When it comes to organic skin care,
we have to start with traditional farming,
modern agriculture and organic agriculture
To pursue beauty with skincare products is a kind of human instinct. The cosmetics industry has been developing for nearly a thousand years. From ancient times to the industrial revolution, the main materials and ingredients of cosmetics were from nature. Therefore, people’s appearance and makeup at that time were quite natural. The soil was fertile and the plants grew by following the natural lifecycle. So even though the yield was small and very often affected by natural disasters, the plants were able to retain their original nutrients and energy to the maximum extent.
The chemical synthesis industry, which was born out of the industrial revolution in the early 19th century, greatly drove the progress of human history, and solved the basic survival problems faced by many due to the rising population worldwide. However, it also inevitably brought damage to human, biology and nature. With the development of science and technology, some new planting methods that are opposed to the laws of nature began to be adopted in a large scale. For example, transgenic technology has been weakening “the survival of the fittest” principle that ruled the evolution of plants and animals for hundreds of millions of years.
It is hard for us to say whether such a tendency is good or bad. Modern medicine and technology have undoubtedly saved numerous lives and extended the life span of many. Meanwhile, people now think more about the relationship between the environment and human beings, especially the possible consequences and hidden dangers brought by plastic products, pesticides, genetically modified products, chemical substances, and sewage discharge. In terms of skin care, an increasing number of consumers have begun to ask whether production conforms to organic principles from raw materials to final products.
In 1958, Europe began to promote organic agriculture, advocating the use of organic fertilizers, organic insecticides, organic antibacterial agents, and organic herbicides, as well as the way of shifting tillage for agricultural production. They rejected genetically modified seeds and called for following the natural growth cycle of plants so as to ensure the health and safety of plants and food crops. Organic certification systems for relevant products have also been set up. The birth of organic agriculture made people re-examine the relationship between humanity and nature, as well as activities in daily life including skin care products. Then, natural aromatherapy emerged. Natural ecology and plant skincare began to be addressed more widely.
When it came to the 1970s, aromatherapy, represented by Europe and particularly France, became increasingly popular around the world. At the time, however, natural therapy and natural plant skin care didn’t yet receive the attention it deserved. But soon after, some botanists and aromatherapists who firmly believed in the force of nature and had gotten used to a natural way of living since childhood stood out to defend the traditional way of planting and extracting plants, and opposed the way of producing and preserving products with chemical synthesis or chemical anti-corrosion agents.
In 1972, the world’s first organic skin care brand was born in France. In 1974, biologist Jean-Paul LIopart successfully put organic skincare products into glass ampoules to ensure sealability and hygiene. This undoubtedly brought the development of organic skin care to a new height. In the following 49 years, more and more skin care products manufacturers around the world are dedicated to studying how to make organic products more effective and seek better ways to store them.
Since 1990, organic skin care products and cosmetics have been exceedingly popular in the European market, strongly sought-after by consumers and even become a trendy lifestyle. However, what resulted was a chaotic market lacking criteria and restrictions. A standard certification system for organic skin care products and other organic products was urgently desired. The industry reached an agreement that some rigid standards needed to be formulated by experts with profound knowledge and rich experience of organic products. People believed that the introduction of organic certification standards and systems would greatly help to regulate the market and guarantee the consumers.
In 1991, Ecocert SA, also known as EU Organic Certification, was established as one of the largest organic certification institutions in the world. The operation is carried out in strict accordance with the requirements of ISO 65 guidelines and has been recognized by EU authorities and the United States Department of Agriculture. Moreover, it has been approved by Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to carry out organic certification according to JAS standards. Ecocert SA provides organic certification services in planting, breeding, agricultural means of production, organic cosmetics, organic textiles, organic aquatic products and ecological cleansers worldwide.
In 2002, with the joint efforts of nine laboratories represented by senior organic skincare producers in France, the BIO certification framework for organic skin care products was finally launched. The content includes: at least 95% of the ingredients coming from nature; containing at least 10% organic ingredients; at least 95% of the plant ingredients passing organic certification; no use of synthetic preservatives, synthetic flavors and fragrances, synthetic emulgator, mineral oil, paraffin, lanolin, genetically modified ingredients and animal ingredients; rejection of animal experiments, chlorine cleaning and disinfection, and the use of endangered species; low-carbon and short-distance storage and transportation; rejection of black market labor; support for local employmen; and support for the balance and harmonious development of the ecological chain of the earth.
CEO of Phyt’s China
With a master’s degree in Luxury Management from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Economiques et Commerciales (INSEEC,France), Li has been engaged in the cosmetics industry for nearly 26 years and spent 14 years in the aroma field. She once went to India and Bulgaria to delve into the world of aroma before finally reaching Paris where she met Phyt’s. Li boldly brought this organic cosmetic brand to China.