This week was Organic Beauty and Wellbeing week, an event organised by the Soil Association, one of the leading certifying bodies for organic cosmetics, food and textiles. Organic beauty and wellbeing week is all about raising the profile of organic, there is a lot of misconceptions about organic beauty and unlike food there is no legal standard that cosmetic companies have to abide by to call their products organic, meaning that there is a lot of deceptive marketing going on. Brands with little organic content are thrown in the same category as brands who have a high organic content and abide by strict rules.
There have been a few changes to Organic beauty week this time with the addition of wellbeing too, this makes perfect sense as it now includes supplements and other wellbeing products and fits a more holistic profile. It is also the first time that Organic beauty week has been celebrated in May and given it’s own week in the spotlight separate from Organic September.
I have written about Organic beauty week and organic September every year since I started the blog and I love and use lot’s of the Soil Association certified brands all year round. There are some fabulous products and brands that I think really deserve to be in the spotlight. This year has been the first year that I have been able to make it to the launch event, I don’t travel down to London often because it is a long way to go, but I am really pleased I made the journey this time. The launch event took place at the Protein studios, Shoreditch. All of this week the Soil Association has been running a pop up shop and events promoting organic brands.
I arrived at the event a little early and made the most of my time by chatting to all the brands that were at the pop up shop. Some brands I was already quite familiar with and others were more new to me. Viridian were showcasing a variety of their supplements and their gorgeous coconut oil. Something I really like about Viridian is that they offer return system for their packaging, brilliant for anyone interested in Zero waste but also means you get a small discount of your next purchase. Neal’s Yard remedies had a beautiful stand showcasing the range, the brand has the largest selection of certified organic products, including some of my favourites in the Wild Rose range.
I got to chat to Herbfarmacy one of my all time favourite organic brands. Herbfarmacy grow their herbs on a beautiful farm in the Herefordshire hills, I have visited several times before but it is always nice to chat to them. A brand that I wasn’t quite so familiar with is Voya, who use seaweed in their formulations. I was fascinated to hear about the seaweed harvest, which is done by hand off the coast of Ireland. The seaweed is cut only to a certain level and it grows back from there so is a wild crafted ingredient. One of the newest brands attending was La Eva and it’s one that I think we will hear a lot more about. I loved chatting to the founder and getting her perspective on how she came to launch her brand, La Eva is inspired by art, by self care and by beauty. I won’t say much more because I am working on my review as we speak, but it is certainly one to watch.
Neals Yard Remedies Wild Rose range; Naissance ingredients for DIY; La Eva a new organic range to watch.
Herbfarmacy Skincare made with herbs grown on their very own organic farm including Marshmallow and calendula.
Nourish Skincare had a lovely selection of their certified organic products, I am a big fan of the range and I think the products are excellent value for money. I also chatted to Tanya, founder of Therapi honey skincare. I reviewed Therapi when it first launched and I think it is a very special brand. Therapi include honey, beeswax and propoplis in their products and Tanya is a great champion for the Bee cause. Naissance had a large selection of certified organic ingredients for DIY skincare, including carrier oils, essential oils and DIY skincare kits with everything you need to create your own products.
Nourish Skincare display including the Kale range
Therapi Honey Skincare Display: Including their very own honey, beeswax and propoplis.
Bamford: A Lifestyle brand featuring and organic body care and baby care range.
As part of the official launch there was a panel discussion talking about why organic really matters. Certification is a voluntary process for brands, so getting the message out there to consumers about the standards certified brands have to follow in terms of ingredients, sustainability and environment are key. One of the key points I took away from the panel discussion was made by Paul Richards of Herbfarmacy, who stressed the importance of looking at the bigger picture in terms of organics. It isn’t about simply avoiding certain ingredients, but about making truly sustainable choices for the long term, including a brands social responsibility. Tanya Hawkes from Therapi Honey skincare also talked about how as a Beekeeper she saw first hand the effects of pesticides on the bees, pesticides have been in the press a lot lately and buying organic is a great way of ensuring your products aren’t contributing to the problem.
After the panel discussion we had a presentation from Lorraine Dallmeier founder of Formula Botanica, an online natural and organic cosmetic formulation school. Formula Botanica has over 3000 students in over 115 countries. A few of their graduates have been featured on this blog and have very beautiful and successful ranges, Including Metta Skincare, Khulisa, Handmaids, BYBI and Lyonsleaf. The presentation was about botanicals oils and Lorraine showed us a selection of oils, including plum kernel oil, acai berry oil and passion fruit oil. Lorraine talked about the difference between botanical oils and mineral oil which is widely used in the mainstream cosmetics industry, mineral oil has a moisturising effect but has no other benefits of the skin. Botanical oils are full of anti-oxidants and other beneficial compounds meaning that they have multiple benefits for the skin. They also vary in terms of composition, consistency and colour depending on the conditions in which they have been grown and the quality of the oil, for example refined oils will have had much of their goodness stripped away.
Panel Discussion; Formula Botanica Presentation; Formula Botanica students ranges displayed.
As organic beauty week comes to a close I urge to explore some of these amazing brands, I have lot’s of reviews already on the site and will be bringing you more in the coming months. Let’s make authentic organic brands front and centre all year round, not just for a week! Find the full list of the Soil Association certified brands here.