Fable Natural is an emerging Canadian cosmetics company, founded by Andrea Tung in 2009. Tung worked as a retail manager of a natural body care shop in England and trained in skin care consultation. She went on to study the application of aromatherapy and herbal remedies for skin care to create this all-natural skin and body care line.
Natural Cosmetic Ingredients Guide
Why Natural and Organic?
While many people are becoming more aware of issues involving organic agriculture and why they should eat organic foods, the same reasons apply to why people use natural products to care for their skin. The skin is a remarkable organ on the human body. Not only is it the largest, and the first barrier of defence to harmful bacteria, it also absorbs what we put on it. You can test this out for yourself by applying an excessive amount of natural vegetable oil on to your skin. After about fifteen minutes or less, you will notice that the oil has been absorbed into the skin.
By taking care of our skin naturally, we are also taking better care of our bodies. Because the skin can absorb what we put on it, it will also penetrate into the body. Harmful chemicals may enter and accumulate over time. With natural ingredients, the body can recognize its use or dispose of it However, synthetic chemicals are not recognized, and considered toxic, so as a defence mechanism, fat cells may form around it, as the body is not able to dispose of it.
So aside from the health hazards of conventional products, why should you use natural products?
Here are two key reasons:
Natural products work better.
Most conventional cosmetics use mineral oil (derived from petroleum), and paraffin wax, which are known to clog the pores of skin, and tends to sit on the surface of the skin, causing problematic conditions. When a product is marketed as “oil-free”, it means that the product does not contain mineral oil. It is a common myth that oils are bad for the skin, when in fact; it is vital to healthy skin. Natural oils are easily absorbed by skin, and are better adapt to delivering nutrients to the skin.
Natural products are friendly to the environment.
Hazardous chemicals found in conventional cosmetics and personal care products, such as shampoo, eventually get washed down the drains, which leads to the contamination of drinking water, wreaking havoc on surrounding environment, and in the long run, affecting human health.
Don’t Just Take Their Word For It, Read The Ingredietns!
While there is a trend moving towards natural products, many companies are jumping on the bandwagon by projecting a more “natural” image, adding a few botanical or organic ingredients here and there, but they still use hazardous synthetic chemicals in their formulations. Just because a product is sold at a health food store, or it says organic on bottle, it doesn’t mean it is a “natural” product. In order to know that you are getting a quality natural product, the best way to determine its “natural-ness”, is to read the ingredients.
How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Lists
By learning how to read an ingredient list, you will have a better understanding of what is actually in the product. Many companies emphasize the natural ingredients in their marketing, but many hazardous chemicals may be hiding in the ingredients list.
Cosmetic products are required to follow the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) method of listing ingredients. This means that all ingredients have to be listed in the following manner:
How can you tell if an ingredient is a synthetic chemical?
Well, it’s quite simple, the longer and more difficult it is to pronounce, the more likely it is a synthetic chemical name. Since all natural botanical ingredients are expressed in Latin, you can tell them apart fairly easily. Another thing to look out for is if an ingredient name also has a number, for example, PEG-7, or Polysorbate-20. These are synthetic chemicals. Natural colorants are listed with a CI (Color Identity) number, such as Iron Oxide CI77491, not to be mistaken as a synthetic chemical.
So what about the ingredients used in Fable Natural products?
At Fable Natural, our mantra is: We believe in nature. We use only what we consider to be natural, high quality therapeutic grade ingredients to make our products. This ensures that products perform at its best. We set the bar higher than what most eco-certifiers would expect, which means that there are a lot of ingredients we prohibit, which reduces the number of ingredients that we formulate with.
About Using Natural Cosmetics
Today, there are many natural cosmetic brands to choose from because consumers are demanding that their cosmetics are safe to use. But because there are so many to choose from, there is actually a lot of confusion as to what is natural. When I say natural, I mean truly natural, not just marketed as natural, and the ingredients are as wholesome as possible. People who have never used natural cosmetics will discover a difference from conventional cosmetics. Here are some things you should know about them.
