• Why do you bang on about ‘supercritical extraction’ on your packaging so much? What on earth is it?
Supercritical extraction is what happens when your tooth gets taken out by a really judgmental dentist…
Nah. Just kidding! As you might expect (given how much we do, in truth, bang on about it) supercritical extraction is really important to us. In many ways, it sums up who we are and what we’re trying to achieve with our skincare and makeup – namely, to create products which not only look and feel great, but which are truly good for your skin.
So, what is supercritical extraction, exactly? Well, this is where things get a bit sciencey, but in a nutshell, supercritical extraction is a breakthrough in herbal extraction; the cleanest, purest way to extract all of a plant’s goodness and deliver it to your skin.
Here’s a few reasons why it’s so amazing and why we pride ourselves on being world leaders when it comes to using the technology:
- Unlike many other extraction techniques, it’s not reliant on chemical solvents (like alcohol) to extract a plant’s nutrients. Instead, it makes use of a harmless natural gas (CO2) found in the air we breathe and absorbed by plants all around us. The extraction process involves using this natural gas (CO2), which is compressed until it is a semi-liquid. Working at low temperatures, it’s then ‘washed through’ the plant or herb, collecting all of its key nutritive compounds (that’s the really good stuff, the kind of stuff other extraction techniques generally fail to capture).
- The process allows us to get the maximum nutritional and beauty benefits of the whole plant – literally thousands of important compounds – and not just isolated chemical constituents.
- Equally important, the extracts are extremely concentrated as they are full extractions, including essential oils as well as other water-soluble and fat-soluble substances from the plants we use. The end product is an extract that is all-natural, wonderfully pure, and super potent (in fact our extracts are often more than 50 times stronger than conventional extracts!). Sciencey, right? Hopefully, the explanation above gives you a little bit of insight into this amazing technology, but all you really need to know is that it delivers the full spectrum of nature’s benefits straight to your skin. Our products don’t just smell, look and feel great, they also offer a breakthrough in high quality, therapeutic, all-natural, makeup and skincare.
• Do you test on animals?
Nope. No way. Uh uh. Not ever.
We could give you a million reasons why we deplore animal testing and why we would never do it, but here’s some pictures of Winnie instead.
• Are your products vegan friendly?
They sure are. We work with the certification agency, the UK Vegan Society, for our Vegan Certification.
Do your products contain any genetically modified ingredients?
No. Please don’t get us started on GMOs. Let’s just say we’re not a fan.
• Are your products gluten free?
You bet. All of our products are gluten free.
Are your products safe for sensitive skins?
The answer is yes. Generally. BUT… everyone is different (which is a good thing!). Some people may have individual allergies – and react to tomatoes, for example, or peanuts, or milk – which will cause their skin to react. The same applies to natural skincare. Occasionally, the active ingredients in plant botanical and essential oils will cause a reaction in some individuals. For this reason, we strongly recommend that people go slowly when they first begin to use natural skincare and that they conduct a patch test prior to use.
• Are all your products certified as ‘Made with Organics’?
We’d absolutely love for all our products to be certified as ‘made with organics’ (meaning they contain 70%+ organic ingredients). But a few of our makeup products aren’t, because they contain mineral oxides.
So that you know, mineral oxides are wholly natural colours derived from the earth, but sadly, they don’t currently sit within the parameters set by certification agencies for recognizing organic ingredients. This means that whilst our products are all-natural, some of them can’t be certified as ‘made with organics’.
You can easily identify which of our products are certified by the BioGro logo stamped on their packaging, or marked on our website.
• What’s the shelf life of your products?
All our products have a minimum two-year shelf-life, and some even longer than that. Once they’re opened, if you want to experience the full therapeutic benefits of our organic ingredients (and why wouldn’t you?), we recommend using within 6 months.
Why are most of your products made in India?
We love the relationships we’ve forged with community farms in India and we’re enormously proud that many of our products are sourced from, and made, there. Here’s why:
Trade for Aid:
As a country still largely reliant on agriculture, India has suffered badly from its dependence on chemical fertilisers and pesticides. In many areas, crops are failing and farmland has become infertile. We want to help reverse this potential disaster and have lent our full support to the movement towards community organic farming in India. This movement has led to increasing yields, lower input costs (thanks to the use of traditional products like manure) and, perhaps most importantly of all, real social benefits for Indian communities. These benefits include improved community infrastructures (water, housing, education), higher incomes, and increased cultural harmony. We have established working relationships with organic community farms and we happily pay 10-15% more than the going market rate for the wonderful organic ingredients they supply us.
More than 70% of our gorgeous organic ingredients are sourced from India. It is far more sustainable to manufacture our products in the same country.
State of the Art Manufacturing Plant:
Most of our products are manufactured in a purpose-built, state of the art industrial plant in India. The plant is GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified, and one of the few facilities in the world that is mainly solar-powered.
• Why should I care that your products are all-natural and certified as ‘made with organics’? What’s the problem with synthetic chemicals?
Okay. Big statement time. Here’s our truth. If you want to give yourself a chance to avoid the ever-increasing set of diseases and ailments that so many of us seem to be suffering from, you can help yourself by using certified organic skincare and makeup products. Here’s why:
The Problem with Synthetic Ingredients:
Many companies use synthetic ingredients in their products because they’re easy and inexpensive to manufacture. However, their concern with the bottom line comes at the expense of your health. For example, did you know that:
– Strong links have been established between parabens (low cost, commonly used preservatives) and breast cancer.
– Synthetic perfumes (if you ever see the word ‘fragrance’ on an ingredient listing, run, very fast!) have been linked to hormone disruption and infertility.
– Synthetic agents like sodium lauryl sulfate, which are commonly listed in skincare and beauty ranges, can also be found in industrial cleaning products.
– Even something as harmless sounding as mineral oil has its dangers. A key ingredient in baby oils, mineral oil is a petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, inhibiting the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins and various skin disorders.
Beware Green washing:
Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated claim about the environmental or natural benefits of a product (or, just as bad, pretending a product is organic and good by giving it a natural sounding name). It happens all the time because too much of the cosmetics industry remains unregulated.
A product which claims to be natural might only contain 1% natural ingredients. That’s a joke, right? However, you can protect yourself by reading the ingredients listed on the packaging and by looking for certification stamps.
Natural and Organic is Better:
We may be biased (well, actually, there’s no may – we are biased) but just as your body becomes happier and healthier when it is fuelled with real, whole, natural foods, so too does your skin when it is fed natural ingredients.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. It provides a direct filter to our bloodstream and internal organs. This means that whatever we put on our skin, we’re putting inside us.
Recent studies have indicated that we respond instinctively to natural, organic products. Our bodies recognize them and accept them more willingly than synthetic ingredients.
This is a key reason why our products are natural in their origin. It’s important to us that they not only smell and feel great, but that they’re good for you. That’s why we’re such big believers in supercritical extraction technology and that’s why we always have in mind the therapeutic qualities of the ingredients we choose when we design our formulations.