As we all become more 'woke', we are becoming more conscientious about the stores and producers we support. That includes the products we use for skin care, personal care, etc. The natural beauty industry is growing at an incredible pace. The organic personal care market is currently valued at $36 billion and is expected to rise to $54 BILLION by 2027. Within this market, the skin care segment dominates. What started as a relatively small niche that prioritized small batch and local small businesses has turned into a multi BILLION dollar market.
The sector has been overrun with competition.All of the big brands have jumped into the mix offering everything from shampoo, skincare products and makeup.
Natural beauty products are everywhere now. But, just how natural can they be? And if they are 100% natural, what resources might they be exploiting? How can we be sure that their products are sourced from sustainable farms and suppliers? In the beginning, the niche of natural beauty products included not only products made with non toxic ingredients, but also looked to support local small businesses that operated in an eco-friendly, sustainable way. The products tended to be made in small batches to ensure the highest attention to detail and highest quality possible. Now, it is increasingly difficult to sort through all of the different options to find a worthwhile product that fits that bill.
As you can see I am incredibly skeptical of the new natural wave that has taken over the beauty industry. My experience working at my spa in Milan, Italy, my interactions with product representatives were never about what was good for women, for their skin, for the environment. My interactions always came down to one factor - money. My contacts within the sector often told me laughing (as if it were some kind of inside joke) that their products weren't particularly special, that they certainly never achieved their promises but that the marketing and price point were perfect to make women believe and buy. We've all heard of the examples - the spokeswoman who has never used the product she is selling, the influencers who will sell literally anything and everything as long as they get paid.
Even today, 10 years later, my cynicism makes me doubt any and all beauty products produced on an industrial level. If a leading baby product company can lose a multi million dollar lawsuit because, in fact,their baby powder is full of asbestos, what else might be going on?
Now during this natural skin care boom, coffee scrubs have become increasingly visible in our supermarkets and beauty shops. I recently came across 2 in particular - one from a German supermarket whose branding is of organic, natural products. I found another coffee based scrub in our major department store here in Lugano. Curious to see how it compared to Clean Beauty Swiss Coffee Ginger and Coffee Chili Pepper scrubs, I bought them.
Eagerly I opened each immediately. In both cases, the overwhelming smell was alarming. It was the coffee version of children's 'fruit flavored' candies, kind of smelled like coffee but so artificial and chemical smelling. It was so overpowering that I was not able to use either scrub all over my body because they each gave me a ferocious headaches.
What I was able to exfoliate left me extremely disappointed. The 'coffee' seemed to be microbeads - small little balls that were way too uniform. A scrub should feel good on your skin and uniformly exfoliate, removing the top layer of dead skin cells. These scrubs however just scratched at my skin. I don't think they actually did anything. Looking over the ingredient list I was hopeful that they would at least be hydrating, they are full of 3-4 different oils. But again, disappointment. My skin was so dry after using these scrubs that for the first time in years I absolutely had to use a body cream!
Clean Beauty Swiss scrubs are handmade in small batches. By using 100% natural ingredients, environmental factors can force us to change the recipe somewhat. Sometimes more coconut oil is needed, sometimes less. Our coffee scrubs are extremely effective at exfoliating your skin, but with coconut oil that hydrates deep down leaving that fresh skin hydrated and silky. The advantage of small batch production is this attention to detail - unless I would use it on myself, I do not put a Clean Beauty Swiss label on it.
This smell got me curious about their ingredients. After using Google to double check their INCI ingredients, it all seemed to be natural (INCI stands for International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredients) - but the smell of these products suggested otherwise. As much as I researched, I couldn't find evidence of any preservatives or additives. But I did notice in small lettering on the packaging that the scrub 'Is not edible'. Why? What is hidden in those INCI ingredient listing that these producers do not want us to see or know?
Here at Clean Beauty Swiss the ingredient list is as it should be - easy to read and understand. Instead of Coffea Arabica Seed Extract, Cocos Nucifera Oil, you find coffee grounds and coconut oil. Another reason small batch is important, all of our ingredients are Fair Trade and whenever possible, locally sourced. Our scrubs, while we don't recommend it, are actually edible. Hopefully making you a bit less nervous when your young kids or pets get into your beauty products!
As much as these 2 industrially produced scrubs disappointed me, they hardly surprised me. I am hopeful for the future of the natural skin care market. But, I would always urge caution when tempted to buy a product from a large chain store. I personally think the best option is always the small batch, small business for natural alternatives.
Again, as an example, let's look at Clean Beauty Swiss natural scrubs. Each scrub is developed and tested on me and my friends, never on animals. All handmade in small batches, there are no preservatives, additives or extra perfumes. As orders come in, the scrubs get made. No sitting on shelves for years. The ingredients are freshly blended and packaged. Our small production line produces less than 10 scrubs at a time. You can be sure that a check on all quality and ingredients has happened. Right down to putting the label on the jar. Literally what you see is what you get - Clean Beauty Swiss does not use the INCI ingredient list. Our ingredients are coffee, coconut oil, sea salt, etc.
Clean Beauty Swiss prides itself on being the anti-industry product. Small batch is the future of skin care. Check your farmer's markets, local organic food shops and obviously, online to support a small business. You won't regret it.