Traceability has long been an important topic in the food industry. In today’s global economy, your fruit likely originated in South America and your sausage may have been made with pork sourced from multiple countries. With such a lot of distance between the farm and your table, people are becoming increasingly concerned about what they are putting in their body… Where was it grown? What was it exposed to while growing and while being transported? How far was it transported? Who has handled it and how?
Consumers have also begun to advocate for greater traceability in the ingredients of products they put on their bodies. The skin absorbs large quantities of whatever it comes into contact with – nutrients, minerals, vitamins… and poisons. It is so important to treat the outside of your body with the same care with which you treat the inside.
How do you ensure that the products you are using are free of harmful chemicals and truly 100% natural? Trace the origin of the ingredients. If you can trace the ingredient to the source, you can be sure that it is natural or naturally derived. That way you can be certain it hasn’t absorbed harmful environmental pollutants, like heavy metals, during the growing process – and you can be certain that the ingredient IS what it claims to be. Countries in Europe have recently created new legislation to deal with traceability and to protect consumers after several frauds were uncovered. It was discovered in France, for example, that there was quite a lot more “Sea Buckthorn oil” being sold than could possibly have been produced worldwide. We found that a bit scary. What kind of oil, exactly, was being sold? What other countries may have been affected? The moral of the story: trace your ingredient to the source so you aren’t taken advantage of by companies looking to capitalize on a hot trend.
Here are five tips for choosing natural, traceable skincare products for yourself and your family:
- Take the time to read labels and minimize your exposure to harmful chemicals. Look for locally-grown, sustainably-grown and cleanly-grown ingredients.
- Consider both the environment of the ingredient source and the transport required to bring the ingredient to the final processor. Many organically grown teas in Asia, for example, are sprayed with pesticides on the dock before being loaded onto ships for transport to North America. Many ingredients in heavily polluted parts of the world absorb heavy metals and other toxins no matter how carefully they are grown.
- Ask for proof. Is the company willing to share information about the source of its ingredients? There are many ingredients – particularly spices and exotic oils – that can only be sourced non-locally. And many exact ingredient locations are closely guarded secrets. But that does not mean the ingredient can’t be grown and handled according to the highest standards, and it doesn’t mean the company cannot share with you general information about the source.
- When you have a choice, support your local growers. Local ingredients have a small environmental footprint, travel shorter distances, and are generally handled by fewer processors. Organic is great, but local is better.
- Remember that natural does not mean hypoallergenic or non-irritating. Always patch-test new products on your skin – non-synthetic ingredients are not engineered by man to be hypoallergenic!
If you have questions about our products or how to use them, take advantage of our in-house esthetician, who will be available every Wednesday to answer all your questions. 1-888-640-2014