I’m so not down with paying gobs of money for a shiny bottle of hopes and dreams in order to moisturize my face, and I bet you aren’t either.
The store shelves are a shiny orbit of products that are nothing more than cheaply-made filler goop with slick marketing to manipulate your emotional response, and honestly – that ticks me off.
Billions of dollars are spent annually on skincare. The demand for natural skincare products is growing by leaps and bounds, and this is a good thing, yes, but…
Unfortunately, this means that the floodgates are flung open to dastardly corporate villains peddling their inferior and ineffective products, slyly inviting you to pay your hard-earned money just for that shiny gold-scripted word on the bottle: natural.
But what in the heck is “natural” skincare?
Let’s Define It
A simple definition: skincare products made from non-synthetic ingredients, that is to say: ingredients found in nature, the chemistries, interactions, and potencies of which are expertly selected and combined so as to best nourish our skin and its varying needs.
Just like we need to eat healthy foods each day to make new cells for our blood, bones, and other parts of ourselves that can sustain damage and need repair, our skin also needs to be supplied with the right materials to properly rebuild itself.
It needs minerals to assist with cell communication, amino acids to build proteins, lipids (oils), and more. Our skin is also the last organ in the body to receive nutrients from the food we eat and one of the first organs to show signs of stress and nutrient depletion.
The blood vessels that bring nourishment to the skin become very tiny capillaries at their ends, and these contract in times of stress, which basically starves the skin. Therefore, applying nutrient-rich products topically to the skin can help support its regeneration (more directly sometimes than the foods we eat!) because they are supplied directly.
So, how do we accomplish that with natural methods?
The vast majority of skincare brands out there (owned by giant corporations, which are typically owned by even giant-er corporations) don’t give a flying beepity-beep about the actual meaning of that word. They’re only interested in one thing: profit. If slapping ‘natural’ in pretty gold letters across the bottle gets them more sales, then on it goes, along with a promise of eternal youth, just for good measure.
The thing is, there’s a rather large movement of people today who actually care about what they put on their skin.
(Nice to meet ya.)
We don’t blindly believe what the labels say and we vote with our dollars, insofar as we’re able. We know that companies that offer legitimately natural products are totally transparent about their ingredients, their manufacturing process, and their finished product, and proud of it!
These companies aren’t hard to find, thankfully. You just have to be willing to wade through a bit of muck in the industry, become reasonably aware, and put your money where your mouth is (as much as financially possible).
Natural Skincare I Trust
Above, I said that you had to be willing to wade through the muck in order to find a company that is totally legit, offering the highest quality natural skincare products.
Never mind that. Allow me to introduce you to Blissoma. (<— There’s a special offer for R&H readers through that link, by the way.)
Julie, the owner of the company, emailed me about a year ago because she had stumbled on a blog post that I had written about why I no longer use coconut oil to moisturize my face.
She offered to send me some of her botanically-based, all-natural skin care products for me to try out. Since my mind had already been blown by the coconut oil revelation, I figured sure, why not – what other craziness is out there to discover?
Well, this past year of using Blissoma products has been amazing. My skin has literally never been healthier, and it has never felt so luxurious. This might sound silly, but it was the piece of the skincare puzzle that I didn’t even know was missing.
Like they say, everything’s better with a beverage-based analogy. (Nope. They don’t say that. Humour me anyway.)
Here’s how I think of it: the argan oil that I adore and (still) use nearly every day is like a tall glass of iced water to my parched and dry skin. So, so good. So satisfying, and life-changing for my poor, dry and flaky skin.
The Blissoma additions to my routine are like sipping the perfect cup of the highest quality loose-leaf tea, prepared just so. Simple, but utterly luxurious, nourishing to body and soul, providing exactly what my skin needs to be the absolute best version possible of itself.
(Except the deodorant – that’s not like a dainty cuppa tea at all. More like oxygen: highly recommended daily use. And this is where my analogy goes off the rails. Oops.)
Suffice it to say: I adore these products and will undoubtedly be a life-long user. I’ll expand a bit more later on my specific favorites.
How to Spot the ‘Natural’ Imposters
So how do you spot the imposters? The labels make big promises and often bend the truth in order to make a sale, but how can you tell what’s what?
Well, here’s how: get to know companies like Blissoma who are totally proud to share the details about their products and manufacturing process, hear what they have to say, and use them as your gold standard.
To illustrate that, I want to share with you some of the things that Julie (the owner) explained to me in our email conversations. I found her detailed answers to my questions to be incredible inspiring and illuminating. Read through to the end – it’s completely worth it.
I asked her:
What makes Blissoma different?
Only a handful of companies in the skincare arena are completely responsible for their own recipes. “Private label” products are more common than people realize, and often even smaller companies that claim they make their own product are just buying a stock base, adding a few extracts or a scent of their own, and then bottling it.
Blissoma is made of 100% original recipes developed over years of direct experience and experimentation with all kinds of extracts, juices, and oils. We sell our recipes only under our brand so you can know for certain that you get a completely original product and that it is only available through us. We also have unique production protocols developed over the years and we definitely work differently than most large-scale manufacturers.
We pay an extreme amount of attention to the actual chemistry of the herbs and which portions of them are responsible for their healing effects. I spend hours reading new studies as they come out and considering all angles of usage before deciding how they should be incorporated into a product.
We don’t formulate based on which ingredients are the latest fad, or even just based on traditional knowledge. I always let current science guide me. Some of the healing compounds in plants are only oil soluble. Some are only water or alcohol soluble. They can be heat sensitive as well. We take all of these things into account as we design our extraction and production processes.
This extra attention is something most brands don’t give and the efficacy of the product suffers as a result. We are trying to give the most authentic and effective experience possible with the plants.
We pay as much attention to our chemistry as to our marketing. I’ve learned over the years that skincare sales are largely about packaging, graphics, and marketing. You can put some pretty mediocre stuff in a very pretty bottle and people feel like it’s something really special just because of the way it looks. The average person doesn’t understand the chemistry, so their vision of quality is in the labels and graphics.
While we definitely work hard on our communication and aesthetics, we spend more time on the chemistry that makes our products work. I didn’t get into skincare just to make something that looks nice sitting on a vanity. I get up every day with my brain stimulated with new ideas because of the amazing things plants can do for our bodies and the impact that can have on people’s everyday life. It’s so important and I want other people to get to experience it.
If the product isn’t working, like really working, then the whole point of putting some nice stuff in a bottle has missed the mark.
YES! I am so, so inspired by Julie and her company. This is what natural skincare companies should look like! This is how they should operate! And THIS is what we, the consumer, DESERVE!
Gosh, I’m getting riled up here. But do you get it? Do you hear the heartbeat behind her words? This is what it can – and should – look like. This is a company that we should all support to grow until the big corporations with crappy inferior, toxic, and ineffective products all go out of business. I would love that – wouldn’t you?!
This is already a pretty epic length, so I’m going to save some more of my thoughts on the specific Blissoma products that I love for the follow-up post.
Obviously, you won’t want to miss any of the fun, so you can sign up for my email list here. Posts are delivered to your inbox with a complementary sprinkling of organic, fair-trade pixie dust. You’re welcome.
Do You Trust Your Skincare Products?
Disclosure: This post post sponsored by Blissoma, but all opinions are a million percent mine. I use and adore Blissoma products in my everyday life, and my recommendations are ALWAYS completely genuine, guaranteed.