What Is Raw Skincare?

What Is Raw Skincare?

Olive & Joyce produce raw skincare. Except I don’t often highlight this as one of our key attributes. Not because it’s not important and not because it doesn’t make us unique (it does), but because no one knows what the hell I’m talking about. And I mean, even more than usual!

Raw skincare has not been a movement in the way that the raw food movement was, but the principle is basically the same. It comes down to less manufacturing and less processing. It’s about avoiding chemical processes that sound more like something you might hear in a sci-fi film and creating obscure ingredients with long-winded unpronounceable names.

As an advocate of simplicity when it comes to skincare and beauty products, it will come as no surprise to you that my alchemy is based on traditional nature-inspired methods. Every pot of Olive & Joyce face cream, every facial oil, our gorgeous new hair oil, bath salts and scrubs are all made by my own hands in my own kitchen. When you read the list of ingredients in our products, you’ll probably recognise them all as plants or perhaps items you might find in your kitchen. Yet, being defined as raw skincare is a little more complex. 

Let’s look at what raw skincare does and does not contain/involve and why it matters.

No Synthetic Ingredients

Using plant-based ingredients found in nature to whip up my luxurious creams and blend my beautiful oils, means we have no use for or need for nasty synthetic products. 

Why are synthetics nasty? 

Well, synthetic materials are best known for their use in clothing which is an environmental issue since most are non-biodegradable and lie in landfill for decades. Yet synthetic clothing is also prone to irritate the skin especially as the fibres are hydrophobic and tend to trap moisture. Now, you don’t have to be a skincare expert to realise that this does not make synthetics particularly skin-friendly. So, my reasoning (as a skincare expert) is that if synthetic materials in our clothing can aggravate the skin then they have no place in our skincare products.

Chemist Making Synthetic Ingredients For Skincare Products

Using ingredients in their natural form is far more sustainable and cuts down on the need for preservatives and even packaging. 

Clearer Messaging

One of my key concerns about highly processed products is it makes it harder for those prone to allergic reactions to avoid irritants.

To be clear, there are plenty of ingredients in raw skincare and natural skin care products that can provoke allergic reactions. After all, they’re mostly or sometimes wholly plant-based. However, since they are listed as ingredients in a way that can be understood they are easier to avoid for those who need to check the contents of a product to keep themselves safe. This becomes more challenging the more processed ingredients become since they are listed in their chemically altered forms which disguise much of what they may contain with words that look more like you've let a toddler bang away at your laptop keyboard. 

Woman Making Skincare In Kitchen

My motto is, if I wouldn't put it in my food, I wouldn’t put it on my face. So, I like to know what’s in my food and what's in my beauty products. This is far easier to achieve with raw skincare.

Processing Practices

Clean eating, whole food movements and whole food plant-based diets have been trending in the past decade with a key motivation for uptakers being to avoid highly processed foods. Highly processed foods often contain ingredients and production processes that at best are lacking in nutrition and at worst are damaging to our health. Yet, many beauty products are also highly processed. 

The beauty industry will claim that using heat and chemical processes to alter the natural properties of ingredients and refine them makes raw ingredients more effective. However, all-natural skincare advocates, including myself, believe that using plant-based ingredients in their natural form better harnesses their properties, whether that may be calming, moisture-inducing, blemish-reducing, softening or so on. Processing these ingredients is more about reducing production costs by opting for extracts of plants rather than using them in their raw form, which can cost more. Processing may also increase shelf life and make products smoother, though a smooth texture does not necessarily make a cream more effective.

Processed products versus raw products is a battle that has raged for decades and will continue to do so. There are arguments on both sides and most consumers will decide whether more natural or more processed products suit them largely through trial and error. After all, that’s how I came to discover and then build a business in natural skincare. I found that raw skincare was gentler and ultimately more effective for my skin and when I started making it for my friends and family, so did they, which is how Olive & Joyce was born. 

Pots Of All-Natural Handmade Skincare

Furthermore, raw skincare preserves the natural integrity of the ingredients, which is why we select the best and, as good a cook as I am, I don’t think anyone can outdo mother nature. That goddess gave us everything we need and, as far as I’m concerned, we shouldn’t mess with it too much!

What do you think?

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