Now, more than ever, all natural skin care is in the beauty spotlight. From cleanser to face oil to moisturizer, the marketplace is filled with natural ingredient choices ranging from whole leaf oils to highly technical plant extractions.
All of this change is wonderful for the consumer – all natural, healthy skin care formulations seem to be everywhere! Social media is flooded with posts for natural skin care, home crafters are jumping on board and selling homemade concoctions at craft fairs and farmers markets, “Do it Yourself’ers can find videos and books easily with simple skin care formulations to make at home. All of this makes healthy, chemical free skin care formulations extremely accessible.
With all of the amazing ingredients in the all natural skin care marketplace there is one that we rarely hear about but is quite possibly the most important ingredient in All Natural Skin Care.
What is that ingredient?
We often see ads for the newest all natural beauty ingredient, formula, or product but we rarely see ads that highlight where the plants, which are the heart of all natural skin care, come from.
This leads us to wonder…where exactly are these flowers, leaves, herbs and petals sourced?
How do you know where your ingredients are coming from?
Most often you don’t know. Most companies tightly guard their sources.
There are a number of reasons that companies may or may not divulge where their ingredients are sourced:
- They are afraid of losing their source. Rare or hard to find resources can easily be used up quickly if a number of companies descend on a grower.
- They don’t know where their plant material is sourced. Some companies use large manufacturing labs that source in bulk and create products for a number of companies. They tend to source where they can get the best price and when ingredients are available. For this reason, they may switch sources often which means the skin care brand/marketing may not know exactly where the ingredient is sourced.
- The plant is sourced from a broker. It is extremely rare for a plant broker to disclose their farm source (see number 1 above). Brokers typically will tell the country the plant is sourced from.
- They are using inferior sources. This is the worst reason for not sharing where your ingredients come from but unfortunately it happens.
Why does it matter where your ingredients come from?
Fresh means a longer product shelf life and that the skin loving elements in the ingredient are still strong and working when they are added to your skin care formulation. Ideally ingredients are harvested and immediately dried so that the plants are not wasting in the field for hours or days before entering the drying facility. And once dried, plants are prepared for use in product formulations quickly so that dried materials are not in storage for a long time.
When ingredients are sourced close to the manufacturer it cuts down on the time the ingredient is in storage. Less storage time reduces the contaminants ingredients are exposed to. For example, pollution in traveling long distances in trucks or cross contamination with other products in storage. And sourcing close to the manufacturer cuts down on fuel and environmental impact overall.
What should you look for to ensure you are getting truly fresh, natural ingredients in your skin care products?
Look for companies that are transparent. That means they divulge their plant sources when asked or better yet, openly on their website.
Look to see what country your plant ingredients are sourced from. Not every ingredient in a good formulation will come from close to the manufacturer’s location but at least some of them should be sourced close to “home”. If you live in the United States, ingredients such as Sunflower Oil, Chamomile, Calendula, etc. can be easily sourced in the U.S. Yes, it may cost more for these products because small, organic cultivation is labor intensive. But the benefits and overall shelf life outweigh the cost.
At Brown Barn Botanicals…
At Brown Barn Botanicals we specialize in creating skin care products that feature whole leaf and flower botanicals grown and hand harvested at our own Wisconsin farm. Many of the plants used in our products are grown at our own farm using organic methods.
Brown Barn Botanicals are hand harvested in small batches and immediately walked to our drying area after harvest. Once dried, plants infused in our own lab shortly after being picked and dried. Our botanicals are not exposed to long field waits, mechanical processing, or long storage periods.
Our farm is in the process of becoming Organic certified and works hard to leave as small of a footprint as possible.
Why do we dry our plants before infusing them into products?
Drying removes excess water which reduces the chance of bacteria entering our formulas.
We also do not “garble” our leaves. Garbling is a method of breaking down the plant leaves after drying to allow for packaging and is typically used in making tea and for selling dried culinary herbs. At Brown Barn we believe that leaving the leaf whole is preferable as it is less stressful to the plant material and allows the leaf to hold as much of its oil as possible.
By growing our own botanicals at our our own farm, harvesting by hand, drying in small batches, and reducing storage and travel time to our lab we are able to ensure the finest and most potent of plant material for our products.
We often hear from customers who tell us “there is just something different about Brown Barn products”. We feel that this is our beautiful plants coming thru the formulation.
We hope you give Brown Barn Botanicals fine skin care products a try. Brown Barn Botanicals plant infusions can be found in all Brown Barn products, Three Leaf beauty products, Nest+Honey Fragrant Apothecary and 7 Day Glow products. Find them at www.brownbarnskincare.com and www.7dayglow.com!