Isn’t it insane that our love for naturals can cause the degradation of Nature? Most of us believe that natural fragrances are better, healthier, and safer than other fragrances. However, when we go deeper to understand naturals, we discover that being natural may not be enough.
In fact, they may not be as inoffensive as we think. So, how can we keep our love for naturals without degrading Nature, keeping us healthy as well? Well, the beauty market is starting a new revolution. New brands bring clarity and create products that can be good, safe, sustainable, ethically sourced, and still rich in naturals. That’s the clean beauty movement.
Be natural doesn’t mean being safe and sustainable
Aiming to have a healthier and more balanced life, we start to think better about our choices, going for habits and products more aligned with our new lifestyle. That’s why the interest in natural cosmetics has been increased in the past years.
We tend to believe that naturals are good and synthetics are evil, always. Well, let us bring some clarity on this. Any substance can be malefic to our body if the concentration limits are not respected. This goes for naturals and synthetics.
Do you know that Rose, one of the most loved flowers that inspired so many perfumers, is one of the most restricted ingredients in perfumery in the European Union? In rose absolute, there is 1-1,5% of methyl eugenol – a carcinogenic substance – that is limited to 0,025% on leave-on products (everything that stays on your skin, for example, a moisturizer).
Jasmin absolute (grandiflorum), which also has a lovely smell, is restricted to only 0,6% in the final product due to dermal sensitization. Many naturals were already banned from perfumery, and many are restricted – as well as synthetic ingredients – for different reasons.
Besides, naturals – in the current widespread concept – are not the most sustainable solution as well. One of the most precious essential oils is Rosewood. It is a perfume by itself, perfect. Another one is Sandalwood, wonderful. Both have been widely used in perfumery for years, but the over-exploitation is leading to the extinction of trees that take over 30 years to get mature. The Rosewood is not available in the market anymore. It has been replaced by other essential oils.
Not to mention that the sourcing of naturals might take advantage of workers under unfair labor conditions or wages.
The molecule itself is more important than its origin
In terms of safety, the molecule itself is more important than its origin. The fact is that a molecule is extracted from Nature doesn’t make it safer for us. We still see people spreading wrong information, saying that naturals are good because they don’t cause allergies. Some companies are also taking advantage of this situation by selling products with claims that are not totally true: natural perfumes with many synthetics, 100% natural perfumes with no allergens – just some examples.
We want to spread the truth. People can make good choices if they have the right information. How many people prepare natural homemade perfumes with rose, for example, without knowing the real risks? Or even paying a lot for a natural fragrance thinking they are safer, that they won’t have any reaction to it. Having the thought that natural is always good, many people do not take proper care when dealing with natural ingredients and may have undesirable results. Naturals are really powerful and can be dangerous if misused, like any other substance.
In perfumery, it’s beautiful and at the same time frustrating working with natural materials. Having to limit the concentration of naturals in formulas for safety reasons also limits creativity. So, does it mean that synthetics are better and safer? We support the idea that it’s is all about balance, as in many sectors of our lives.
Transparency is vital to make good choices
How can we make good choices if we don’t know what the product is made of? In fragrance, most brands are forced by the fragrance developers to hide the ingredients with the excuse of protecting them from copies. Some perfumers also argue that the revealing of the ingredients list destroys the charm of a perfume.
Well, just as we evolved in how we make choices, companies should also follow the evolution. Little by little, companies will realize that reveal the ingredients must be part of the consumers’ rights.
There is no better scent than that created by Nature
At Adhory Scents, our initial objective was to create a 100% natural fragrance that was still sophisticated. We didn’t want to create one more perfume that was good but didn’t seem real. Also, we wanted to make good fragrances that could help to balance mood. Naturals seemed to be perfect for that.
At some point, we realized that we didn’t want a 100% natural perfume anymore because it would not be enough. We wanted to create sustainable and safe fragrances rich in naturals. For us, naturals are very important and essential in any perfume because they are richer and more real. We will keep using them as much as we can to create good and responsible fragrances, no matter how challenging it can be. We do believe that the closer a cosmetic is to its natural state, the more it balances and reconnects us with ourselves and with Nature, but this cannot be a reason to degrade it.
Sustainability and High Safety Standards
In our fragrances, the use of synthetic materials is extremely controlled. We created a system to evaluate and select each ingredient, being more strict than IFRA and the European Commission of Cosmetics. For example, we don’t use substances with less than 30 years of application. Every year, new researches come out pointing to substances that once were considered safe but are now aggressive or cause diseases.
Besides, we want to be an agent of change for a more sustainable way of living. Using petrochemicals for everything, it’s far from being sustainable. Petrochemicals aren’t a renewable source and often create non-biodegradable substances. We do support the use of biomass to create bio-synthetics identical to naturals. Unfortunately, the industry is still far from supplying them widely. UPM, a Finnish company that leads the forest-based bioindustry, is doing good work in this direction.
Our connection with Nature is precious and always will be our best source of inspiration, always respecting the limits.
Keep balanced and adorable!
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