Natural variation in skincare products
From time to time we receive emails that note slight changes in our products, so we thought we’d do a blog post on why our products change slightly from batch to batch.
Sometimes our products melt, or vary in colour and scent, so we wanted to assure you that Suneeta follows strict recipes, and that variation in our products is not an indication of quality changes in ingredients; it's the beauty of a truly natural product.
We expect the ultimate consistency in high street skincare products. We expect the cosmetic products we buy from well-known high street brands to be exactly the same every time we buy them, and would probably be confused if we bought a product that we regularly used to find it was a different colour or had a slightly different smell, even when buying a “natural” product. Whilst we maybe wouldn’t leave a product out in the sun, we also wouldn’t expect it to melt or change consistency.
Why do we expect this exact consistency in cosmetics?
Because it’s what we are used to.
Is consistency an indicator of quality?
No, in fact it’s the opposite. Consistency is achieved through relatively cheap ingredients such as stabilisers, chemical emulsifiers, PEG colours and synthetic fragrance, (but more on that in next week's blog!). The only function of these ingredients is to ensure consistency, not to do anything for your skin.
Should we question this attitude to cosmetics and expectation of consistency?
Fact: At least 60% of what you put onto your skin is absorbed into the body.
If we really consider this, we should surely take the same care over what we put on our skin as we do for what we put in our body.
We are trained to expect consistency from skincare companies, and are naturally wary of changes in our skincare products. But we should question why we feel this way and whether the expectation of consistency is worth paying companies for products filled with ingredients whose only purpose is to ensure consistency.
Is there any point in allowing our bodies to absorb unnecessary chemicals?
A completely natural product is subject to some change each batch, especially when organic ingredients are involved, due to the lack of chemical intervention. Ingredients sourced from nature, which haven’t gone through any chemical process, will change depending on many factors, including yield, time of year, temperature and many more.
For example, if we pick two flowers from the same Orange Blossom Tree, they will be slightly different. One could be brighter or larger, one could have a stronger scent.
If we were to take two oranges from the same tree, they might vary in taste.
If we were to pick two oranges at different times in the year, or from two different trees, the taste might vary even more. One could be more exposed to sunlight, one could be taller - there are many reasons for variation.
There is always variation in natural ingredients"
So, when we make orange blossom water or orange essential oil, the natural variation in the orange flowers means there is variation in the colour and scent of each batch, and in turn there is variation in the products made with these ingredients.
We could add a chemical pigment called ‘CL 19140’, to make the finished product exactly the same, but we choose not to.
Shea butter is another interesting example. We buy unrefined shea butter from a like-minded small family company. The shea butter is scooped out of the shea nut and undergoes no chemical process whatsoever to end up in your products.
The shea butter is a natural product, made up of lots of different fats, which melt and solidify at different times and temperatures. If you ever buy raw unrefined shea butter, you might have wondered ‘why is my shea butter grainy?’, and this is why! The grains are simply harder bits of shea, and will melt when massaged into the skin.
Shea butter, like coconut oil, will melt or soften in warmer temperatures, so our products containing this ingredient can also melt or soften. This melting does not affect the quality or efficacy of shea butter or your product, it’s just an indication that the shea butter is raw. We could buy chemically ‘refined’ shea butter*, but we choose not to.
So how do other companies ensure that each product is exactly the same?
Above, we mentioned the chemical ingredients that are often used in high street skincare ingredients. Stabilisers, like Xantham Gum, chemcial emulsifies, such as laureth-4, and many more potentially harmful ingredients, are used all over the world in skincare and cosmetic products. Please look out for next week’s blog in which we’ll break down some of these ingredients and exactly how they are created, and why we avoid them.
What does natural mean to us at Suneeta Cosmetics London?
No synthetic preservatives
No synthetic fragrance
Whilst we follow strict recipes (in accordance with EU regulation), which never change, you can still expect variation in the products we send you. We are not taught to expect variation is cosmetics, and it can be inconvenient or odd when you receive something you've bought before to find that it is slightly different, but we hope you can see that it is simply due to the uniqueness and beauty in natural products.
What can you do when products melt?
If it’s completely melted, either just give it a stir and pop in the fridge, or somewhere cooler, during the summer months OR simply apply when melted. It’s completely up to you! A melted product is just as beneficial for your skin, though you might find it slightly harder to control how much you apply.
If travelling, always transport products in zip lock bags or in your own well-sealed containers. If you live in a warmer climate, you may prefer to simply keep some of your products in the fridge.
During colder months, products can be hard and a bit tricker to apply! That’s why we sell these mini wooden spoons, to help you get product out. Leave creams in warmer places, like the bathroom, during the winter months.
What should I do if I have a question about the variation in one of my Suneeta products?
Just send us an email :)
Variation is completely natural, but we are happy to answer any questions you have in relation to the changes in batch to batch. Please just get in touch!
Team Suneeta xx
**Shea butter that melts is unrefined and raw - we could buy refined shea butter, which is scentless and more stable (stays same consistency in all temperatures), but the chemical ‘refining’ process that shea butter undergoes to becomes stable compromises its quality and means that the shea loses many of its amazing skin benefits. It has significantly decreased vitamin content, no water trapping quality and is not as moisturising or healing. When buying shea butter, you should always check that it's unrefined and raw. It's a bit harder and less malleable to use as a raw ingredient, but you can melt over a broiler pan and add a carrier oil, such as almond oil, to make it easier to apply.