As a qualified nurse, Esther Ogundipe has seen first-hand how certain ingredients in skincare products can have a detrimental effect to the skin as well as sometimes to a person’s health and wellbeing.
Esther is a firm believer that beauty should not come at the expense of health and wanted to learn how to create natural skincare products. One of her main concerns was how synthetic ingredients had an effect on the skin as Esther had experienced skin problems of her own.
Some wholly synthetic (or ‘chemical’) ingredients are completely laboratory produced and have been criticised and linked to human toxicity. Esther explains:
“Since switching to organic skincare all the issues I used to experience have been resolved and my skin is much healthier, brighter and better than it was before. Creating my own organic skincare means I can offer people a natural and organic alternative to chemical-laden skincare products.”
What Esther is concerned with is the fact that ‘natural’ is not a regulated term across the industry and there are varying degrees of what it actually means. For more information about the degrees of natural skincare and what natural skincare actually means, check out our article How natural is natural skincare?
Additionally, and unfortunately, there is a lot of greenwashing that goes on which means that products that ‘appear’ to be organic are not. This happens in both natural and organic skincare products. Despite your intentions, there might be some ingredients which don’t conform to your organic values.
If you want to buy organic cosmetic products, it is important to know that ‘organic’ can only truly be claimed if the cosmetic products go through certification.
Each certification body has its own standards regarding what ingredients are permitted and what aren’t.
If a product is certified organic, this means it can’t contain any ingredient that the specific standard doesn’t allow.
For example, some cosmetic organizations and beauty brands make lotions using natural, perhaps even organic, oils and butters. However, they then use PEG emulsifiers that are derived from petrochemicals, and parabens or formaldehyde releasers as preservatives. These ingredients are not allowed in certified organic products.
These organizations call their products ‘natural’.
They are legally allowed to. But the products contain ingredients that are not very nature-friendly and do not conform to the value systems of the person who truly values natural and organic beauty.
It is where the synthetic ingredient sits in the spectrum of ‘natural’ that is important to note, and Esther was on a mission to find out.
The best way to truly know what is in the products you use is to make them yourself!
When you make your own products, you can decide what ingredients you use, focusing on what means the most to you. In Esther’s case what meant the most was the search for organic ingredients that help to create truly organic skincare products.
Building her knowledge and skills in the natural skincare industry
Esther chose to study with the School of Natural Skincare because of the School’s excellent reputation. She says:
“The Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation is offered at an affordable price but, most importantly, it enabled me to gain the knowledge and skills I needed to be able to formulate truly natural and healthy skincare products.”
The Diploma provided far more in-depth learning than Esther had anticipated and this has led to a change of direction in her life. Esther explains:
“I was hoping to gain more knowledge so that I could formulate safe and effective skincare products for my family. However, the course exceeded my expectations and was more in-depth than I had realised. As a result, after completing the Diploma, I started my own business! I wanted to offer people like me a natural, alternative range of skincare.”
Esther still works as a nurse, but she now does this part-time to allow her to build her exciting new business as a formulator of natural skincare and natural haircare products. Esther says:
“This course has paved a way to a new career for me. As the business grows and expands, I’m hoping to be able to work in natural skincare and haircare full-time as it’s something I’m passionate about.”
Formulating affordable, organic and natural skincare products
Esther focuses on formulating affordable natural skincare products containing organic ingredients, wherever possible. Her aim is to promote health and wellbeing as part of an everyday natural skincare routine. Esther says:
“I source my cosmetic ingredients from trusted suppliers, who ethically source all of their cosmetic ingredients. Wherever possible I choose ingredients with organic certification. I avoid using synthetic or toxic ingredients in my formulations, using only those that are plant-based to ensure safe, healthy and effective skincare.”
Don’t compromise on your natural skincare products
Her advice to anyone who aspires to formulate organic skincare products is not to compromise on quality. She recommends “keeping your formulations simple and clean at the same time as promoting health and wellness”.
A natural skincare game-changer
Prior to studying with the School of Natural Skincare, Esther admits she struggled to calculate natural skincare ingredients accurately. She was following online natural skincare recipes, which sometimes ended in disaster.
Formulating turned into a bit of a guessing game if no measurements were given for the listed ingredients. Esther would end up choosing a random measurement and seeing how it turned out. In truth, she says, “it didn’t always turn out very well!”
“Enrolling on the Diploma was a game-changer for me; I can now confidently write a skincare formula and accurately make my own nourishing, organic skincare products without having to go through the pain of trial and error, struggling to follow other people’s formulas.”
Different natural skincare ingredients for different issues
The Diploma has not only given Esther the confidence to calculate natural skincare ingredients precisely but, crucially, it has taught her which natural skincare ingredients to use to address different skin issues and for different skin types.
Her personal favourite is shea butter. She loves it because “it is super effective and keeps the skin healthy and glowing”, although she admits it’s not always the easiest natural skincare ingredient to work with, particularly in formulating balms.
Sourcing organic skincare suppliers
Esther discovered that the best way to find suppliers of organic skincare ingredients was through careful online research. She also advocates joining natural and organic skincare support groups, explaining:
“I found that people were very willing to share or signpost me to trusted organic suppliers that they had used. I would also suggest formulators traveling to see where the products are produced; this is something I found really helpful.”
Becoming a natural skincare formulator
Her product range is not yet certified as organic but her aim is to get certified soon. Esther concludes:
“I would like to thank the School of Natural Skincare for helping me to become a confident and knowledgeable natural skincare formulator. Since completing the course, I have started my own business in haircare and skincare and I’m excited about that.”
One of the challenges everyone has when choosing a skincare product for themselves is to know exactly what is inside the product i.e. what ingredients have been used.
Leading high street brands can often hide behind clever captions, marketing slogans, names and descriptions that often misleads consumers to believing the product is something more than what it actually is.
Labels are also hard to understand because the ingredients are listed in their scientific names.
More and more people are turning to natural & organic cosmetic products but often these can be expensive and a lot of people are priced out…plus being able to identify the truly natural or truly organic products is much harder than you think.
The only way to truly know what’s in the products you use is to make them for yourself.
The key thing here is you decide!
You take the power back, you select and source and work with the ingredients that you want to work with. You can eliminate the ones that don’t conform to your value system or that cause you harm/irritation.
Esther spent a long time searching around for information and answers, but found the fast track through studying our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation. This is where she was able to bring her passion for cosmetics and desire to go organic to the table and learn to make her dream of creating her own range of truly organic cosmetics become a reality.
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