Lush in conjunction with The Humane Society worked with an artist to highlight the horrors of animal testing. Situated in a Lush shop window the naked young woman was restrained and had to endure similar test to which lab animals are subjected to, such as being force fed and having irritants squirted into her eyes, to the astonishment and horror of passersby.
Raw Skin Food is a company offering a range of skin care products (containing natural raw – unrefined ingredients) for all skin type needs and was created by Richard Clark.
The company came to my attention on Twitter as their page stated the products did not contain any parabens (which build up in our bodies as they cannot process and get rid of them) and that they did not use palm oil (which comes from trees that make up the habitats where many animals like Orang-utans live). I checked their website and found they are BUAV approved (signified by the leaping bunny logo) which means none of the ingredients have been tested on animals.
Flick Chick: How did you realise there was a need for more natural beauty products?
Richard Clark: Actually I didn’t, the actually origins of starting this company was trying to cure and relieve my eczema and psoriasis ailments. It actually came to me via a dream and made me want to help myself by using ancient and natural remedies to see if i could help my skin and my general health. It worked so once i did this, others tried the products and it worked for them too then it went on from there, I fell into this by complete accident!
Can you tell us about Raw Skin Food’s ecological ethics?
Raw Skin Food’s ecological ethics are simple, we want our products to use the purest unrefined ingredients possible we can obtain and with that going back to basics of non western skincare remedies. Using as little as 7 ingredients per product and no bulkers or issues with ingredients which set up intolerance’s or allergic reactions.
The other side of this is also about quantity and usage of product (ie limited the amount of products people use in their bathrooms) for example myself i use only the cleanser, toner, moisturizing balm for all my cleaning regimes apart from toothpaste and deodorant.
The materials used, recyclable plastic, recyclable paper for labels and so on. This is a bigger question I can answer in a bigger scale as this is about the future of where the company will go.
Regarding the raw nature of the products, would it be viable to store them on the shelves if you opened shops on the high street?
I do think my products are more for boutiques and skincare specialist shops as most retailer want products lasting 12 months or more which actually scientific testing have been proven to show not be that effective, However i have never discounted the high street but as trend is suggesting direct selling one to one is becoming more paramount to further my business then retail.
I have food intolerance’s to wheat and dairy and sometimes products that don’t have these listed as ingredients, still inflame my skin and make it red and a little swollen. Can you recommend any basic skin products from your ranges?
Well all my products are 8 common food allergen free so you have no worry about wheat or dairy. They also don’t contain many other ingredients used by most conventional skincare products like glycerin (from animal sources or vegetable), barley, maize, parabens, paraffin and many others. However to cater for everyone is actually quite difficult but we try here as much as we can a new range in the new year (February is a huge month for the company) has no fruit or coconut content and is purely plant based for hyper sensitive skin.
A new scheme is launched on Valentines day to the general public in February but will be known about prior to then goes further to help customers, As the owner of this company i believe honesty is the key, it amazes me how at least 85% of the skincare market doesn’t list their ingredients on their websites or even everything on products, what have they got to hide? Even when people wish or want to try products we do a little consultation to make sure we can relieve their ailments.
The basic ranges we have which is only four at the moment caters for most skin types but their are exceptions and these have been tried and tested over the last 5-6 months and before being launched have to have a 98% approval rate.
I’m vegetarian so I always avoid products containing glycerin as many products don’t specify on the label wether it’s of plant or animal origin. Any plans to create a hair care range at all?
For a hair care range we may create hair oils, but in all honesty the haircare ranges is a market i am not that familiar with, i have spoke about possible collaboration with a few hair companies and i have a few other collaborations coming up which will branch out the company ethos and utilize new audiences not knowing the brand previously. But at present I have other ideas to do and launch before hair-but if anyone wants recommendations i would gladly assist.
For hair I would recommend either Jojoba oil, or Argan oil and try to go as unrefined as you can these will not be provided in supermarkets, the essential oil is fine.
Final question from me at the moment: What important pieces of advice would you give to anyone wanting to launch their own ethical health or beauty business?
Launching an ethical health and beauty business is great if you believe in it-which you have to as most people think your crazy. Its not for everyone if you want quick money your barking up the wrong tree I assure you, I mean i would sell all my worldly processions to make this work i doubt many people would do that. I believe in my company 100% when i wake up to when i go to bed, and any margin of doubt/error I work on removing it from the forefront of my mind, my vision, goals and dreams, usually by meditation or release via music and so on! If others don’t like my products or company, their loss (and it will be as the people who use my products will be better people mentally, and physically in sync with themselves) and from the beginning my mindset was this “If it isn’t successful i still have my own skincare to use”.
Not having fear helps and unfortunately for me I think alot of people are jumping on the band wagon of natural beauty and organic products but actually don’t get even the basic of what ethics is, let alone natural beauty. Celebrities using their name like confetti to come across truthful when they are anything but that and are as exploitative as big corporations.
I also think you need to learn from mistakes and growth so my advice probably is JUST DO IT, see how it goes and plan, re-evaluate and belief in yourself, and see where it takes you. In fact i think this is only the beginning and i get inspiration all the time, helping one person at a time to perhaps many.
Thank you that is really inspiring! I see it is more of a lifestyle choice for you Richard.
It seems that you have developed an ethical brand by taking all areas into consideration and that by going back to the origins of traditional skin care you have created something unique. I think we could all benefit from re-learning the basics of how nature can help us in this way.
I mean i could come across that i am clever, however being modest if someone had done this before me i would have bought their products but they didn’t, so i had to create something to help me. Plus my products are about affordability too, which in that respect has perhaps hindered the prosperity and future growth of the company but in all honesty i do believe people should be able to experience great skincare products at an affordable price. I mean i could never charge £200 for a skincare product that is just ridiculous and absurd.
I know, right! Well, Richard thank you for this online interview, it’s been great! I will stay in touch.