As the first long weekend of the summer gives me the gift of an extra day to catch up on life, similar to daylight savings, I feel that the gift of even an extra hour to get my never ending “to-do” list complete is a miracle – I find myself actually reading the paper versus scanning it, as I do during the week, and then call it “reading” (honestly who has the time to read 50 pages of newspaper everyday, and why, as our days get busier, do newspapers get longer?).
Anyway, as I am actually reading the paper, I come across the Farmer’s Market Guide for Toronto. You always know that spring has sprung when the city starts to bloom with fruit & veggie stands and the Life sections of papers are filled with new recipes that guide you to purchasing local and fresh ingredients. However, as I read through the list, I started noticing that what each area’s market was known for sounded a lot like the ingredient list to my new John Master’s face cream: peaches, apricots and shitake mushrooms can all be found in either the farmer’s market or my face cream bottle. As I have moved towards more natural organic skincare, I should not be surprised by the similarity in these two areas of my day, skincare and eating, but wonder if anyone else has drawn the parallel?
As the creators of our skin care brands look to go back to our roots, as it were, I have to admit to looking at my skincare ingredients as more of a grocery list than an ingredient list, now that harsh chemicals are a thing of the past. To be honest when I come across an ingredient that I can’t pronounce I think twice or pull out my trusty iPhone and Google that unknown item to see just what exactly it is. And just like when I head to my local farmer’s market I look for those little badges of eco-honor like: EcoCert, USDA Organic, CDA Organic and the Organic Crop Improvement Association to be stamped alongside the ingredient list or on the packaging. Like a girl guide’s sash, full of patches, the more I see the more I want to know about the product and recognize the company as a leader in understanding the organic noise that is out there.
My personal skincare choice – John Masters Organics – looks to approach the creation of their skincare line with the core values of clean and simple. You will never find any artificial fragrances or colors in this line – and honestly who needs them when you have a blood orange and vanilla body lotion that smells so delicious you just want to get a spoon. Not only do they look to create natural products but their packaging is printed on 100% recycled and unbleached paper (using as little ink as possible) and their bottles are made of recyclable materials.
The Jurlique skincare line (this is what I am working myself up to, as it is a bit pricey but WELL worth it) is a vertical company and instead of purchasing its ingredients from organic farmers they have their own farm which is based on the biodynamic farming philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (who launched a movement around this philosophy in 1924). The basic idea behind this type of farming is that the crops that are grown on the soil are companion crops – what one crop takes from the soil the other gives back – making sure the soil they use is always balanced with nutrients. The ingredients are then hand picked before they put through process that use simple things like steam and water distilling – which leave little waste and do not let harsh chemicals into the air during the process.
Unlike that Farmer’s Market restaurant where you claim “I could have made this at home”, the skincare created by these fresh ingredients requires a love for processes that take time to master and a knowledge of plant biology and farming practices that make any occupation seem simple in comparison (even astro physics, I swear it!). Though I feel like I should be able to whip up a little skin care on my stove at home, I am happy to support these pioneering skincare experts who make my skin glow and feel healthier than ever and make me question if I should put my face cream on my bowl of strawberries. Give them a try; I would love to know what you think!