Before we consider what natural means to natural skincare, lets first have a think about what it means to be natural in nature…. take a look at the two pictures below, which would you say is the ‘better’ meadow?
Let me start by saying that any space we set aside for nature is a good, and both meadows pictured here are doing great things!
Looking more closely however there are some big differences in colour, structure and diversity; though the meadow on the left provides habitat for many species, it has primarily been created for humans to look at and admire, with its showy display of brightly coloured flowers that burst into life during the summer, this meadow is a crowd pleaser that’s for sure!
Though the meadow on the right is perhaps less visually appealing, it will have a longer flowering period and that along with the diversity of grasses will provide a wealth of food and shelter throughout the year, as well as greater variation in light, temperature and moisture levels which will entice a greater number of creatures to make it its home.
I think these two meadows represent a lot about how humans view ‘nature’ and ‘natural’. Although we often say we value nature, I’m not sure we always value it for its intrinsic value, but more for what it can do for us.
When I help others create spaces for nature, they are often disappointed if it doesn't look like the meadow on the left as they want somewhere that they can enjoy, that looks pretty, as well as hopefully attracting some wildlife. Where as I am always disappointed if it does look like the meadow on the left, to me that is a compromise and nature once again is losing out!
(And now, prepare yourselves for a seamless segway here into a rant about natural skincare products!).
Are natural products actually natural?
Just as we might want a meadow to first and foremost look pretty, we also want to buy natural skincare products because they are better for us, because we (quite rightly!) don’t want to be putting chemicals into our bodies... however I’d really like to start shifting this idea, so that our natural skincare products are first and foremost better for nature, with the fact that they are better for us humans being an added benefit!
So many so called natural products leave nature depleted as a result of their production, and I think this needs to change.
The production of some of the purest most natural products can actually be hugely detrimental to the environment; through large scale commercial harvesting practices that leave nature with nothing, vast importation distances and energy intensive manufacturing methods. A powerful natural ingredient found in the depths of the amazon rainforest can sounds wonderfully exciting, but just think of the potential exploitation, destruction and unnecessary energy used to get it onto your bathroom shelf!
Some brands are doing a great job of ensuring they take all of this into account when it comes to ingredient sourcing…. but it isn't easy to tease apart products/brands that put nature first and those that put humans first. And that is why at Seilich we opted for our Wildlife Friendly certification, we put so much thought into our ingredient sourcing and we felt that this best represented what we stand for!
We’d love to know how you feel about this. Hands up who wants to join the nature first revolution?!
Ok rant over (for now at least…..)