Along with empowering women to take time to honour themselves daily, a part of MATER Beauty's mission is also to bring more transparency to the beauty industry, especially skincare and hair care.
Marketing Product Claims in the Beauty Industry
The vast amount of buzz, hype and marketing smoke & mirrors makes it difficult to evaluate products for what they truly are, based on what matters to you. Many years ago, when I was *just* a consumer, although a pretty well educated one I thought, I never realised how meaningless a lot of the product claims are.
For example "natural" or "non-toxic" - there are no clear or legal standards or definitions, so the claims can be meaningless and not truly reflect the product or the brand's intentions. While most brands don't set out to mislead, their liberal use of these terms causes misinformation for consumers. That's why rather than using these marketing terms to describe the MATER Beauty brand or products, the aim is to educate through transparency.
To learn about the spectrum of what "natural" can mean, see The Truth Behind Natural Skincare: A Guide to Understanding Skincare Ingredients.
Are MATER Beauty Products "Natural"?
While it would be easy to give a blanket but vague "yes" as an answer, I prefer to be open about that fact that while a large portion of our ingredients are what you would expect when you think of natural, there are also a number which are nature derived (meaning they are taken from nature but processed using chemical methods) and nature identical (meaning they are synthetic but identical in chemical structure to a natural one). I want you as the consumer to be in charge of deciding what version of natural you are happy with.
Over 95% of ingredients used in MATER are either natural or naturally derived.
Only a small amount is nature identical.
The / FACE serums, since they are leave-on products so the ingredients that go into them are far more scrutinised than wash-off ones like shampoo and conditioner, contain only ingredients on the natural scale.
The / HAIR bars, since they don't stay on your skin but are washed off, contain a small amount of synthetic ingredients that are proven to have incredible benefits for hair, and are absolutely safe. After a lot of testing and experiments, it became obvious to me that 100% natural doesn't cut it when it comes to caring for damaged hair.
Are Natural Ingredients Better Than Synthetic?
It depends! They both have their pros and cons, and main things to consider are safety, effectiveness, sustainability. More on that in a separate longer article to come in the near future, but the bottom line is - your skin can't tell the difference between natural molecules, and those created in the lab. What matters to it is that what you are applying to it is safe and effective.
What Ingredients Aren't in MATER Beauty Products?
While the "free-from" claims have really gotten out of hands lately, so much so that they have put certain measures around them in Europe, there are a few ingredients we know everyone scours labels for. So I want to highlight that MATER products do not contain parabens, sulphates, silicones and artificial fragrance or colours.
Dictionary of Ingredients, and their natural "shade"
For those that like to interrogate ingredients lists, all ingredients used in MATER Beauty products can be found in the Ingredients Dictionary which will explain what they are and do, and why they were chosen. Each ingredient also specifies which shade of natural is it, as explained in The Truth Behind Natural Skincare: A Guide to Understanding Skincare Ingredients.