Commercial Vs Organic Vs Wildcrafted: What’s the Difference and Why It Matters for Your Skin


When shopping for cosmetics, hair care or skin products, you will often see such terms as organic and wildcrafted. The precise meaning of these terms isn't always obvious. Before the advent of agriculture, everything people gathered was wildcrafted. Today, you have three options when it comes to the foods you eat and the herbs you use on your skin: commercial, organic or wildcrafted, each of which impacts the quality and life cycle of the products and foods you are consuming or putting on your body.
At Edible Beauty, we want to make sure you understand why these terms matter in choosing foods, herbs and skincare products. Let us therefore begin with some definitions of the terms commercial, organic and wildcrafted.

Commercial Growth
Commercial plants, whether grown for food or herbal products, are farm-raised. The growers may use chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. Growers may also use chemical fungicides and many plants – especially herbs – have been irradiated after harvest. Many of these foods and herbs have also been genetically modified – you'll see the term GMO used to describe such foods and herbs. They may look big and beautiful, but they are quite often inferior in terms of vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients.

Organic Skin Care and Food Crops
Organic plants are also farm-raised. They may come from large commercial organic farms, small local growers or your own garden. Organic growers are limited to certain fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides that are deemed to be less toxic and/or non-polluting. Many of the treatments they use, such as dormant oil spray or sulfur, have been in use for hundreds of years without evidence that they cause environmental harm. Organic farmers are more likely to use animal manures and compost, crop rotation and other environmentally sustainable practices.

Wildcrafted Botanicals
Wildcrafted, as the name implies, are plants that grow in the wild. They are not farmed or otherwise manipulated with extra watering or fertiliser, but must endure drought, flood, insect and animal predation, and compete with weeds. Unlike commercially or organically grown plants, wildcrafted plants are completely on their own. As is the case with humans, a certain amount of stress is beneficial. Wildcrafted plants have developed strategies to fight off insects, handle changing environmental conditions and sequester vital nutrients and enzymes to help ensure their own survival. Once harvested, they typically offer more in terms of health benefits and nutrients.
Cultivated by nature to be the most robust, life-giving plants, you may be asking why wildcrafted isn't the best choice for everything. In an ideal world, that might be the case. However, some plants are very valuable or popular. They may not be able to bear up under intense harvesting or may be slow growing. Others have a limited range. Many valuable plant species have become endangered or threatened, such as swamp eyebright, the Christmas Island fern and a wide variety of wattles. In some cases, these plants are disappearing even before we know what possible uses they may have. Another issue is that air, soil and water pollution occur even in some areas of the wild. You wouldn't gather wild plants that grow next to a busy roadway, for example.

Wildcrafted vs. Organic: Which Is Best?
When looking at what's best for the human body, and nature, it's wise to choose wildcrafted products whenever possible. They will be the strongest and healthiest, without the risk of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides – assuming they are properly harvested and collected from areas without pollution. The next best choice – and the first choice for plants that are critically endangered or threatened – is organic. Commercially grown plants should be generally avoided, as they carry toxic residues. Edible Beauty used a combination of certified organic and wildcrafted ingredients in our skincare and beauty teas to create the most pure, effective products from nature. 

The Importance of What You Choose
So why does it matter to you, the consumer? To put it simply, what you eat or put in and on your body is absorbed or metabolised; it literally becomes you. You wouldn't expect a jet engine or a Formula One racing auto to run well on inferior or contaminated fuel – why is your body any different? In fact, your body is an organism of considerably more complexity than either a jet or an auto. More, it is a living organism that benefits from the bio-active compounds found in wildcrafted ingredients. The use of organic skincare products that also include wildcrafted ingredients offers you a truly nurturing option that is a much better, toxin-free choice than commercial products.
The Secret of Australian Native Plants
Australia is a land of harsh conditions and extreme temperatures. Australian native plants therefore develop very high levels of potent bioactive compounds – which has been substantiated by research performed at Southern Cross University of Australia.
The plants we use in our skincare formulas are loaded with antioxidants – the substances that fight free radicals. As you're probably aware, free radicals cause premature aging, not only to the skin but the entire body. Some of the plants tested – which we use in our products – have been found to contain 50 to 100 times the antioxidant activity of vitamins C and E. Extracts from these plants can promote collagen development, improve skin hydration, enhance healing, reduce inflammation and protect against sun damage. Gathered from remote areas where pollution is minimal or even completely absent, our wildcrafted plants are the best we can find – chemical free, environmentally friendly, sustainably harvested and full of medicinal potential.
Achieve Real, Lasting Results - Fast!
The higher levels of therapeutic benefits in our skincare products mean you should see results in a very short period of time. For example, our Desert Lime Micro-exfoliant includes natural rice grains, strawberry and lime to resurface the complexion. The Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mask with acai and snowflower seed oil rejuvenates the skin literally overnight. Our Bloom of Youth Infusion mask is loaded with ingredients like bamboo extract, swertia chirata and ribose, to plump and smooth skin at the cellular level for an anti-aging effect.
Beauty is certainly more than skin deep. However, the regular use of Edible Beauty skincare products will help ensure that your skincare is not only natural but therapeutic and safe for both you and the planet.
It is our ethos that our products must be so pure you can eat them, because we believe that whatever you put on your skin should be as pure, safe and as good for you as the food that you eat. With plenty of sleep, regular exercise, an organic food diet and Edible Beauty skincare products, you will radiate with health and vitality on both the inside and out.  View our complete range of natural skincare products today and find your most radiant self from the inside, out.

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Anna Mitsios

Adv. Dip. Naturopathy. Adv. Dip. Nutrition. B.Com (Honours)

Anna is a certified naturopath and nutritionist and founder of leading Australian natural skincare and wellness company, Edible Beauty Australia. Anna has been featured in various publications including Mind Body Green, Women’s Health and Allure. She is committed to the natural transformation of her client’s skin using proven botanicals, nutrients and herbal formulations, both on the inside and out.  

Anna’s career began in the corporate sector, where she specialised in corporate finance and private banking for over ten years working in Sydney and New York for a large Australian bank. Anna’s career change was sparked by her own health journey, following a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes at 18 years of age.  Her diagnosis triggered her intense study of botanicals and nutrition to manage auto-immune condition and assist others in attaining optimal health. Anna’s naturopathy career has included working as a naturopath within a reputable natural fertility clinic in Sydney, within a pharmacy and health food store and running her own naturopathy practice. 

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