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The Lure of Organic Ingredients

By: Abby Penning
Posted: March 28, 2013, from the April 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Professional skin care is moving into more functional products with super fruits and natural ingredients.

Professional skin care is moving into more functional products with super fruits and natural ingredients.

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Potential variations in quality is another issue that can arise in using organic beauty ingredients. “That’s one of the biggest problems; you have to be extremely vigilant and very cautious when you actually make organic products,” Gill explains. “Anybody can make an organic sample in a lab, but producing the same product over and over again consistently is when production can fall flat.”

“Organic production of cosmetic products has to incorporate not only quality control, not only sales—it also has to incorporate the production side of things as well,” he continues. “You have to tighten up your spec on what is approvable, what isn’t approvable and how to make your batch very consistent over and over again. It’s not easy, and actually, it’s not the usual way we make products in the cosmetic industry. But when you deal with organics, you have to really throw in a sensory component, as well as very strict quality control. Not just in terms of accepting raw material but pilot batches. Even when you have a new raw material, or an old raw material from a different supplier or a new lot of a new material from the same supplier, we have to run pilot batches, making sure the consistency of the product is not going to change. And if consistency issues arise, the formulation itself has to be adjusted to make sure we have the same, consistent product even though the consistency of, let’s say, organic cocoa butter will change from lot to lot. We have to make sure the lotion made from the cocoa butter will always be the same so the consumer will never notice a difference.”

There can also be the expectation from consumers that organic or naturally leaning products don’t work as well or aren’t as effective, but that hasn’t affected the growth of the organic beauty market much. “I see the organic and natural industry is just still blossoming and is really taking off,” Gill observes, and Sabará says, “There is an ever-growing demand for green cosmetics, and they have been gaining more and more space on retailers’ shelves.”

Hot options

With all this growth, there are also organic options that are becoming the “it” ingredients beauty brand owners are seeking out. Sabará acknowledges the continuing popularity of organic vegetable oils and organic extracts, and Fondots agrees, saying, “Several of the nutritional oils and butters—products like shea butter and argan oil and açai oil and pomegranate seed oil—are popular. Also, I’m seeing a lot of demand for certified organic botanical extracts, whether it’s green tea extract or cucumber extract or triple tea extract or rhubarb extract, and on and on.”