Natural shampoos, cleansers and body washes don’t foam as much as conventional ones do. The reason is that natural products don’t contain a chemical surfactant called SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate). SLS is used to create lots of foaming action in conventional products, but it is also a known skin irritant and sensitizer, causing problematic skin conditions.
Natural products are more concentrated, so you don’t need to use as much as you expect to. Most conventional products water down their products to fill a larger bottle, but you end up using more anyways.
Natural products have a shorter shelf life, but that should not discourage you from using them. Most of them offer a two-year best before date. Store your products in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Bathrooms are not the best places to keep products, so if you’re not using them, keep them somewhere else! Conventional products can offer a much longer shelf life because they contain synthetic preservatives. Unfortunately, many of these preservatives come with possible health hazards over long term use.
Natural perfumes smell really good because they come from essential oils of plants. Essential oils are volatile and so they have a strong odor upon first application and fade away. Synthetic fragrances use chemicals to extend the amount of time it lasts. However, these chemicals pose health hazards over long term use.
What’s the biggest beauty myth?
Most beauty companies will tell you that applying oils to your skin is bad, and that it will clog pores. When in fact, it is mineral oil (made from petroleum) that will clog pores, not natural oils. Natural oils are vital to the health of skin. They are nourishing, seal in moisture, protect the skin from harsh climate, and can even unclog pores. Even oily skin benefits from natural oils. Most people think that if they have oily skin, that they should avoid putting oils on their skin. But it is actually by applying natural oils to the skin, that the skin will eventually normalize and stop over-producing oil. Washing with strong cleansers strip the skin of its natural oils, and so the skin sends signals to produce more oil. Applying oil onto the skin stops this vicious cycle.
About me, the founder of Fable Natural
When I was a little girl, my dad would take me to the shopping mall, and my favorite shop to visit was The Body Shop. I would take home all their catalogs and read them end to end. Many years later, I moved to England to study and got a job as a retail manager of a natural remedy shop. We sold mostly natural cosmetics and practiced a strict buying standard. I would take home the product catalogs and read them end to end. I trained in skin care consulting and aromatherapy. When I returned to Canada, I decided to embark on creating a line of natural products that I felt were missing from the marketplace. The line is called Fable Natural. The ingredients are all-natural and organic, and the products are all personally formulated by myself, applying all the expertise that I gained in my experiences. I hope you will give them a try and I welcome your feedback!
Common Natural Cosmetic Ingredients
Arnica, Arnica montana- A herb known to stimulate blood circulation, and used for treatment of bruises, sprains, and sore muscles. Do not apply to broken skin.
Camellia Oil, Camellia sinensis- A light oil that leaves skin feeling silky smooth, containing high concentration of essential fatty acids, used for its anti-aging effect.
Calendula, Calendula officinalis - Known for its soothing and balancing properties, this herb is excellent for treating problematic skin conditions. Often used to treat open wounds.
Castor Seed Oil, Ricinus communis- The oil is an excellent emollient and forms a protective barrier. Adds shine to hair, treats brittle nails and extremely dry skin.
Coconut Oil, Cocos nuctfera- An oil that is very easily absorbed by the skin. Contains anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties, high concentration of fatty acids. Reverses tissue damage, prevents and lightens stretch marks.
Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens- Extracted for its essential oil, the oil from this flower is balancing and uplifting. Excellent for balancing problematic skin.
Jojoba Oil, Simmondsia chinensis - An oil that is very similar to the natural sebum of skin, this oil is easily absorbed by skin.
Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia- Known for its calming and soothing properties, it is used to treat burns, bites, itching and other skin irritations.
Rosehip Seed Oil, Rose rubiginosa, R. moschata, R. canina- An oil with anti-oxidant properties and used to treat signs of aging, stretch marks and scarring. Known for its high content of GLA and Vitamin C.
Shea Butter, Butyrosperum parkit- Softens skin and treats sun damaged skin.
Spruce, Picea canadensis- Extracted for its essential oil to treat repertory problems, coughing, cold and flu symptoms.
Tea Tree, Melaleuca alternifolia- Known for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties for the treatment of sores, acnes, dandruff, athlete’s foot, and other skin infections.