Why Go Natural and Organic?
The Victorian Garden is passionate about the benefits of truly natural and organic skincare and here are some of our reasons:
- Research has shown that the average woman applies more than 200 chemicals to her skin during the course of a day and up to 60% of these are absorbed into the bloodstream – it therefore makes sense to use the purest natural and organic ingredients.
- Using genuinely natural skincare can help to improve the health of your skin making your skin look fresher and younger and delaying the ageing process. Natural products restore the natural balance to your skin and reduce the need to use counter-products e.g. your skin will require less body lotion because natural body washes won't dry out your skin.
- Natural and Organic skincare ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers and in an environmentally sustainable way. This means products formulated with naturally and organically derived ingredients are far better for your skin, safer for your health and kinder to the environment. Victorian Garden Skincare products are also biodegradable.
- Natural/Organic skincare contains no harsh and toxic synthetic and chemical ingredients. Many chemically derived ingredients may irritate the skin and cause skin allergies to develop.
- The amount of product used is reduced as natural products are not diluted by mineral oils (by-products of the petrochemical industry), and so they go a lot further.
What Can You Expect?
What can you expect when changing to a natural/organic skincare regime?
- Always give your skin at least 4 weeks to adapt to a new skincare regime, this allows time for your skin to rebalance itself.
- It is important to select the right products for your skin type, contact The Victorian Garden if you are unsure about which products will be right for your skin. Our in-house experienced beauty therapist/Aromatherapist and our trained staff will be happy to help answer your concerns.
Currently, The Victorian Garden products are not Organically Certified although our ingredients encompass both Certified organic, and non Certified organic raw materials, and some natural ingredients which are not available organically. We have considered applying for Organic Certification but having researched this subject, we are persuaded that this new and burgeoning industry needs careful scrutinisation. As an Organic Skin care Company recreating traditional Victorian recipes, we have been using “organic” ingredients for many years.
Organic Certification has become a multimillion dollar industry worldwide and yes, at first this sounds like exciting news for those of us whose philosophy in every aspect of our lives, is to “get rid of the chemicals and embrace an organic lifestyle.”
However, having researched the subject very thoroughly over recent years, we conclude that one can obtain Organic Certification in different overseas countries very easily if prepared to pay the high costs, but that a Certified Organic ingredient within a product does not necessarily mean that it is safe to be used on the human skin, just that it was derived from organic source and grown/processed without chemicals. Certain Certified Organic ingredients will never appear on our own ingredients listing because we strongly believe they are simply not safe to be used in skin care products.
Yet, we constantly come across "Organically Certified" skin care and cosmetic companies around the world listing these ingredients on their labels and the consumer purchasing these products under the mistaken assumption that they are safe – because they are Certified Organic. The disillusioning conclusion we have arrived at is that within the Organic Certification industry there is a considerable amount of "green washing" going on - which put bluntly, is the art of deceiving the consumer into thinking that because the ingredient is Certified Organic, it is safe to use.
Yes, it is true that it may be grown or produced without the use of chemicals in an “organic” way but does that render it safe to put onto the human skin? We don't believe so. At Victorian Garden we are extremely fussy about our ingredients. We are also passionate about animals and environmental issues and do not use any animal ingredients or test our products on animals.
Packaging and labelling is purposefully kept simple but attractive in order to keep costs down as we are anxious that our products should remain affordable to all. Highly priced Organic products mean that many South Africans cannot consider “going Organic” and therefore are forced to stay with using synthetic personal care products which could be detrimental to their health. We have worked hard since 1991 in South Africa to produce the highest quality product at an affordable price.
Finally, may I reiterate that we believe absolutely in the integrity of our suppliers in using the very best sustainably sourced, raw materials which are naturally grown, extracted and are free of any chemicals or animal ingredients and most critically, are not tested on animals.
Natural vs. Organic
“Organic” is neither a concept, theme, nor marketing ploy. It is, first and foremost, an agricultural method.
The term “ natural ” means existing in or formed by nature without human intervention. This refers to ingredients such as naturally occurring minerals and plant extracts, not Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Decyl Poly glucose and cyclopolymethicone. And yet some companies will tell you that natural means anything that originated somewhere on earth – no matter what has been done to it in a laboratory.
If you're an organic consumer keen to change your lifestyle to embrace organic principles, you might be feeling somewhat confused. It appears that the internet, health shops, healthy living and "green" magazines all over the planet are blazing away with "certified organic" this and "100% natural" that for modern living.
