Organic Vs Natural
The trouble with natural
We find it very annoying that some products that claim to be 'natural' in large lettering on the front of the container, are proven to include many 'not so natural' ingredients when you examine the tiny type which carries the list of ingredients at the back. This has led to a distrust of the term 'natural' and many customers prefer to buy products with an organic certification.
The cost of organic
Unfortunately the costs of getting that certification contributes to making the cost of organic products very high, especially for small brands selling small volumes. Many consumers can only afford the the odd organic product as a special treat, having to resort to cheap products laden with all sorts of unsavoury ingredients most of the time.
The Republic of Natural Skincare
At Lyonsleaf we think this is unacceptable. We think everyone should be able to afford safe, pure effective skincare all of the time.
Optimising purity and value
So as yet we have chosen to not go for organic status for our products (we may do so in the future). We do use a very high proportion of organic ingredients, many of our products are over 90% organic/wild harvest. Nearly all of our carrier oils are organic. These are the base oils that make up a high percentage of our products of our products and it is very important that these are very clean. These oils are shea butter, sunflower oil, babassu oil, coconut oil etc. One exception is almond oil. We buy this in as non-organic, as the organic version is very expensive and because the almond is contained in a hard shell the fruit of the harvest is protected from any contamination, so it will be a very clean crop. We consider each ingredient this way. Having said that, we are consciously moving away from all non-organic carrier oils in new formulations, to reduce our negative impact on the environment.
Many of the essential oils we buy are also non-organic. We know from growing herbs that they are very pest resistant and do not generally require the use fertilisers. Also, because the essential oils appear in our products at very low percentages we do not feel that using a non organic crop will add any significant contamination to the final product.
Lyonsleaf home grown herbs
Lyonsleaf own herbs are grown at our farm to organic standards. The field we use to grow the herbs went into organic conversion in 2018 and we should have organic certification in 2020.
The elephant in the room
Lastly, we feel that the contamination from non-organic crops is fairly insignificant compared to addition of artificial chemicals added to preserve and stabilise formulations containing water, juice or hydrosol. Preservatives that are deemed 'safe' are allowed in organic certified products. Phenoxyethanol used to be allowed by Ecocert and The Soil Association, but it has now been banned. We wonder what other ingredients will be disallowed in the future and why?
Our view (and it’s not a popular industry view) is that we find it difficult to see the point of using the purest organic ingredients and then deliberately chucking in a big dollop of harsh preservative specifically designed to kill cells that is probably going to cause a skin reaction in at least some people and that may have long term effects we don’t yet know about. Just saying!
So our policy is to use pure plant oils (mostly organic), organic beeswax, mineral powders, herbal extracts - and nothing else. Our products are not certified organic, but they really are 100% natural. We also believe a water free system, undiluted goodness, is far better for your skin.
This policy allows us to deliver the purest skincare at the most reasonable price - optimising purity and value for the benefit of the masses.
Vive la revolution!