back of a label appears to be too long or difficult to read. Most times that’s a sign of products being blended to create something new (typically this process is not naturally occurring, a chemical.)
Are more retailers catching on and making it a priority to carry natural skin care, organic or vegan products? We’re still seeing the majority of retailers with priorities of style and value over the natural benefits of products, but we hope, through the education from and the prompting of consumers, they’ll seek companies that are able to provide great design coupled with good for earth and skin ingredients.
I’d love to hear what questions you might have – or what you look for when shopping for new natural skin and body care. Does organic make or break a purchase? Or is it about the product being made in small batches, made locally, or is it just about the scent and feeling of it on your skin? Or is it what the product claims? We create our natural skin care products with all of these practices in mind. We’d love to hear what’s important to you!
Cari Phelps, Founder and Creative Director
Portions of this article have been used in June 2016 issue of Gifts and Decorative Accessories Magazine.