Awakening Wednesday — Skin Care Claims: ‘Cosmetic’ vs ‘Cosmic’?

By Rob Hardwicke, President & Product Master, Awakening Mineral Skin Care

Skin Care Truths

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  I live and work in the world of skin care, and this, sadly, is a world prone to hype and illusion.

There are two, basic polarities of interest: “Beauty/Cosmetic” on the one end and “Natural/Cosmeceutical” on the other.  Up until a decade ago, “Beauty/Cosmetic” was the 800-pound gorilla of the industry — a land of enormous investment and equally enormous return on investment — whose historical sales spanned from the old-time Woolworth and Rexall drug chains (Factoid: Hollywood’s Owl Drug was recognized as the world’s biggest drug store in 1958) to the highest-end haute couture salons and department stores.

Then came the emphasis on ‘natural’, ‘green’, ‘organic’ — the return to traditional herbs and extracts, homeopathy, and Oriental medicine — and the use of operational practices that eschewed the testing of product ingredients on animals.  Formulators of exceptionally pure products such as Aubrey and Dr. Bronner began to flourish through “health food” stores.

Educational efforts by organizations such as PeTA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, coaxed greater consumer demand for better ingredients and better practices, which brought rise to larger businesses such as Tom’s of Maine, Zerbo’s in Michigan, Mother’s Market & Kitchen in California, and then chains such as the western states’ Apollo/Henry’s/Sprouts grouping, and the merger of Wild Oats into Whole Foods Markets.  Of all the brick & mortar purveyors of natural products, Whole Foods, contrary much urban mythology of the web, has done much to make natural products more affordable.   Quality players within the web arose, such as iHerb.com.   …And, of course, this growth around the Natural/Cosmeceutical pole did not escape the attention of those at the Beauty/Cosmetic end: Companies such as Clorox, Proctor & Gamble and L’Oreal acquired key players on the natural side.

My personal belief is that the hype & illusion at the Natural/Cosmeuceutical end is diminishing.  Most fomulators are making genuine strides towards the concept of never-ending-improvement.  Here at Awakening, we were one of the first to remove paraben ingredients — and potential quasi-parabens such as Japanese Honeysuckle — from our creams and lotions.  Our focus has remained on the therapeutic qualities of mineral skin care products.  Are my own products completely free of hype & illusion?  Probably not, since it is so hard for a small skin care company to thread its way through the maze of governmental, FDA, FTC, EU and UN rules & regulations.

Do we use the word “natural” or the claim that our products “help” improve skin health?  Yup, we do.  But we also are always looking for ways to make our products as kind and helpful to the health of skin as possible.  I turly believe that our heart here at Awakening is in the right place.  We always aim to do the right thing.  That said, I also believe that the efforts of parties such as personalcaretruth.com (“Truth or Scare: Personal Care”) to hold our industry to higher standards are a positive force.  Therefore, I recommend their latest posting, “The 10 Most Misleading Cosmetic Claims“.  Making a donation in support of their efforts — or any donation in support of PeTA’s cause — would seem to me a good use of personal funds.

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Awakening Mineral Skin Care is a boutique formulator of natural, vegan skin care products utilizing concentrated mineral crystals isolated from the Dead Sea, essential oils and botanical extracts.  With only a few exceptions, we call our products by what they do: Awakening HANDS treats hands, Awakening FEET treats feet, Awakening BODY treats bodies, Awakening SCALP treats scalps — you get the idea.  However Awakening MUDFace is mud for the face (and feet!) — so, as with 9th grade English, there are always exceptions to every rule!

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4 Responses to “Awakening Wednesday — Skin Care Claims: ‘Cosmetic’ vs ‘Cosmic’?”

  1. Thank you for your mention of Personal Care Truth and our latest post. It’s so important that consumers do their own research to make informed decisions about the products they use on themselves and their family members.

    The misinformation and hype is cluttering the internet super highway so much that it’s no surprise consumers don’t know where to turn. What is so disturbing to me is that the activists don’t have the science to support their claims http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/06/straight-from-the-horses-mouth/

    Thank you for sharing our information!

    Lisa M. Rodgers
    Co-Founder
    Personal Care Truth

  2. I use a similar dead sea product by seacret that is amazing. I did a little demonstration video to show you guys how i use it. Check it out
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAWvDNQUhEc

    • Really a nice job with the video, Christina! A different set of formulations than what we create, but nonetheless very nice material. Thanks for reading.

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