I recently took to using Dragon’s Blood on my skin. No, not the real thing (where would I find that?) – Dragon’s Blood is the resin that comes from the ocotra dragon tree or dragon blood tree which is native to the Socotra archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It is called, “Dragon’s Blood,” due to the red sap that the trees produce. The dragon’s blood resin is hailed as a cure-all. The local inhabitants of the city in the Socotra Island use it in general wound healing, as a coagulant, cure for diarrhea, for dysentery diseases and lowering fevers. It is also taken for ulcers in the mouth, throat, intestines and stomach.
I use it to reduce visible signs of aging.
These days, exotic ingredients are big business in beauty: bee and snake venom, acids and stem cells – the scarier the better (and more expensive). The beauty world is following in the footsteps of programs like Toms Shoes and Lauren Bush’s FEED bags, the purchase of which include donations to needy children in Africa. According to a Nielsen study, the number of American consumers willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies jumped from 36 percent in 2011 to 44 percent in 2013. A recent New York Times article focused on the use of African Oils specifically and shed light on the cause marketing component of a few.
Lush, a beauty brand in Britain known for its handmade products, released a YouTube video about getting its shea butter from the 400-member Ojoba Women’s Collective in northern Ghana. Simon Constantine, the head perfumer and so-called ethical buyer for Lush, said: “People ask questions. They want to know what they are using and where it comes from.”
L’Occitane en Provence, the beauty products company, was recently honored by the United Nations Development Program for its work in Burkina Faso. Neal’s Yard Remedies of London, which works with the Samburu community of Northern Kenya, harvests frankincense resin according to “fair wild” protocols set by the Institute for Marketecology, a Swiss accreditation body.
“This is not just a fad, this is a global trend,” said James Russo, a senior vice president for global consumer insights at the Nielsen Company in the NY Times article.
I wonder what the next “it” thing will be…