Could the future of natural beauty be genderless? That was one of the questions raised by two participants from last month’s Natural Beauty Roundtable discussion, hosted by Natural Beauty News at NPG’s Brighton (UK) offices.
Lorraine Dallmeier (founder) and Gemma Dickenson (business manager) from leading natural cosmetics training school Formula Botanica both agreed that they would be exploring the topic over the coming year.
“It’s such an interesting concept,” comments Dallmeier in our video interview with the pair. “We know that the male (beauty) sector is not as big as it could be – but maybe it shouldn’t be, maybe it should all just be one big genderless sector.” Dickenson adds: “(the topic) ties into a larger conversation that society is having, and I think there’s an opportunity for the natural and organic sector to be on to something”.
In the interview Dallmeier and Dickenson discuss the benefits for the natural and beauty sector of projecting more positive messages about the category. Comments Dallmeier: “Our philosophy at Formula Botanica is that we don’t criticise synthetics. We only talk about the benefits and positives of natural and organic, and botanicals. It’s something we work hard on because we find that if the the focus is on the negatives, then the conversation becomes very negative.
” … if the the focus is on the negatives, then the conversation becomes very negative”
Expanding on the theme, Dickenson adds: “We work with formulators who are wildly passionate about sustainability, about the oils they source from all over the world and the properties they have. But often they talk about their products mainly in terms of being preservative-free, or -parabens and SLS-free. So we’re not giving ourselves the opportunity to showcase the things we’re really passionate about. And I think this has led to a misunderstanding about things like preservatives and why they are important.” Dickenson says the Roundtable highlighted a challenge for natural beauty brands around sustainability. “The question ‘can natural and organic always be sustainable?’ has been raised so often, and I think many people believe that because a product is natural or organic – and therefore ‘green’ – it is automatically sustainable. And it isn’t always. So I think we need to have that conversation, about how we can place sustainability at the heart of our brands.
“The discussion we had today showed that people are really trying their hardest. It’s about taking steps towards being an ultimately sustainable business, and also about having conversations about ingredients like frankincense, like sandalwood and rosewood – and if we should be using ingredients if ultimately they’re not sustainable.”
“I think there’s a potentially enormous demand for organic haircare, just as there is for skincare. So I’d like to see more indie haircare brands going down the organic route”
Asked about current opportunities for the natural beauty category, Dallmeier says: “The big opportunity in the industry is organic haircare. It’s not easy, technically. But I think there’s a potentially enormous demand for organic haircare, just as there is for skincare. So I’d like to see more indie haircare brands going down the organic route.
A full report the 2017 Natural Beauty Roundtable will appear the Spring 2018 issue of Natural Beauty News.
Picture: Lorraine Dallmeier (right) and Gemma Dickenson of Formula Botanica