non toxic skincare beauty

Non toxic skincare with organic plum face oil

Our skin is our largest organ and can absorb what we apply to it. Common ingredients found within conventional beauty products can increase our chemical exposure, and there are some components that clean, green and natural advocates would recommend avoiding. Hence the rise of the buzz word ‘non toxic skincare’. But what does this really mean? To find out more, we interviewed Lucie Vidlickova, the founder of a certified organic skincare range, called Phaedra Botanicals.

Lucie was born in the Czech Republic, and from an early age has had a strong connection with nature. Lucie’s parents believed she’d become a vet due to an immense love for animals, but she dreamed of being a maritime archaeologist, which came true in her twenties.

Plum trees

What does non toxic in skincare mean to Phaedra Botanicals?

Non-toxic for us means scientifically analyzed for toxic compounds and determined to be non-toxic for absorption and consumption. Our Ente plum oil undergoes tests of 21 external harmful contaminants twice a year.

What inspired you to start Phaedra Botanicals?

Phaedra Botanicals came to be very organically. At some point, I noticed academic life was not getting me anywhere; most brilliant minds in my field were stuck in demeaning jobs, as there were no positions open. I have a background in cosmetics, management, and marketing. I decided to put this to use when I realised that organic farming has no control over toxic compounds, such as heavy metals. After in-depth research into the skincare industry, I felt compelled to do things differently by developing skincare that would offer genuinely non toxic beauty products. Quality checked to ensure there are none of these harmful composites. Then I came across the French Ente plum, and I was hooked.

What distinguishes Phaedra Botanicals from what some might consider a saturated beauty industry?

Ex Prūnīs is a pure extract from the organic seeds of French Ente plums grown in Agen’s geographically protected orchards in southwestern France. It has fantastic antioxidant properties for the skin, and twice a year, it undergoes the tests of 21 contaminants. Long-term use repairs the skin’s balance and prevents oxidative stress on the skin, which can induce premature ageing. Our customers and we love this ingredient. So much so, we have included it in the second product we just launched: Erato’s Multipurpose Essence.

How do you avoid single use plastic waste during the production process?

The collection of the Ente plums takes place without using plastic with old-styled wooden boxes. Transfer occasionally uses plastic canisters that are re-purposed. Now we started a collaboration with new partners who use aluminium containers for the transfer of ingredients. During the production, there is no use of plastic, and everything gets upcycled. Moreover, we are now looking into new ways to ensure transparency through fantastic blockchain technology. I want us to be among the first in the skincare industry to use it to achieve full transparency and demonstrate our responsibility to our partners. Low waste is at our core, illustrated by the fact that our French partners upcycle even the waste generated from the seed’s crushing. It gets filtered, micronised, and used for creating cosmetic peelings.

What can we do with the empty containers after use?

I am happy you ask as this is very important, and we encourage everyone to join our initiative. Early this year, we became fully circular when we started to collect our packaging back. We invest in patented biophotonic glass because it would make no sense to subject our ingredients to extensive tests of toxic compounds and then place it in a container that can contaminate it. People still do not realise that packaging can influence the quality of the product. The positive thing is that quality materials usually go hand in hand with smaller environmental impact. If you shop Phaedra Botanicals, we encourage you to clean the container and all its parts once its content is used up with warm soapy water and ship it back to our collection address. Just get in touch with us, and we will give you the necessary instructions.

What’s your top secret to great skincare?

Substitute quantity with extraordinary quality! USE LESS! I think our real issue today became overconsumption. We shop too much, overwhelm our skin with too many products. People do not go into thinking that our skin has a function that is biologically set. If you use too many products with harsh ingredients, you disturb your skin’s balance, and that can lead to nothing good! In the long run, it will completely disrupt your skin’s barrier. Do not allow companies to make you think you need twenty products to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. It is a marketing lie. I believe that no ingredients should ever disrupt the natural function and balance of the skin because once you destroy its balance, it might be difficult to restore it. That is why we use solely antioxidant-rich ingredients that allow us to keep our products completely free from any fillers and preservatives.


Key takeaways on non toxic skincare

Thank you, Lucie. It’s interesting to note that packaging has an impact on products. It’s also fantastic that on top of skincare benefits, Phaedra Botanical’s production process is plastic free. Also, that you can return the bottles for reuse after they’re finished. Personally, I love the smell and feel of the certified organic Ex Prūnīs. It’s like fresh marzipan. Yet despite this distinct natural scent, it’s deliciously soothing on my sensitive skin and feels super hydrating. If you’re curious to know more about what’s in my cosmetic cabinet, take a look at my guest post over on PH Magg.

In this interview, the love behind the making of this product is very apparent. Perhaps it comes from the maritime archaeologist’s connection with the sea and marine life that there’s a clear focus on transparency and consideration of the planet during the production process.

Aim Plastic Free believes non toxic skincare should also consider production. It’s all very well having a fantastic product, but what about the impact in production or result of billions of tubes of single use plastic packaging that, if non recyclable, will end up on our planet for 1000s of years. Non toxic should not just be for the people who apply it but the natural world we are part of and extracting from to make our coveted cosmetics.

Do you have any further questions for Lucy or on non toxic skincare? If so, please write them in the comment section below.

Mia Hadrill
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