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The Skin Care Industry – Science vs. Craft

I am not a cosmetic chemist but I do formulate products. I don’t have a degree in microbiology but I have deep respect for microbes and what they can do to enhance or destroy my formulas. I am an artist, a crafter and an alchemist. I procure botanicals then I melt them, mix them, and bottle them. In this process, I must adhere to strict sanitation codes, ingredient safety knowledge and the very serious and challenging issue of preserving the products.


I’ve noticed some talk on the net that I find very offensive from cosmetic chemists. I’ve run into it several times and I have even had a heated argument on Linked In (I know, lame). Some chemists feel that natural products are a joke and that small artisans have no right to exist. They paint us as snake oil salespeople with dirty dungeons filled with cauldrons and cobwebs (double double toil and trouble).

Listen nerds, if you didn’t make crappy petroleum laden products and test on billions of animals, I suppose you wouldn’t be feeling so threatened right now.

The truth is that skin care, body care, cosmetics and perfume have always been made by artisans – for thousands of years. It was only in the last century that industrial age of petrochemicals took over and everything became about patents and profits (while poisoning everyone and everything). Fortunately, just like the food industry is veering away from processed junk in favor of whole foods, the beauty industry is becoming reacquainted with ingredients we have always used…and big beauty is not part of this. It would be impossible to swap their ultra cheap petroleum byproducts that they buy from BF Goodrich for botanicals from farms around the world. It would be a financial disaster so they keep pumping out new science (with animal testing), old generic formulas and HUGE marketing campaigns.

You have break it down to this – your skin is a living, breathing organ that can be nourished into looking great for a very long time. How do you nourish the rest of your body? By eating mineral oil tinkered with by scientists. Do you get your food from a lab? It’s the same thing. If you are serious about having beautiful, healthy skin, you’ll feed it what it craves – botanical oils, extracts, butters and waters.