by McKenna Ruzga

Since the beginning of human history, there's evidence that people have used whole plants for medicine and grooming purposes. As early as 1500 B.C., people were using plants to treat illnesses, but also to cleanse and protect their skin and even enhance their appearance. These botanicals are effective for most of the same reasons their conventional, modern counterparts are - they have specific chemical compounds that affect and support processes in our bodies.

But in the last century, many of the compounds found in these plants have been isolated in labs or remade as synthetics for use in modern body care products and pharmaceuticals. In fact, of the 150 most popular pharmaceuticals on the market, 74% are based on plants and 18% are based on fungi, which goes to show just how powerful and effective these plant compounds can be. While lab-made isolates do serve specific purposes, they can also strip plants of dozens of other compounds that are responsible for their natural synergistic effects. 

Although our products at JACK HENRY are for crafted for performance, they're also crafted to benefit your body. And luckily those aren't mutually exclusive. Here's a little background on why we choose to use whole plant, earth-sourced ingredients rather than lab-made synthetics.

For performance

If it doesn't work, what's the point? A deodorant can have the cleanest ingredients in the world, but if you're smelly within an hour, it's a waste. Luckily, the reason plant botanicals have stood the test of time is because they're super effective, and modern plant-based grooming products harness the power of these ingredients in new ways. Plants are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamins, which makes them great for protecting skin, soothing irritation, and fighting signs of aging. Plant oils are also great sources of fatty acids that help keep skin hydrated and protected to encourage healing. And many plants also have a bonus aroma-therapeutic effect that helps boost your mood. Basically, plant-based grooming products work to support your body's natural processes, which in turn optimizes the appearance of skin and hair.

For example, the four plant oils in our SUPER FACE OIL improve skin tone and balance complexion by providing the vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants your skin needs to process everyday toxins and stay hydrated.

For your health


With literally thousands of years of research and use, plants are tried, true, and tested for safety and efficacy. Conventional grooming products are jam-packed with questionable ingredients, and the last piece of legislation regulating personal care products was passed in the 1930s, so it's up to consumers to research what's in the products they use and demand transparency from companies.

By using plant-based products, you can easily understand what's in the products you're buying and the purpose they serve. You're not putting sketchy, under-regulated synthetics on your body, and you're not paying for a bunch of filler ingredients. We don't just choose ingredients that are safe - they have to be beneficial for your body, skin, and hair.

For the planet

A lot of ingredients found in conventional body care products aren't so easy on the environment - both during production and disposal. Flip that container over and check out the ingredient label; if you see mineral oil, toulene, benzene, PEG, DEA, or any word with butyl or propyl, those are all petroleum-based. In addition, microbeads in many exfoliating products are actually made from plastic, which washes into waterways and accumulates for hundreds of thousands of years. Many of the synthetic ingredients used to give grooming products their texture and shelf life never break down, which means they accumulate in the environment over time. Once they wash off our face or body and go down the drain, those chemicals are released into our waterways and public water systems, damaging wildlife and disturbing ecosystems.

By choosing plant-based skin and hair products, you're using ingredients that are found naturally in the wild. Just be sure the companies you're buying from are sourcing sustainably and ethically so as not to exploit the ecosystems where ingredients are found.