April 15, 2021 6 min read
On each of our products, you’ve probably seen the percentage of natural and organic ingredients. But what do they really mean?
You may think that natural and organic mean more or less the same thing. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Just because an ingredient is natural doesn’t automatically mean that it is organic too. Similarly, eco-friendly skincare can mean something entirely different!
Read on to find out what natural and organic skincare really means and how Evolve Beauty is an eco-friendly beauty brand.
Beauty products that use ingredients that are sourced from a natural origin can be defined as ‘natural’. Natural origin means ingredients that are grown or cultivated rather than those synthesised from petrochemical ingredients.
It is worth noting that natural doesn’t automatically mean good in the same way that synthetic ingredients don’t necessarily equate to bad. There are many toxic chemicals that are ‘natural’ which are poisonous to us - one example is poison ivy!
At Evolve Beauty, we use an independent certification to verify that our products are natural and organic. 25 products in our range are COSMOS Organic and a further 7 are COSMOS Natural certified.
COSMOS certifications help consumers to identify products that are natural or organic. They guarantee products that are environmentally conscious, respect biodiversity and responsible use of natural resources so you can shop with confidence!
In a COSMOS certified natural product, only ingredients from natural origin are allowed except a restrictive approved synthetic ingredients list authorised in small quantities. Each ingredient is screened very carefully to make sure it meets the stringent standards for extraction and processing.
There are many other parts of the standard to do with the way the products are manufactured and even the way that waste is disposed of. For more details on the full standard, visit the COSMOS website here.
Humans have evolved with nature for centuries and we believe that our bodies are more biocompatible with natural ingredients. This is why we choose them over synthetic ingredients as much as possible when formulating our products.
Our bodies already recognise natural ingredients and may treat synthetic alternatives as ‘toxins’ that are then removed from the body.
One example of a natural ingredient we love is Hyaluronic Acid. It’s a powerful ingredient, known for its hydrating properties, and can hold up to 1000x its weight in water. Hyaluronic Acid is naturally found in our bodies that helps to retain water in our skin, giving it that plumped appearance.
With age, these levels of Hyaluronic Acid decrease. This means that we might need to give our skin a little extra push by using HA in our skincare.
Organic means working with nature, not against it. Organic ingredients are farmed without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides and genetically modified organisms are prohibited.
Choosing organically-farmed ingredients has many benefits to the environment.
Non-organic farming uses synthetic pesticides and chemicals that have damaging effects on the world’s ecosystems. The affected areas may experience a decrease in soil fertility, biodiversity loss, including pollinators like bumblebees, and have a higher carbon footprint over all.
We use around 53 certified organic ingredients across our range of products. This means an average of 3.5 tonnes of extra carbon dioxide/hectare is removed by the soils compared to non-organically farmed ingredients! By doing so, these organic products enhance biodiversity up to 50% more.
Organic ingredients are also proven to contain more nutrients compared to conventionally farmed alternatives. This is because these plants undergo micro-stress responses that make them stronger and survive better under environmental pressure. This is known as xenohormesis.
The nutrients here are then fed back into the ecosystem and into the soils. This increases soil fertility that is fed back into the plants.
Non-organically farmed ingredients do not experience the same stresses due to synthetic chemicals that fight off pests and weeds which is why we choose organic farming.
We believe in the power of organic ingredients because they truly work with our bodies and with the natural environment.
At the moment, there is no legislation about using the word organic as even if a product contains a small amount of organic ingredients, it can be described as “organic”.
COSMOS certified organic is a stringent standard which is much more meaningful and we have certified 30 of our products to this standard.
COSMOS divides up agricultural ingredients into physically processed (e.g. cold pressed sunflower oil) and chemically processed (e.g. a wash ingredient that is natural origin such as sodium coco sulfate).
As well as every ingredient and the product meeting the COSMOS natural standard, COSMOS organic products need to contain 20% certified organic ingredients (including water which is often 60-70% of the total ingredients of a product) and 95% of the physically processed agricultural ingredients need to be certified organic.
The key difference between natural and organic skincare is that ‘natural’ is about the ingredient itself where ‘organic’ is the process behind the ingredient.
Think about natural as coming from nature, and organic as working with nature.
We believe in being honest about how natural our products are. On each of our labels, you’ll find the percentage of natural and organic ingredients for full transparency. We do this to ensure that our customers know exactly what they’re applying onto their skin.
We use at least 98% natural ingredients in each product and aim to use as many organic ingredients as possible.
While all of our products contain a high percentage of natural and organic ingredients, we are continuing to work on gaining COSMOS certifications on our full range. In some cases this means we need to make minor modifications to our formulas which does take time. This means that if your favourite product doesn’t have the certification on its label yet, don’t worry as it should have soon!
By 2023, we hope to certify 95% of our range!
Being eco-friendly means using environmentally-friendly material and processes to reduce negative impact on the world around us. This can be how ingredients are sourced, right through to the way the products are packaged.
Eco-friendly skincare is a step towards being sustainable in an industry that . We believe that being environmentally conscious can have a positive impact on the environment and not just our skin!
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Evolve Beauty. We are committed to finding better solutions to make our products greener.
To be fully transparent with our customers, we have documented our journey in a Sustainability Report which we will update every year. From protecting biodiversity and being climate positive, it outlines five key areas of what we have achieved so far and what we aim to do in the future.
One of these areas is being Plastic Negative. As a company, we understand the problem with plastic. While it is a durable material, most of it ends up in landfills and harms the environment.
“95% of packaging in the beauty industry is discarded after one use.”
We aim to reduce as much plastic waste in our products as possible. 60% of our packaging already contains some recycled content and 100% of glass, plastic bottles and lids are recyclable. We’ve also upgraded our kraft paper cartons to FSC-certified grass paper packaging is 100% compostable in garden waste, and uses 99.9% less water than standard wood pulp.
We have also partnered with rePurpose Global to remove twice as much plastic from the environment as we use in our packaging. This means we have been awarded a Plastic Negative certification and we are the first beauty brand in the UK to do so!
We have invested in a rePurpose Global project that aims to remove multi-layered plastic packaging that would otherwise end up in landfills in Aurangabad, India. Throughout the year, around 10,680kgs of plastic waste will be saved from landfills and 30kg of CO2 emissions will be removed from the environment!
We are so proud to be Plastic Negative and make positive impacts on the environment. You can be sure that when you buy with Evolve Beauty, you are also helping remove plastic from the environment!
As well as being Plastic Negative, we are also trying to measure and reduce our carbon emissions, from our wind-powered eco-studio to sustainability sourcing ingredients as close to the UK as possible. We have partnered with Earthly to offset 110% of carbon emissions measured so far, which means we have been awarded a Climate Positive certification.
By the end of this year, we hope to measure and offset our entire carbon footprint and continue to fight against climate change.
We live in a world that gives so much to us and it’s time that we give back. As a company, we recognise our impact and responsibility to protect our environment. Find out more about our sustainability pillars here.
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