Heliotrope San Francisco

Traditionally, plants were gathered for both food and medicinal uses. Even after people began farming, many plants which were used as medicine were harvested from the wild. Humans have been trying to protect their plants from pests for centuries.  In some neighborhoods around the country, the soil still contains high levels of arsenic from it's use as a pesticide in the 1800s. This was true where I lived as a child and it's true in the neighborhood I now call home. In neighborhoods that were once farmland and orchards, the soil must be tested and care taken when choosing what sort of vegetables to plant.

I first became acquainted with organically produced food in college. This was also when I started to learn about plant medicine, so perhaps for me the two are intrinsically linked.

Agricultural field in foot hills of mountains with a stormy sky above.

Living in California, and in the Bay Area in particular, it's easy to find fresh organic produce. Just about everything you can imagine is available at the farmer's market from a local organic source. In many parts of the country, organic fruits, grains, vegetables and meats are becoming more available and accessible.  Many of us learned of the benefits of organic through our food, but what about the herbs and plants that go into Heliotrope SF skin care products? Much of our line contains organically grown plant ingredients.

Here are 5 of the reasons, we choose to use Organics in our skin care products...

1) Organically produced crops are healthier for the land they are grown on. Most organic farmers rotate crops and during the fallow season sow plants which will  replenish the land. This ensures that the soil doesn't become overly depleted and remains rich in minerals and nutrients necessary for plants to flourish.

Botanical Green leaves

2) Organically produced crops are healthier for the local ecosystem and for the planet in general. Not only do pesticides, chemical fertilizers and herbicides stay in the soil and land, but they also run off the fields into the local water system. This mix of chemicals can pollute the water supply and kill species. An example of this from the recent past is DDT, which was used heavily starting in the late 1940s and was banned in 1972 after it was linked to the decline in the Bald Eagle population.

Grass and flowing creek

3) Growing up in farm country, I remember crop dusters flying over the fields. The sky hazy with droplets of the chemicals they were spraying. There were people working in or near the fields, but the spraying was never exact. I'm sure methods have advanced since then but the pesticides and other chemicals not only stay on the plants themselves, they affect the people working with the crops. Organically grown crops are healthier for the all of the people working directly in the production chain.

4) Organic products are healthier for the people who consume the end result whether that is a tomato or a face cream. Our skin absorbs toxins from the skin-care products that we use. These toxins can build up and cause the skin to experience premature aging and to not look it's best.

Bird in field

5) Organic skin care products usually contain ingredients naturally derived from plant materials. They don't contain synthetic chemicals or petroleum products. Many people experience allergic reactions - ranging from unclear skin to break-outs to rashes - from petroleum products, such as mineral oil, and other chemicals. It can be difficult to find which chemical is causing the reaction. So if your skin isn't clear and doesn't feel healthy from the inside out, a switch to natural products might benefit your skin.

Our products are designed to be as healthy as possible. The ingredients are naturally derived and bio-active, so of course we seek out and use organic ingredients whenever possible.

The Essential Oils we use to customize the scent of our products are certified organic.

So many of our body care products contain certified organic ingredients. Some of our most popular include: Aloe, Shea Butter & Jojoba Body Cream, the Organic Olive Oil Nourishing Soap, and the Sunflower & Shea Butter Foot Treatment.

For the face: The Aloe & Comfrey Shave Gel, The Rosewater & Vitamins Eye Lift Cream, and the Cucumber Hydrating Mask to name just a few.

Along with the wide range of face and body care products which contain certified organic ingredients, many of our textiles, from the Handkerchiefs to the Kontex Flax Towels are organic.

Written by Jen Bator — May 22, 2017

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