Once upon a time, if you wanted to have a pristine, certified organic beauty regime that really worked there was only Dr. Hauschka. This iconic, biodynamic green beauty company stood without peers for over fifty years. A beacon for ethical business practices and what can be achieved through altruism, cow dung and rose petals.
Today the organic beauty market is becoming a crowded and confusing place. As the consumer becomes more and more interested in adopting and organic and ethical lifestyle, there has been a rush in the middle and luxe sectors of the market to satisfy every permutation of what natural and organic might be. Some of it is outstanding. My hero companies would definitely include: Organic Pharmacy, Pinks Boutique, Green People and Barefoot Botanicals. Each of these companies has demonstrated that it is possible to create the wow factor and be truly organic and ethical. Sadly, some other companies are not so good and, I’m afraid, less than transparent, having jumped on the green bandwagon for financial gain.
All the more remarkable then that very few companies entering the organic beauty sector have embraced the very real need for a certified beauty regime that is affordable, a delight to use, and accessible to all, until now.
Paisley Arnold, entrepreneur, hands on single mother, and a long-term passionate campaigner for social and environmental good causes might just be the person to deliver a verdant organic beauty regime to the masses. A veteran banker and expert in government bonds, she helped to launch the first Parents Network in the city in 2002.
Today Arnold has created another life for herself as a green entrepreneur. With a zeal that characterises all great entrepreneurial endeavours, and a disregard for a good night’s sleep, she has developed Purity Skincare – a brilliant, no nonsense beauty regime comprised of seven organic beauty essentials that would look good in any bathroom cabinet. The mission to take the elitism out of organic and make buying a certified, chemical free beauty product and intelligent, sustainable and everyday choice.
“I always knew that if I didn’t have the job I do, there is nothing to separate me from any other single mum. I was also keenly aware that there was a whole mass of people who should have access organic personal care products, but couldn’t afford twenty-five pounds for a shower wash; these are the people I want to reach with Purity.”
While packaging is deliberately low on razzmatazz, the products still elicit a sensual, luxurious experience. The key to the range is simplicity. Costs have been kept down by sticking to a few hardworking super, natural ingredients. “We’ve used cranberry seed oil which is one of the most potent forms of vitamin E, and great for regenerating skin, aloe vera to soothe and heal irritation and coconut oil and oats for their hydrating and softening properties.” So what is Arnold’s ultimate objective? ” I wanted to create a simple, everyday experience which harnesses the finest, therapeutic organic ingredients and is gentle, safe and effective. The range is British made and formulated in Devon, and it carries the Ecocert symbol – it’s the leading body for organic certification in eighty countries, and I am really proud that we’ve made the grade.”
It is certainly in Arnold’s DNA to do something to nurture and protect the natural world. ” When I was a teenager, growing up in Canada, we didn’t know about the side effects of pesticides: but we did know about acid rain. The pollution from heavily industrialised cities such as Michigan and Detroit was destroying the eco systems of the Great Lakes. The lakes are extraordinarily beautiful. So I grew up with this huge appreciation and respect for nature.”
Purity Skincare is certainly destined to shake up the organic skincare market from the supermarket to the high street. The star performer for me is undoubtedly the wonderfully light and silky Cleanser, and at £4.99, it beats many more expensive organic brands on price and performance; while the enticing Serum & Masque is the most expensive option and retails at £8.99. No surprise then that the idea caught the imagination of Superdrug. Purity Skincare was snapped up by the High Street chain last summer, and is now available in four hundred branches nationwide.
In the meantime, Arnold is a restless, driven, force of nature herself, and already thinking of her next move. “I am lucky, as a banker, my job gave me an extraordinary window on the economics and politics of the world, and that is incredibly stimulating. Now, as an ethical entrepreneur I have the chance to make a difference. If I can make the best organic facial products and reach people who have never bought an organic product before, and they have a good experience, then maybe they will start to look at other areas of their life and make more informed, intelligent choices.”
Available nationwide from Superdrug shops, and online www.superdrug.com