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Over the last few years, lots of skincare brands have started touting the concepts of ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ products, hoping to catch the current environmentally friendly push that’s been sweeping the globe.
In many cases, these attempts to include the words ‘nature’, ‘natural’, ‘organic’ etc., into advertising and marketing campaigns are little more than greenwashing - basically “disinformation disseminated by an organisation to present an environmentally responsible public image”.
Singapore beauty expert, Larry Yeo, has a lot to say about this if you want to discover which brands you should and shouldn’t trust: A Conversation with Make-up Artist Larry Yeo.
There are some brands, however, that have walked the talk more than others. For 35 years, Australian skincare brand Jurlique has produced its products not in a laboratory, but on a farm in South Australia. Founded in the 1980s by Ulrike and Jurgen Klein, the Jurlique brand was based on their knowledge and experiences as a horticulturist and a botanist. The couple used botany and biochemistry to create products that they describe as “a high performing, natural skincare collection”.
Part of that role has now been passed to Cherie Hutchinson, who is the Jurlique Farm Manager, and someone who knows everything there is to know about producing skincare products from organically and biodynamically grown plants.
Organic farming is about using natural ingredients to benefit the soil.
“Organic and biodynamic farming ensures only natural ingredients are used to benefit our soil health,” explains Ms Hutchinson. “We make our own compost at the Jurlique Farm by utilising our own hay and parts of plants that improve our soil fertility, ensuring we have wonderful organic matter for our plants to grow into.”
The land at the Jurlique Farm is rested for four years to enable it to recover in a system known as crop rotation: “Organic farming is about using natural ingredients to benefit the soil. Biodynamic is also this, but furthermore, we utilise the moon and cosmic rhythms drawing balance to the land, ensuring we harvest flowers during an air sign, and we plant our crops in a descending moon, ensuring the water profile in the soil is high.”
According to Ms Hutchinson, organic and biodynamic grown ingredients can be more effective: “They are the purest herbs you can get. Therefore, our active ingredients are the most natural and potent. Nothing nasty is put on our plants, no chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. We work only with nature.”
This dedication to working with nature is also part of the overall Jurlique ethos. The brand does not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilisers; it has planted more than 12,000 native trees to improve its carbon footprint, and it uses solar panels at the farm and factory.
As for the brand’s staff, Ms Hutchinson says that the best thing about working at the Jurlique Farm is that she gets to “experience the five human senses each day”.
“Sight, being outside with nature every day and seeing each season unfold, mother nature is truly magnificent; Smell, our beautiful clean air, it fills up your soul and clears the mind; Touch, from our gorgeous velvety violets to our hydrating marshmallow roots; Taste, our herbs make the freshest tasting herbal teas; and Hearing, our Jurlique Farm is filled with amazing birdlife, each day you hear something new.”
Jurlique has recently launched its new Activating Water Essence+ in 100% sustainable and recyclable packaging.