What does natural actually mean, and how do you apply the term to skincare? This can be a heated debate, because natural means different things to different people. There are no regulations in the skincare industry to define what is natural, so skincare brands, and consumers for that matter, have to decide for themselves.
How We Define Natural
Here at SiSi Georgian Bay, we feel natural ingredients can fit into a couple of different categories: Natural and Naturally Derived. This may not be the case with other skincare brands, and that is fine for them. As long as products remain anhydrous (do not contain water), it is quite easy to stick to pure and natural ingredients, as with our balms and oils. However, as soon as you start formulating hydrous (do contain water) products, you need to add preservatives, and they are not pure natural ingredients. So this is where naturally derived ingredients enter the picture for us. Keep reading to learn more.
NATURAL INGREDIENTS: are pure ingredients picked or harvested from nature that stay the same; maintaining their chemical shape and structure. Some natural ingredients are obvious, such as herbs and flowers. A good example of other pure, natural ingredients are plant oils, butters and waxes which are pressed from seeds, kernels, beans and nuts. Examples of these ingredients are almond oil, shea butter and cupuacu (pronounced coo-pwa-soo) wax.
NATURALLY DERIVED INGREDIENTS: are harvested from nature, then have undergone a chemical reaction such as fermentation, distillation, hydrolysis, esterification, fractionation etc. A couple of examples of these ingredients are fractionated coconut oil (MCT triglycerides) and sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid). They start out as natural raw materials, then undergo a chemical reaction to reform the original ingredient. Coconut oil (solid in form and made up of long chain triglycerides) undergoes esterification (changing its form to liquid, and its triglycerides to medium chain) and becomes fractionated coconut oil.
It Really Can Get Confusing
We have explained things rather simply, but it can get more confusing. For example, there are a group of ingredients called nature identical. Some may argue there is a place for these ingredients, often due to sustainability issues; especially when an ingredient is used by many industries, and a natural supply is limited. For example, we use citric acid in some of our formulations, which we source from New Directions Aromatics, and it is naturally derived through fermentation, however, some skincare brands may use a synthetic citric acid, and feel that is perfectly fine from a sustainability point of view. Then it is up to the consumer to decide if that is okay with them.
NATURE IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS: these ingredients can be found in nature, or can be synthetically made to be identical in chemical structure to that of the natural ingredient. A good example of this is citric acid (as mentioned above), which can be sourced from citrus fruits or can be synthetically made. Some may argue there is a question of sustainability regarding this ingredient. Citric acid is primarily used in skincare products as a ph adjuster. However, millions of tons of citric acid are produced every year for use in many other industries.
It is our goal to maintain trust with our customers, by remaining transparent and honest about what goes into our products, and to educate our customers about the ingredients we choose to include in our products. We always welcome any questions you may have about our ingredients, products and our company as a whole. Reach out at anytime here.
We have always formulated our products with the intention to provide our customers with a natural route to radiant skin. With this in mind, we have decided it is okay to include natural and naturally derived ingredients.
To sum things up, it is our promise to create natural skincare products, made with the purpose to soothe, nourish, pamper and protect your skin, with ingredients found in nature that are safe for you and for the planet. We want you to feel comfortable with your skincare products by knowing exactly what is in them. You can now find out more about the ingredients we use by reading our ingredient glossary
Please feel free to leave a question or comment below.
and until next time,
- stay wild