Natural and Organic Skin Care products – Gentle, yet nourishing on the skin

When it comes to defining skincare, there are no hard and fast rules. Natural or organic skincare does not necessarily mean chemical-free. Every ingredient is a chemical regardless of its origin Water, for example, is a chemical component.

Cosmetics made from natural ingredients tend to market themselves as ‘natural’, containing primarily plant or mineral ingredients. The term ‘organic’ refers to ingredients that have been grown without artificial or chemical pesticides. By this practice, one creates harmony with nature, and healthy soil, nutritious crops and animal welfare is assured.

Devotees attest to the superior feel and effectiveness of organic products in maintaining a radiant, youthful glow.

When purchasing skin and body products, always check the labels. If a product claims to be made from natural ingredients, read what it contains and most importantly what is left out (such as synthetic preservatives, fragrances, petrochemical products and other chemical derivatives) Always look for certification (natural or organic) from a credible certifying body, bearing in mind that while most ethical products bear the seals of authenticity, there are smaller and equally genuine manufacturers sharing this commitment who cannot afford to be certified It might also help to check where the ingredients are produced and if the packaging is biodegradable or recyclable.

In this way you can be assured that you are choosing products that are gentle, yet nourishing on the skin and are also kind to the environment.

Although the standards used to judge beauty vary across the world, what has remained consistent through the centuries is our collective pursuit and appreciation of nature in all its colourful diversity Among today’s most discerning spa clients, the authenticity and purity of spa product ingredients are becoming as important as the therapies available. Informed spa operators realise this and are moving towards the use of products made from fresh natural ingredients in their spas. Those who do not manufacture their own products increasingly choose to use natural skincare products, free from harsh and suspect chemicals that nourish the skin as nature intended it. The market for these products is one of the biggest trends in spas today.

Much of this is possible because many of the most appealing spas are found in some of the world’s most sought-after locations, where nature’s freshest, purest ingredients coexist in harmony with the unspoilt beauty of the surroundings. In many of these regions, organic farming is the standard process of agriculture, and flowers, seeds and leaves are tenderly nurtured in the most fertile soils before being hand-gathered and concocted into nourishing skincare remedies.

Take the Indian Ocean, for example. Blessed with an abundant array of endemic healing plants and flowers, the Seychelles resembles an oversized apothecary. Many of the recondite Seychellois raspay (or traditional remedies) such as pittosporum, said to purify the blood, are being incorporated into masks, scrubs and skin tonics. Rose oil from the remote Himalayan region is among the purest and sweetest in the world. Local farmers gather the roses at dawn when they are at their most vibrant and fragrant. In Japan, Camellia oil is a centuries-old secret for radiant skin and hair. It continues to be incorporated into spa menus throughout the country, while virgin coconut oil remains the mainstay In many of the skin-nourishing products and therapies in the Philippines In these and many other countries’ traditions, a number of nature’s tried-and-tested ingredients reign among indigenous skincare prescriptions.

Another new trend in the spa industry is found in the male-grooming market; in fact it is one of the primary drivers in global skin care today. Massages, facials, scrubs and wraps incorporating nature’s most nourishing ingredients are the highlights of therapies for men.

With environmental issues at the top of the world’s agenda and people striving for healthier and less toxic ways of living, it seems these natural products are the best way to beauty. Knowing that animals are not used in the testing and development of these products further enhances their appeal.