What "Organic" Really Means in Skin Care

Organic ingredients might only be .02 percent of an "organic" product.
  • Transcript


Question: How has beauty technology changed since you went into business? 

Andrew Goetz: Like everything else, technology keeps on rolling on. Sometimes there are benefits to new technology and sometimes there are things that don’t work out so well. So for instance what we try to do is we always try to take the best of Mother Nature and combine it with the best of technology. We find that union works really, really well and we try to stay away from anything experimental or unproven and go back to basics. Technology also is unfortunately faddish in the same way that sometimes we see this with food: no fat, low fat, high carbs, high protein. You know it’s "What are you supposed to eat?" and people tend to jump on a bandwagon that is generated by the press, so one day an ingredient, whether it could be a very efficacious good ingredient, but if it’s fallen out of favor out it goes and then the technology has to change to compensate for that. But on the other hand you know technology does bring advances. You know there are advances in anti-aging and sun protection, so things that are very legitimate, but the knife cuts both ways, I guess. 

Matthew Malin: Yeah, I can’t think of any real specific technologies, like dramatically different technologies that have come into play, maybe sunscreen since we’ve started our business. 

Andrew Goetz: Yeah, I mean the biggest thing would be oil-free moisturizing, which would probably have been in the last 20 years or something. 

Matthew Malin: Well I think there would be more fads like what you’re saying. "Organic" had become a real big thing over the past few years and it’s sort of died down a lot lately. That was never a bandwagon we jumped on and as Andrew was saying, we utilize gentle technologies that are tried, true and trusted along with those natural ingredients, similarly tried, true and trusted in the most gentle, efficacious manner, so that you’re never finding irritation and hopefully getting the very best performance. So we’re not necessarily looking for what the newest technology is. If we can incorporate something that is trustful into the brand, it’s better. 

Andrew Goetz: We don’t need to reinvent the wheel every single season and then again we’re not against organic ingredients and the problem is that they’ve been so misrepresented to the customer saying "This is organic," But you look and then you read the ingredients and it’s one ingredient, which is .02 percent of the product and then the customer finally figures this out and is disappointed and then they have to ship this organic ingredient halfway from around the world, so the carbon footprint that it produces is so bad for the planet, so… 

Matthew Malin: And was it really organic? Was it grown indoors? Was there acid rain? 

Andrew Goetz: Right, so organic isn’t necessarily better always. I mean what we try to do is always … 

Matthew Malin: Or possible in many cases. 

Andrew Goetz: … locally and use natural when we can and organic if it’s available, but we don’t use that as the litmus test because there are many more important things that go into the full formula.

Recorded on March 19, 2010