How Roots Formulating Could Change the World
this post. It's my term for 'creating the ultimate less is more formula' for any given cosmetics product.
And even though it's exciting to read about trends in cosmetics ingredients and see the latest and greatest from the industry, my main focus is still on paring back without sacrificing performance or function.
The more I work with roots formulation, the more excited I am about it. It's incredibly challenging, but equally rewarding.
A formula that contains only a few ingredients may be viewed by some as 'easy', but more often than not, nothing could be further from the truth.
It Might Look Easy...Achieving the ultimate minimalistic formula means you have to get up close and personal with the limitations and capabilities of every single ingredient.
To add to the challenge and to make it proper roots formulating, I have (willingly) chosen to focus on working with ingredients as raw and unprocessed as possible.
This entails gaining an understanding of whether or not a botanical from, say, Africa will show results comparable to the same botanical from North America or Europe.
It entails gaining an understanding of what actives and other components are 'harvest-able' from botanicals that have undergone some form of processing: dried, fresh, freeze-dried, or something in between.
It also entails gaining solid experience on how much any given component in a formula can be tweaked and still produce a successful result.
In short, it calls for a lot of batches, testing, and in-depth study.
My reasoning for doing all this is simple: I believe roots formulating could change the world.
It's OK, Go AheadYou: Seriously, Lise? (insert snicker) You think making less-is-more cosmetics can change the world?
Yes, I do.
Allow me to explain.
If you happened to have read this interview a while back, you might have noticed I describe myself as an old hippie. This is partly because I am, but also because the idea of spreading love & peace and taking care of the planet are important to me.
And I really, truly mean it.
It's all very idealistic, and although I am fully aware it is not possible to change the world and fix everything...
I still believe we really could change the world and fix everything. We all have our bit to contribute, and my little piece of this huge puzzle happens to be developing and making cosmetics.
Imagine For a Moment
So, what if...It was not necessary to ship pricey, processed products or ingredients from other parts of the world in order to create quality personal care products?
And what if
We could create effective, wonderful products with local materials without the need of costly equipment and facilities?
And what if
We did not need to have a university degree to create excellence – in any neck of the woods?
Are you beginning to get my drift?
You Started ThisYou are, in fact, one of the reasons this roots thing has become my main focus.
You are located all over the world and speak dozens of different languages. Your tools, means, access to materials, and requirements are (in many instances) widely different from mine.
And even though you live in Pakistan, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, America, Switzerland, Peru, Australia, Malaysia (if I go on you'll stop reading, but there's much more), your comments and inspiring questions have made it abundantly clear to me that we all seek the same thing: to create excellence from the abundance of natural plant power this planet has to offer.
And if we can do our bit to save the planet while we're at it, then it doesn't get any better than that.
Maybe we should rename it: sustainable roots formulating
What do you think?
@Anon - Thank you! I it my hope to be inspiring to others - as so many others are inspiring to me :)
@Ilhem - I hear you! I am equally attracted to new ingredients - especially since the natural and green area has literally exploded with new offerings in recent years. Every time a newsletter from a manufacturer hits my inbox I'm STILL all over it like a kid in a toy store :)
Tendo from Uganda hearing you loud and clear and definitely agreeing with you, we can change the world one bit at a time. I work mostly with locally sourced oils and would gladly send some your way if you are up to it (of course there is the little matter of a carbon footprint) but do let me know if you are curious.
Thank you for all the inspiration :))