The Nature of Natural Ingredients

bottle of oranges essential oil - beauty treatmentWe work with them every day, and yet even we need to be reminded occasionally that nothing is certain with natural ingredients. Not the color or quantity, not the potency or price.
Evidence of Truly Natural
Whether it’s the linoleic content of this year’s safflower harvest or the sudden disappearance of madder root powder from the world market, natural ingredients are – before they’re anything else – crops and commodities.
As crops, they’re susceptible to weather and growing conditions. As commodities, they’re subject to price spikes and shortages. This is always true, and while some people consider the uncertainty of natural ingredients to be a drawback, for others it’s confirmation of their non-synthetic identity. As the ground-breaking British natural products manufacturer faith in nature says on its website, “variations are your guarantee that the materials we use are truly natural.”
Essential OilNot So Orange
There are times when the nature of natural ingredients is more of an issue than others. Sometimes an ingredient is so popular and used for so many things that competition for just what you want – or what you’ve always had – gets too fierce to be successful. That’s the case with annatto seed powder and our citrus
lavender bar soap.
Annatto seed powder is an ingredient, like bergamot essential oil, that you know very well even if you don’t know it by name. It’s used as a light-to-deep-orange food
coloring in hundreds of products. Among these products are cheddar and American cheeses, most crackers, nearly all cereals, light-colored ice creams, commercial potato salad, sugar-free Jell-O, gourmet mustards, and ready-to-eat chicken from grocery stores.
SafflowerWhat About the Soap?
Our citrus lavender soap is in competition with the makers of all these foods, and sometimes the upshot of competition is not getting what you’ve been accustomed to having. That’s the case with the annatto seed powder we’ve used for years. The newest version of our organic, ready-to-ship Citrus Lavender soap isn’t the same popsicle-orange color it’s always been, because we haven’t been able to source the annatto seed powder we’ve always used.
Our Citrus Lavender soap is darker, now, less summery, but also richer and deeper. It’s still the same great soap, but it’s also a good example of how natural ingredients can vary due to conditions, evidence that despite all our knowledge and skills, we’re never really in control of the natural world.

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