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- Our Ethos & Values -
Natural, Vegan, Clean & Sustainable Skincare

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Switching to natural skincare isn't just about following a trend; it's a conscious decision supported by compelling evidence and research. It's good for our skin and well-being; it's good for our planet and wildlife but if you are undecided keep on reading to find out what we mean by Natural, Vegan, Clean & Sustainable Skincare - our ethos & values.
Natural Ingredients

All of the ingredients in our skincare are either: natural or carefully derived from natural ingredients or are 'nature identical'. This is what we mean by these terms:

 

  • 'All Natural Ingredients' are any ingredient that either has not undergone a significant process before being used, such as dried botanicals, salts or a simple gentle process such as cold pressing botanicals to produce botanical oils.

  • 'Naturally derived' ingredients are any ingredient whose original source started off from plants, botanicals, minerals, and microbes. This can include herbal-infused oils, plant extracts, antioxidants, essential oils, hydrosols, emulsifiers, plant waxes and natural colourants. They have undergone a process, and are enhanced, developed and/or extracted. Please note that some skincare makers use 'naturally derived' for anything that originally started off as natural, even if it has undergone a harsh chemical process.

  • 'Nature identical' are ingredients that have been manufactured through chemistry to be exactly identical to the ones that can be found in nature. This can ensure that some compounds and materials are pure and more accessible. Another aspect to consider is that some ingredients are more sustainable and ecological when manufactured in a lab, such as citric acid. If the amount of citric acid that is used in cosmetics, food/drinks manufacturing and in other industries was extracted from lemons, the land and water use would ecologically unsound, unsustainable and wasteful. We want to be honest and open and not 'greenwash' - the 'nature identical' ingredient we use are as close to natural as possible but technically they are not, even if some skincare makers would say they are. We choose to use these ingredients (mainly preservatives) to ensure our products are safe and healthy to use. Only a few of our products use preservatives. Find out more about why we use preservatives in some of our products here.

All of our ingredients, whether they are natural, naturally derived or 'nature identical' are of high quality, with many being organic, ECO CERT, COSMO and/or are approved by the Soil Association.  We also carefully and ethically source our oils, minerals and botanicals, ensuring that natural resources are harvested sustainably and when possible use 'upcycled' materials. E.g. our Apricot Kernel Oil is sourced from the kernels of the apricot jam industry. This is a work in progress and our ingredients are always under review. To find out more about our ingredients have a look at our Ingredient Almanac.

'No Nasties'

So now that you know what we do use in our products (Natural & Clean ingredients) , here is what we do not use and why. 

 

Sulfates 

The most common sulfate compounds you will find in costmetics are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These are manufactured from fatty alcohols made from palm oil or petroleum. In some people with sensitive skin or skin prone to eczema/ psoriasis it can cause inflammation, discomfort and redness. Even without sensitive skin, regular and overuse use of SLS and SLES can results in the development of dry skin. This is why we are Sulfate free.

Parabens

Parabens are a group of preservatives that include isobutylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben,  ethylparaben, and methylparaben. They have been used in cosmetics for many years and have become controversial as some research suggests that they cause hormone disruption, which could have an effect on fertility/sperm count and may cause an increase in breast cancer. There is even some evidence that this level of hormone disruption, specifically the increase of oestrogen,  could cause early puberty in some girls. This why we are Paraben free.

Phthalates

This large group of chemicals are found everywhere, in plastics, foods, toys and cosmetics. A number of them are banned from babies' toys and products; in some studies it is suggested that these chemicals have been shown to cause an increase in cancer and development issues and fertility issues; and there is suggestions one phthalates in particular is linked to endometriosis in women. High levels of Phthalates can cause red and inflamed eyes, nausea, dizziness, vomiting as well as dry and irritated skin. This is why we are phthalates free and use glass for our packaging and never use single use plastics (plastics can have high levels of phthalates, especially recycled plastics).

 

Evidence sited by the Soil Association 

  • Sathyanarayana, S et al (2016) First trimester phthalate exposure and male newborn genital anomalies, Environmental Research 151,pp 777-782

  • Dong-Wook L, et al (2018) Prenatal and postnatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and neurodevelopmental outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Environmental Research 167, pp 558-566

  • Messerlian, C et al (2016) Urinary Concentrations of Phthalate Metabolites and Pregnancy Loss Among Women Conceiving with Medically Assisted Reproduction, Epidemiology 27(6):pp 879-888

Synthetic Fragrances 

The main problem with synthetic fragrances (fragrance or parfum) is that their ingredients are protected as a 'trade secret' so we just don't know what they are made of, however, many contain phthalates. In addition, with over 4,000 unknown chemicals in these fragrances most of whom are artificial, it is not surprising that they are a source of headaches, migraines, irritation and allergies for many people. One study highlighted that over 1,200 fragrance chemicals used in cosmetics and perfumes have been flagged as potential or known “chemicals of concern”. This is why we are fragrance-free. We only use natural essential oils or hydrosols to scent our products.

In addition to the 4 'nasties' above we do not use: silicones, petrochemicals such as Toluene, mineral oils (petroleum jelly - basically petrol), Formaldehyde, Polyethylene Glycol (PEGS), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), alcohol fillers (Isopropyl alcohol and Ethanols), artificial Retinol, Triclosan, Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) ingredients, Palm Oil that is not certified as sustainable, synthetic Glycerine, synthetic Vitamin E, and synthetic colourants and many more. We are always learning and our 'No Nasties' list is constantly under review.

Here is a study showing how quickly individuals (especially teenage girls) can reduce personal exposure to possible endocrine-disrupting chemicals through natural skincare.

 

No Animal Testing

None of our ingredients or final skincare products have been tested on animals. But we would also like to highlight, that although many skincare makers and keen to let you know this, it is the law! Since April 2022, throughout Europe, selling cosmetic products tested on animals is not permitted. The ban on animal testing applies to both the final product and any of the ingredients within the product.

However, this does not mean that our products are not tested or assessed to ensure they are safe for use. All of our skincare potions have undergone all required cosmetic safety assessments (CPSR) and are registered with the UK Government Cosmetics Notification Service.

Vegan

All of our products contain no animal products. We love Mother Nature’s plants, botanicals and natural minerals, so that is what we use. We do not use honey, beeswax, dairy products, or animal musks.

Sustainable Packaging

All of our packaging, handmade cards, paper and skincare containers are recyclable, biodegradable, compostable or reusable. We never use ‘single use’ plastics. The only plastics we use are pipette nipples and spray atomisers as we have not identified non plastic ones. However, these are reusable as we can send refills so they can be used again and again.

 

Our skincare containers are glass rather than plastic and our labels are not coated in plastic (which means they can be stained with oils but we believe that it is worth the trade). We are working on sourcing labels coated in plant based 'plastics' to solve this problem but it is a work in progress. Again we do not want to greenwash, the down side to using glass is that the carbon footprint for transport is higher due to the increase in weight.

Hand Made in Scotland in Small Batches


We are a small family business located on the East Coast of Scotland along the banks of the beautiful River Tay - just outside of Dundee. We make all of our natural products by hand in small batches with gratitude, passion and a bit of plant magick. We channel and the herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, the Celtic mythological healer, Airmid and perhaps a bit of Luna Lovegood. 

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