Sustainable development affects us all
“Natural ingredients bring pleasure and strengthen us both internally and externally.”
We are in the premises of Omnia, the Joint Authority of Education in Espoo Region, and I’m listening keenly as Janina Kuparinen, Service Manager at Aurinkokivi, shares her enthusiasm for natural cosmetics. Aurinkokivi is an on-the-job learning facility for hair stylist and cosmetologist students that operates in connection with Omnia. Here, students can practice working in a salon. Vegetable-based hair colors and natural cosmetics are not part of the curriculum, but as it happens, the natural Four Reasons Nature product line is selling like hot cakes in Aurinkokivi.
What makes Finnish natural cosmetics a hit among Aurinkokivi’s customers? We decided to find out!
Natural ingredients convinced
Soile, Janina’s colleague who has completed a specialist vocational qualification in ecological hair styling, awoke Janine’s interest in natural cosmetics about 18 months ago. Janina is passionate about cosmetics brands and new products, and she would soak in product information from her colleague. This is how she got excited about natural ingredients. Her enthusiasm led to trying out several natural cosmetics products first in skincare cosmetics. Soon, she was head-over-heels.
“Natural ingredients, such as essential oils, affect us comprehensively, including our minds. Fragrances play such a key role. I’m sensitive to scents and cannot wear perfumes, for instance, but fragrances made of natural ingredients cause no reactions in me. On the contrary, they bring me joy”, says Janina.
Previously, only a few natural options in professional hair styling products have been available, which is why Janina took an immediate interest in the Four Reasons Nature product line. She was also the one to introduce it to the selection of Aurinkokivi, making it one of the first hair salons to do so. It seemed like there was already a market for natural cosmetics.
Choosing a sustainable future
Janina has been responsible for Omnia’s hair salon purchases for already seven years, which means she has practical experience and insight into the hair products of almost all noteworthy brands. As the supervisor of hair stylist students, her knowledge of products is at a high level. Among countless brands and even more numerous product lines, Four Reasons Nature has stolen Janina’s heart.
“Omnia’s strategy aims at a sustainable future. Ecological and social values are important to us, and supporting Finnish, sustainably produced products is one way of realizing these values in our daily life. And when the products are a total hit as for their content and package design, it couldn’t be easier to recommend them.”
Janina is referring to the Cosmos Natural certificate awarded by Ecocert to Four Reasons Nature. The certificate guarantees that the ingredients used in the products are natural and that the production method follows the principles of sustainable development. Four Reasons Nature products are manufactured at our factory in Finland that uses 100% renewable energy. They are packed in recycled plastic made of English plastic bottles. The caps of our cleanse and condition products are made of plastic recovered from the sea. Delivered to Omnia in Espoo from the factory in the neighboring municipality of Vantaa, the Aurinkokivi on-the-job learners can rightfully sell Four Reasons Nature products as locally manufactured.
Genuine enthusiasm is infectious
Hair products are beautifully presented by the entrance and exit to Aurinkokivi – you can’t miss them. The products placed on illuminated glass shelves behind the counter are definitely an eye-catcher that you can’t miss.
“Here, you have a product line with design that sells itself. The bottles are like candy – so sweet and delicious! Without fail, every customer asks us about the product line if we haven’t already discussed it during their appointment”, says Janina.
Most often, Aurinkokivi customers express their interest in the products already during their visit. Enthusiasm towards natural cosmetics has spread to all supervisors of the hair salon, and from them to the students. When you genuinely trust a product, the enthusiasm is easily infectious also among customers.
“I always ask my customer if they have previously tried natural products. If they are not familiar with natural cosmetics, I explain to them how they’re different from synthetic cosmetics and what kinds of ingredients the products include. In the Four Reasons Nature line, customers also appreciate that the products are Finnish and that the packaging is environmentally friendly. In addition to providing information about the product, I also let the customer sniff the product and I guide them in selecting the correct products for their hair type”, says Janina, describing her sales process.
Janina has tested all the products in the Four Reasons Nature line herself, which can be seen in customer service situations and product consultations as authenticity. It’s easy to talk about what you know and what you believe in. Janina’s favorite products include the Four Reasons Nature Volume shampoo and conditioner because their scent always puts a smile on her face, with each and every wash. She feels that all the shampoos of the line are very conditioning. “The leave-in Moisture Oil is so conditioning that for most, it’s enough by itself after shampooing without a separate conditioner.”
Encouraging everyone to try
But who are natural cosmetics for? Are there customers to whom you shouldn’t recommend them?
Janina’s answer is that everyone can be encouraged to try natural cosmetics – there’s nothing to lose.
“The easiest customer group is of course those who already have an interest in natural cosmetics. If your customer has an appointment for a vegetable-based hair color, you must have natural cosmetics products on offer for their home hair care. Another obvious target group for natural cosmetics is customers with untreated hair, such as children. But the Four Reasons Nature line has products for all types of hair: the Rebuild products are extremely conditioning and strengthening, which makes them a perfect match for treated hair. The fragrances are not overtly feminine, so these products are also suitable for men.”
With this principle, Four Reasons Nature has grown into the most sold hair product line in Aurinkokivi within a short period of time. Many customers have also tried natural cosmetics for their hair for the first time. Have there been any disappointments?
“I tell customers in advance that the surfactants that wash your hair are much milder in natural hair products than in synthetic products. As a result, your hair won’t feel exactly the same as what you are used to after the first wash. You shouldn’t be freaked out by this. Your scalp will get used to this and adapt if you give the products some time. Customers have also been very eager to try, and openness has helped us avoid disappointments.”
Naturalness is trending in Europe
Janina justifies switching to natural products with her experience.
“The interval between washes grows longer, and hair feels really airy and soft after washing, not at all heavy. I think also the sensory experience of a product is important – I love the honest fragrances from the products’ natural ingredients.”
Janina believes that the demand for natural cosmetics will only increase in the future. She sees a general goal of naturalness as a purchase motive, which has also been a trend in the industry and hair coloring for a long time.
“In Finland, we’re miles behind – in Central Europe, natural cosmetics are huge. In skincare, the offering of natural cosmetics is massive but the options are much more limited in hair cosmetics. In this, the Four Reasons Nature line is a pioneer!”