Integrity and Ingredients – Part I

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With the projected steep rise in natural and organic cosmetic and skin care revenues over the next five years, it’s no surprise that more companies are entering the natural and organic market. With the pressure of increased competition, some companies are resorting to any means possible to get the sale.

Some of the most common tactics are “greenwashing” to appear well, greener or even throwing around marketing terms that sound like they might be scientific or even medical terms. While these tactics might initially work to get the quick sale, in the long run, they are nothing more than a way to trick consumers into thinking their products or ingredients are somehow superior. They may or may not be superior; however, the intent to deceive is still there, and ultimately this lack of integrity harms the entire natural and organic market. Those of us who live and breathe to see the world turn toward more natural and organic solutions clearly see the folly and harm these false claims have on our industry.

Essential holds at its core values such as honesty, transparency, and the genuine desire to create products that add to the well-being of the person purchasing and using those products and the environment. Essential has resisted the rising tide of green marketing by refusing to use terms like “therapeutic grade” on essential oils. Instead, as always, our focus is on providing consistent, creative, high-quality products to sustain our customers’ business (and ours) in a way that positively affects our economy, society, environment and ecosystems around the world.  We strive to do so by researching every single ingredient (yes, every single ingredient) meticulously and making changes where necessary to meet our high standards of efficacy, efficiency, and quality.

In keeping with our value of transparency, we hope you enjoy this three part series about how we use, source, and purchase ingredients for use in our products and for sale on our website.

Fairy Dusting and Ingredient Efficacy

Essential formulates with ingredients that are value added and also possess multiple cosmetic functions and performance benefits. This simply means that every ingredient we use has a specific role in the formulation. We carefully research the most efficacious and safe percentages of active ingredients to make sure that every product we make, from serums to bath soaks, will have the desired effect.  You may have heard the term “Fairy dusting,” also known as “angel dusting” or “window dressing.” Often used in the skin care industry, this term refers to beneficial ingredients used in a product but not in amounts that are sufficient to provide much, if any, benefit. The consumer sees favorable ingredients on the label that convinces them to purchase the product believing that they will reap the benefits. Unfortunately, the actual amounts are too small to produce results. The product has been sprinkled with just a bit of the “good stuff” like dust from a fairy.  You may be asking yourself “Why would anyone do this?” The simple answer is cost. Many of the most effective ingredients are also very expensive. For example; we recently considered using a new ingredient and during our research we discovered that it would cost us $83,000 per pound! Using this expensive ingredient at its most effective percentage can drive the cost of a product up very quickly, so it’s tempting to use a very tiny amount.

Even though many manufacturers subscribe to this practice, Essential has taken a firm stand against “fairy dusting” its products. When we choose to use these expensive ingredients, we work very hard with our vendors to get the best price possible. We use what we need for our formulations, and we also offer these ingredients for sale on our website.

What are your thoughts on “Fairy dusting”? Should there be regulations against this practice?

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