How important is certification for organic skincare? Well, my skincare is for real people that appreciate nature and all that nature offers. I focus on natural and organic ingredients that make a massive difference to both skin health and the environment.
I love organic. I am passionate about organic. I enjoy knowing where my ingredients come from, how they have been grown and that they are 100% vegan and environmentally friendly.
So, as I am so passionate about organic, why am I not certified with the big guns of the organic world, Ecocert, Soil Association etc?
Well, let me explain.
Organic refers to the system of agriculture used to grow ingredients. This means that the plants, herbs, flowers I use are grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides which are so prevalent in the industry today. I love that using organic means inconsistency and imperfection. Flowers grow in varying sizes and colour shades, herbs that need to be harvested quickly, fruits that naturally fall from the tree bursting with aroma…
Organic agriculture allows us to use ‘imperfect’ looking ingredients. Imperfect ingredients that are grown without using chemicals and are, therefore, as perfect as nature intended them to be.
What does organic certification mean & how important is organic certification?
Organic certification can be gained from several bodies worldwide, the most commonly known in the UK are The Soil Association, Ecocert and COSMOS.
Each body has different requirements for acceptance, including what is classed as organic and what counts as natural. Some bodies allow the use of synthetic preservatives, some don’t. Some bodies require a minimum of 95% organic (The Soil Association for example), some are much lower! At the time of writing, COSMOS offers a ‘natural’ certification which doesn’t actually require any ingredients to be organic, whereas the Soil Association requires 50% of ingredients to be organic to gain certification under its natural and organic badge.
As you can see, there is much discrepancy from body to body and this leads to immense confusion for the customer.
So, is Nuts Organic Skincare certified?
Besides the enormous amount of red tape surrounding certification, the ongoing costs involved are significant. Formulations must be constantly assessed, packaging needs to be checked, suppliers need to sign contracts… The list goes on.
The initial cost to achieve compliance isn’t where it ends. There is an ongoing cost to maintain the right to use the organic badge. And this, of course, is for each certifying body.
As you can see, for a small family business that sources a huge amount of its products from Morocco, this sort of significant cost and administrative burden is not currently an option.
Take argan oil, for example. The argan oil produced at my family’s cooperative would have to firstly be assessed by the chosen regulating body in Morocco. As their cooperative is under a different business name, I cannot use their organic certification on the argan oil I retail in the UK and I would therefore have to apply for another certification here, doubling the certification costs on just this one ingredient.
Our organic credentials
I go to great lengths to be transparent about my ingredients and where they are sourced from. I am honest about the overall percentage of organic ingredients in a formulation. I want to be a trusted brand that takes great pride in sourcing environmentally friendly, cruelty free ingredients and I am always happy to pass on the documentation I hold to customers and stockists.
The ingredients I source from Morocco have all been specifically chosen from cooperatives that offer workers a fair wage and education. This is something I am passionate about. I know where and how my ingredients are grown, harvested and produced.
Organic matters. Full Stop. Cruelty free matters. Full Stop. Environmentally friendly matters. Full Stop.
In a time where so many skincare claims don’t stack up, I passionately believe that transparency and passion shine through.
I have always claimed that my brand is NOT for everyone. Indeed, I am not for everyone. Organic skincare works in a way that synthetic doesn’t. Results can be slow and indeed this puts some customers off a product. However, organic skincare works. It offers huge benefits to the skin when consistently used.
Synthetic simply doesn’t work in this way long-term. Synthetic ingredients may show immediate results but one, two, three years down the line they could have caused irreversible damage to your skin, an imbalance of the skin’s natural oil levels, an imbalance of the skin’s natural flora…
Organic ingredients are more expensive than inorganic. Fact. As mentioned above, this is because it takes time for flowers, herbs etc to grown exactly as nature intended, to be harvested gently causing less damage to the environment. Indeed, organic crops are often smaller than inorganic, but it is well worth investing.
What’s next for Nuts Organic Skincare?
I am constantly challenging myself with new formulations. I want to continue to grow a range of products that rival those of the big brands but in an environmentally friendly way.
I want to keep visiting Morocco regularly both for skincare inspiration but also to teach my children how to embrace the environment, how to enjoy learning about culture and most importantly, how to become passionate about skin health. I want to ensure that the ingredients I purchase are bought from cooperatives that benefit their workers and I want to continue my vegan journey.