Friday, November 19, 2010

Dissing The Big Guys

Go ahead, make my spray!
I am occasionally asked by friends or family to read the label of this or that cosmetics product to check for undesirable ingredients. I generally oblige as I enjoy in testing myself on whether or not I am able to recognize every ingredient. I have only been able to give myself a score of 100% on 6 occasions. That may sound impressive to some, but 6 out of hundreds (if not thousands) isn't really very impressive at all.

I Think I Get It
The question that almost inevitably follows is 'what I think about this or that brand', and 'why I think the industry is putting undesirable ingredients in skin care products at all'. Truth be told, the more I work on developing and making products with plant-based ingredients, the more I think I understand why commercial companies do as they do.

Working with plant-based (preferrably 100% organic) products is costly.  Choices are incredibly limited when it comes to things such as emulsifiers and preservatives. A healthy percentage of the ingredients are volatile and they are all demanding to work with. A repeat order of the same ingredient can mean having to adjust a formula, because 100% unification is basically impossible when you're working with plants. All in all, it's a bucket of worms that takes patience, determination and dedication. It's simply not ideal for mass production.

Big Targets Are Easy To Hit
It would be easy to single out a succesful brand name company (or several) and trash them for 'being so callous about our health' and 'thinking only of profits'. For surely, they must all be heartless, money-grubbing, horrid creatures who kick their dogs, hate children, and care nothing at all for our planet or health. But that wouldn't really be fair, would it?

Instead of dissing the big guys, I think I would rather tip my hat to the commercial cosmetics manufacturers that are making a serious effort to introduce more natural ingredients into their mass-produced creams and shampoos and exploring more non-chemical options. I can only wish them the best of success (so the evil, money-grubbing baddies will all finally go bust and the planet truly will be saved).

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