Before even beginning to tackle the meaning behind the term 'all natural skincare', it must be said that the most important and direct route to healthy and radiant skin is via your diet. Skincare can only go skin deep, in fact mostly epidermis and dermis deep, so feeding your largest organ a healthy and wholesome diet is one of the most important steps you can take. I don't want to navigate into the territory of this diet vs. that diet as I am no expert on the topic, plus each individual must listen to their own intuitive needs for their body. But because skincare can only do so much, the possibility of 'curing' skin issues must be looked at from a holistic approach..meaning via diet, exercise, and mental wellbeing. But this topic is for a whole other post that is in fact coming next! Look out for the next journal entry by Charlotte van Loo, the author of Echt Eten door Echt Leven(Really living through Real Food). Charlotte studied Orthomolecular Medicine & Nutrition and will be sharing her knowledge and wisdom on feeding the skin from the inside out.
So what does all natural skincare even mean? And who is to say what is termed natural or not? In fact, this topic is a heavily debated and broad subject with quite a lot of definitions. What I aim to do here is share the results from my research efforts and how this applies to the skincare of Roots Botanica as well as the benefits of all natural skincare.
Defining Natural Skincare
When using the term all natural skincare in regards to our products, the definition I adhere to comes from the Council of Europe. This states that 'cosmetic products are deemed natural if they contain natural ingredients of plant, mineral, or animal origin (ex. beeswax, honey) and are obtained solely through physical, microbiological, and enzymatic methods'. Roots Botanica products only contain plant based ingredients, none of animal origin.
Two of the most established certifications for natural and organic cosmetics within Europe are EcoCert and Cosmos. Ecocert was founded in France in 1991 and has developed into an International organisation present in more than 80 countries worldwide. Cosmos was then adopted in 2011 to standardise labelling requirements for natural and organic cosmetics at the European level. There are two classifications we utilize which are Ecocert Cosmos Organic and Ecocert natural. A beauty care product is COSMOS ORGANIC certified only if:
95% minimum of the plants it contains are organic
At least 20% of organic ingredients are present in the total formula (10% for rinse-off products)
Note: water or minerals are not regarded as "organic" for they are not from agriculture. So any product containing water can never be 100% organic because it automatically dilutes the proportion of the organic ingredients that are present in the product. However, a face oil for example, which does not contain water may display up to 100% of organic ingredients.
To be certified Ecocert Natural all of the ingredients must come from natural origin except a restrictive approved ingredient list which includes preservatives. However, at Roots Botanica we only use preservatives from all natural origins. On average, Ecocert certified natural products contain 99% ingredients of natural origin.
So what does this all mean in terms of Roots Botanica's skincare? All of our carrier oils and essential oils are EcoCert Cosmos Organic and are 99% sourced from Florihana in the South of France. The remaining 1% of Ecocert Cosmos Organic carrier and essential oils are sourced within The Netherlands and Germany. We heavily research and confirm all other ingredients that may not be certified organic to ensure that the ingredients used are of natural and plant based origins. We believe in full transparency of ingredients which means you will find any trade names of ingredients used in our products on the ingredients lists via our website.
Natural skincare benefits
Natural (plant based, botanical) skincare is formulated with plant based oils & extracts that are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants work to strengthen the body’s cells by combating free radicals. "Among antioxidant substances, those derived from plants play an important role in preventing and repairing skin damage caused by free radicals." (*)
Plant extracts not only have the ability to scavenge free radicals, but also support the defense and regenerative mechanisms of the skin. Fats and acids from plants also assist in calming acne, fighting dryness, combating oiliness, smoothing scars, and increasing skin’s elasticity.
Plant-based skincare products are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients due to their active ingredients found in nature. A single plant can contain several different phytonutrients which translates to your skin receiving an abundance of nutrient dense food.
And just like your body, why wouldn't you feed your skin a nutrient dense diet that gives true and lasting results?
Dr. Nina Kočevar Glavač and Dr. Damjan Janeš
Pratima Raichur with Marian Cohn