Choosing Eco-Friendly Natural Skincare By Dr. Linda Miles L. Ac., D.O.M.
DERMA E believes in healthy skin, a healthy world and a healthier environment. We feel that through maintaining environmentally responsible business practices, supporting animal welfare and land conservation programs, and manufacturing eco-friendly, ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ skincare products, we are continuously striving to make the world a better place. To help you strengthen your commitment to the environment every day, here are some factors to consider when purchasing skincare that will help keep both your skin and our earth healthy.
‘Natural’ and ‘Organic’ Ingredients
First and foremost, when selecting skincare, it is important to understand that ‘natural’ ingredients offer a complex range of healing powers that often can’t be recreated with synthetic ingredients. Many people have been under the misconception that ‘natural’ meant a product was not as strong, but scientific studies now show that natural can often outperform synthetic.
‘Natural’ refers to ingredients that have been derived from naturally occurring sources and have been only minimally processed. For example, cucumber extract, jojoba oil, and safflower oil are all ‘natural’ ingredients and can be referred to by their scientific names, i.e., cucumber extract – cucumis sativas, jojoba oil - simmondsia chinensis and safflower oil - carthamus tinctorius. It is important to have knowledge of this, orit can be very difficult to decipher which ingredients are ‘natural’ and which are not.
‘Organic’ ingredients are also ‘natural’, plant based ingredients, but they must be grown and processed in a specific way, without any substances such as synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, sewage sludge, ionizing radiation or genetically modified organisms. Farms growing ‘organic’ ingredients (and the facilities that process those ingredients) have to be inspected and certified organic by one of the agencies approved by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). Here, it is important to understand that even though the term ‘organic’ can tell you how an ingredient has been grown and processed, it does not tell you about the nutritional or therapeutic quality of the ingredient, only how it was grown. Just because ingredients are certified ‘organic’, does not mean they contain more beneficial properties or provide more healing power than ‘natural’ ingredients.
To ensure that you are selecting ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ products that are beneficial for your specific skincare needs, make sure you do your research on the brand as well as pay close attention to ingredient lists and product labels. Does the specific skincare company offer full disclosure on their ingredient lists? Are the natural ingredients utilized known for, or scientifically proven to help the specific skincare needs you are most concerned about? Does the product contain effective levels of the ingredient to benefit the skin?
When assessing products with ‘organic’ ingredients, make sure the name of the certifying agency is present on the label and keep in mind that even though the ingredients are certified ‘organic’, this does not mean they are better in quality or more beneficial for your skin. ‘Organic’ refers to how the ingredients are grown.
Environmentally Friendly Packaging
Another critical component when selecting eco-friendly ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ skin care is taking into consideration the packaging. What components make up the packaging and is it recyclable? Additionally, it is important that the manufacturer incorporates specific types of paper, packing materials, jars and lids and shipping containers to ensure that the product does not become un-recyclable waste once you are finished using the contents.
Earth Friendly Business Practices
In addition to human beings, each business has a direct impact on the planet. It is important to understand all the possible ways that a company can directly affect the planet and the human population.
The first question to ask is, “Where are the products being manufactured?” If products are being manufactured outside of the country you live in, consider the environmental impact of the shipping of these products around the globe. In addition, does the country where the products are being manufactured require the facility to be eco-friendly? Certain countries have strict environmental manufacturing standards while other countries do not. As you can see, in addition to the actual products, it is important to consider where the products are being manufactured and the environmental standards that apply to the manufacturing facility.
Also, when researching skincare companies, take a good look at their websites. Are they committed to their local community, world communities and the environment?
Commitment to the Environment
DERMA E believes in a collective power to make positive changes in our world; we are guided by that belief and are doing what we can to make a difference.
DERMA E manufactures all products in Southern California and recently made the move to 100% wind energy, significantly reducing the company’s environmental footprint by matching 100% of conventional electricity use with clean, renewable energy. DERMA E uses recyclable componentry in its packaging, has an in-office conservation and recycling program, supports green business practices as a member of the Co-op America Business Network and various animal welfare and land conservation programs. In addition, a percentage of all product sales are donated to The Paraguay Project, a three-tiered charitable program supporting the people, rainforests and land of Paraguay. A beautiful piece of handmade Spiderweb Lace (traditional craft of the Paraguayan people) can also be purchased on our website, dermae.com where all proceeds are donated back to The Paraguay Project.