But what is organic? When it comes to skin care, body care, shampoos, lotions and other personal care products, how precisely do we define the word "organic"? Are we to understand that it means that the product or ingredient meets United States/EEC Dept of Agriculture standards, or that the product is 100% organic? Or does it mean that the product is certified organic? Sorry folks: if you're not talking about foodstuffs, the word "organic" means absolutely nothing! The all important thing is the ingredients. Let's delve further into this subject.
In skin care and cosmetic manufacture, the term “Organic” refers to ingredients such as herbs, flowers, plant oils, the earth's minerals, seaweed, beeswax etc., which have been grown, processed or extracted from living nature without the use of chemical pesticides, fungicides, growth regulators or stimulants and without having undergone any processing, e.g. an ingredient remaining in its unrefined state. In the Victorian Garden of the 21st century, all plants, flowers & trees are grown in a natural/organic way as they were hundreds of years ago – in our case, in the Victorian Era (1837-1901).
We feel strongly that beauty care products are notoriously under-regulated. Any number of dangerous chemical and synthetic additives are used in their processing. The National Organic Program in America and in the U. K. remains vague about when and whether organic personal care products will be held to the same standards as organic foods. In the meantime, many beauty care manufactures have seized on the label "organic" as a clever marketing scheme, heralding their products as natural and organic when their bottles are filled with synthetic, possibly dangerous, chemicals.
"Nowhere do the terms 'natural' and 'organic' take more of a bruising than in the beauty industry," according to New Vegetarian and Natural Health publications. "Most cosmetic companies utilising the term 'organic' on their label are using the chemistry definition of organic - meaning a compound which contains carbon... By using this definition they can say that a petrochemical preservative such as Methyl Paraben is 'organic' because it was formed by leaves that rotted over thousands of years to become oil."
Unwittingly, consumers are paying high prices for "organic" products under the misconception that they are materially different to the non-organic products on the shelf. Beauty care manufacturers have set out to develop their own standards for organic processing.
Many insist that their products simply cannot be made in a manner compliant with existing organic standards and want to list hundreds of synthetic processing ingredients as allowable for organic personal care. For now, organic personal care products using chemical ingredients and, at the very least, misleadingly labelled will continue to crowd the shelves of health shops, spas and beauty salons.
The growth of the natural beauty care industry has not slowed the market for chemical additives for such products. In fact, the chemical companies expect to profit hugely from the trend. "The incorporation of active ingredients, such as plant acids and enzymes, into toiletries and cosmetics has become a major force behind growth in an otherwise mature industry," according to a chemical industry analyst from the Freedonia Group in the U.S.A. chemicals in our foodstuffs, in our kitchens, our bedrooms, our bathrooms and most definitely in our beauty and skin care products.
- Although our products have a 2 year shelf life, We recommend that our cream and lotion products such as moisturisers, body butters and body lotions should preferably be used within three months of opening for best results. However, products used beyond that time will not be 'bad" but will probably not deliver the wonderful benefits to the skin as the ingredients begin to age after exposure to air and light. Products may be stored in a fridge if wished but it is not necessary unless you live in a very hot humid climate. Pure oil products historically have a much longer shelf life but we still recommend using within the "Use By" date which appears on the bottom of each bottle/jar.
- Please always use clean fingers or a spatula to take your cream out of the jar to avoid introducing bacteria. Our preservative system is extremely efficient and maintains stability and safety of the products. We combine essential oils which offer natural anti bacterial, anti fungal, and anti viral properties and a natural, safe and approved preservative system – our products are paraben free.
- Be careful not to expose products to direct sunlight, bright light or heat. If you do, the waxes in the cream products may separate.
- When changing to natural/organic products, some people may experience a "detoxification" reaction such as headaches, joint aches, slight nausea, break outs of spots on the skin, rashes etc. Although unpleasant, this is no cause for alarm; it merely means that your body is literally cleansing itself (detoxifying) from the inside out. The skin, being an eliminatory organ, is ridding your body of stored toxins in the tissues. These toxic substances are usually a build-up of residues from previous products you have used which contained petrochemical ingredients. Be patient, stay on a healthy diet, drink plenty of good quality water and allow your body to adapt and your skin to adjust to "going organic" - this process usually takes no longer than a week or two.
We sincerely hope that you will enjoy using The Victorian Garden products and experiencing the outstanding skin and body care benefits of these ancient recipes used during the 16th and 19th centuries which utilise all the wonderful plants that our Creator has provided for us in the natural world which surrounds us.