It's officially Organic September and soon to be Organic Beauty and Well-being Week – The organic revolution started many years back by the Soil Association and it's very close to many hearts including ours. We have been advocating organic beauty and organic living from the outset as we genuinely believe organic living is the way forward to ensure a sustainable, healthier future for our planet and all species who reside on it.
This month dedicated to the organic world, is the perfect opportunity for some Q&A with Dr Mariano Spiezia, our co-founder and scientific director, often addressed as the ‘father of the organic beauty movement’
You have chosen to use 100% organic ingredients in your skincare, why was this important to you and was it hard to achieve?
I made this decision more than 20 years ago after years of my work as medical doctor and naturalist, supporting my patients trying to get to the cause of their ailments and observing the world around us. A lesson soon learned was that prevention is better than cure! All the way long this journey life was clearly indicating that a natural, mindful, organic way of life is the safe answer to protect health, environment and the future of our Planet. Organic living also means reconnect people to Nature, so the natural consequence, when I started formulating skin products, was to source organic, wholesome, vital ingredients to be transformed in high performing Beauty products ‘bringing beauty to life’ - as I often say.
I choose to be an example in the Industry with my Brand and prove that it was possible to create something really pure, healthy and performing at the same time, with no need to damage our health nor the environment. It was hard initially because there weren’t many ingredients certified organic, nor clear standards for Health & Beauty products, and because of lack of information there was a big confusion on the meaning of commercial and natural vs organic. Let’s say that it wasn’t as smooth as silk, but we did it!
PS thanks to Loredana, my loving, stubborn life and business partner who has been the driving force all along.
Why do you feel it’s important to choose nature over man-made? Do you believe the end result is the same?
In Nature an ingredient (medicinal herb/flower/fruit etc) is the result of million years’ evolution and it contains an extraordinary array of natural compounds. These work in perfect synergy to complete their ‘mission’ and deliver what they were born for. Every part of that plant, flower, fruit is the expression of the whole we are all part of, an indissoluble Unity of Life. It is this unity they release in whatever they are transformed into, this being an herbal/fruit extract, a product, a tea etc. Man-made ingredients can only “mimic” natural ones; they don’t carry that ‘whole’, they don’t have the same evolution, nor life force. Man-made can be very similar to natural, so similar to be mistaken for it, however, will never be the same. A little example:
If you want some Vit C, you can buy it as pure concentrated ascorbic acid made in a laboratory, or you can buy it as simply natural Rose-Hip powder. The latter, in addition to the natural ascorbic acid, also contains other natural compounds such as ‘bioflavonoids’ that help absorb the Vit C into the body. Both are VitC, both are good for you, one carries the ‘whole’.
Have you always used organic in your everyday life? What would you say are the most important products to choose organic?Once upon a time, there was no need for “organic status” simply because the horticultural practice was not contemplating pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Organic was just the norm. When the use and abuse of manmade chemicals became a threaten for the human health and the environment, thankfully we saw the dawn of the “Organic Movement” born to mitigate the disaster and drive people back to the ‘norm’. I started buying organic back in the eighties when I became more aware myself of the immense impact of the non-organic on our health and our planet. I have not stopped advocating this since.
What products would I suggest? The ones you can grow in your garden… apart from skincare that I make for you of course!
From a professional point of view, would you say non-organic products have a bigger impact on our overall wellbeing?Definitely yes, even if this question deserved a more complex answer. We need to look at this on a small and large scale. On a small scale the daily use of non-organic products (food/cosmetics etc.) doesn’t seem to have any evident detrimental impact on us. The reason is that our body cleverly puts its detox mechanisms in motion to reduce the impact of the chemical invasion (pesticides, herbicides etc). The overtime build-up however becomes a bigger problem. Here is when the body is not able to expel the intoxicating chemicals any longer and creates the ground to potential diseases.
We have to consider that there are also other environmental pollutants impacting on our system (lungs, kidneys, liver, skin etc). If we zoom in, we can see billions of people everyday using products packed with chemicals from the agriculture, food and cosmetic industry; I don’t think you need me to expand on the consequences of this chemicals spread on both our little planet (our body) and the large one we inhabit. We cannot pretend that: everything will be ok! We need to take responsibility and make some mindful decisions now. I made mine, some years ago, choosing an organic way of living.
Do you feel organic products and beauty should be more regulated throughout the world?
Yes, indeed. In my opinion we should have the same regulatory standards internationally as we live in such a global market and accessible from anywhere. Customers would feel more confident, protected, safe.
Why is the Soil Association Cosmos accreditation important to you and your brand?
Soil Association/Cosmos have invested a lot of energy and efforts to rule the organic standards and have a worldwide reputation for their strict regulations and ethics. The SA/Cosmos symbol is well recognised and trusted around the world as sign of commitment and reliability, ensuring sustainability and fairness from seed to packaging. I am happy to be accredited by them.
Inlight Beauty is 100% Cosmos organic certified. The first and currently only UK company to be certified as 100% organic across the whole range.