You can’t help but have noticed the massive trend for natural cosmetics and beauty products in recent times. We’ve all been brought up on brands like Olay and Nivea but what we’re being told, is that we’re all looking to organic, ethically created, natural brands. But are we really?
There’s no doubt that the words natural and organic are buzzing around everywhere at the moment. Even if companies aren’t creating 100% genuine organic products (and most of them aren’t!) they’re playing on the terminology to convince you what you’re buying is as good for the planet as they are for the skin. Boots’ Botanic range, Garnier’s Skin Naturals and Clairol’s Herbal Essences all imply natural products but are they any more authentic than say, Olay and Pantene? Difficult to say but it’s doubtful.
And more importantly, are we really that concerned about natural products, or just buying into a marketing message? Is it enough just to think our moisturiser, shower gel or foundation is created ethically and without harming the planet as long as it performs?
One company creating natural products, Jerome Petit, MD of Natura Organics, has tried to help me answer some of my questions…
What inspired Natura Organics as a company?
The fact was that none of the natural/organic products on the market were being marketed like conventional products. They looked awful, the packaging was far from pleasing and the scents were too strong. To appeal both to existing natural brand users and to help convert those using conventional brands, we decided to develop our own organic range, with the packaging, design, formulation and scent we wanted.
What inspires your individual products?
To complement different skin types. To work with the skin and calm allergies where possible. To be ethical wherever possible. To nourish, revitalise and soothe the skin and soul with aromatherapy scents blended by French perfumer know-how.
What makes you different to other products on the market and as a company?
Natura Organics is organic, ethical and pure.
We aim to make products that are affordable and use the very latest technologies and ingredients. For example, our unique sugar & plant based surfactant gives a cleansing, foaming action to our products. The majority of brands use a 30 year old coconut based surfactant technique. The sugar and plant based surfactant is newer, milder and more ecological. It is also more efficient and you therefore use less product. The amount of people who tell us how little shampoo they need is so pleasing!
Who do you think is the Natura Organics customer?
People who use conventional products and are just getting to know natural products but unfortunately have been put-off with the general look or quality of organic products until they see Natura Organics… We also appeal to ethical consumers who want to play their part. We were one of the first beauty brands to be audited by the ethical company organisation and carry the ‘Good Shopping Guide – ethical company’ logo as well as being in the guide itself – a fascinating book that covers everything from vacuum cleaners to bottled water!
How do you think organic beauty ranges compare to old classics and are they a threat to the established brands?
This new booming niche market is certainly not a threat to the conventional. They are here to stay and we are here to grow. A good example is L’Oreal buying Florame. This is a 30 year-old French company who has been distilling essential oils and developing products have now been bought out. L’Oreal aims to grow even faster with this brand will learn from 30 years of natural and organic cosmetics.
The most interesting thing for me was the point about marketing. While the conventional market is running around trying to associate itself with ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ Natura Organics is trying to market itself as per a conventional product!
So what do you think? Do you actively look for organic, ethical products with natural ingredients? I’m going to be testing a few over the next few weeks and will let you know what I find but I will say now that Jerome is right, the majority of natural/organic beauty product looks awful! Not exactly what a beauty junky wants on her bathroom shelf, no matter how green it makes her…http://0