We need to save our soil, and here’s why

In partnership with Soil Association

woman planting in the soil
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Soil diversity is vital to the health of every living organism on the planet. Here’s how the beauty industry is doing its crucial bit to protect it...

We have healthy soil to thank for the food we eat, the wildlife we see, and the flowers we smell, and it’s essential that we don’t take it for granted.

Exhaustive farming techniques like the use of agrochemicals and over-grazing all have their part to play in the degradation of soil, and the crisis is weakening the Earth’s ecosystems so much so that around 25% of the world’s soil has lost the nutrients, organic matter, and organisms it needs to survive.

This loss is affecting everything from food and flooding to climate change and crops, which is why industry leaders and individuals alike need to start thinking about life underground just as much as we think about the ecosystems above it.

Watch our interview with Celine Ivari, founder of WholyMe, below:


What is so special about soil?

The soil might look simple at surface level but around 10,000 different species call it home, and the vibrant life-forms that live where we can’t see bring continuous and limitless benefits to life on Earth.

It is also thanks to healthy soil's intricate combination of minerals, organic matter, air, water and living organisms that exist underground that we have access to the food we eat. Starting with the crops that grow to the honey that is produced by British bees, around 95% of our food comes from the soil we walk on.

Soil’s power doesn’t stop there: it holds more carbon than the atmosphere and all of its vegetation combined, so the soil is on the front line of the fight against climate change. What’s more, healthy soil controls and regulates water flow; like an adaptable sponge, soil absorbs water in a flood and expels it when it senses drought.

organic beauty and wellbeing week

Image courtesy of Soil Association

Why is WholyMe leading the way when it comes to protecting our soil? 

Certified organic brand WholyMe was born out of a desire to make the most out of plant nutrients, fuel nature-friendly lifestyles, and be powerfully caring. WholyMe products are effective for the Earth’s whole ecosystem.

Celine Ivari, the founder of the brand, has a background in science and genetics and is dedicated to providing organic and natural relief for modern-day stress.

“As a geneticist, I know the importance of your environment to our predisposition to conditions and also to recovery so I wanted to take a holistic approach to health and that’s when I deep-dived into alternative remedies, natural solutions, something that’s highly effective and completely natural. I developed the Relief Balm, and it’s really this experience that led to an understanding that there’s a bigger problem here and that the stress, aches and pains are inherent to our modern lifestyle. The issue is that they are misunderstood or mismanaged - too many people will power through or pop a painkiller to numb the alarm system - your body's way of asking you to pay attention. I wanted to transform consumer behaviour towards a healthier and holistic way to health.”  - Celine Ivari

Thanks to the complex product development process, all ingredients in WholyMe’s soothing products are reviewed and analysed by scientists, the Soil Association, and a trusted testing panel.

The brand’s commitment to nature is also evident in the standards they place on sourcing ingredients. Whether it’s lavender, eucalyptus or juniper, every ingredient is meticulously chosen to make sure that it has been grown, nurtured and harvested in ways that protect soil diversity and the planet.

wholyme relief drops

Image courtesy of WholyMe

Why do we need to act fast?

Despite its superpowers, the soil is in danger - and we are to blame. 10 million hectares of degraded cropland are abandoned every year. Unlike the air and water above it, soil takes decades, or even centuries, to recover. If we don’t provide it with the perfect concoction of natural remedies now, crop shortages, increased pollution, and flooding will continue for years to come.

What’s more, on top of rising temperatures, climate change is set to reduce the amount of water that is available to us. If we work on the health of our soil, it will be able to hold more water for future generations.

wholyme relief balm

Image courtesy of WholyMe

What can I do?

It might seem like a big task, but doing your bit for soil diversity is actually pretty straightforward. Next time you’re choosing beauty products, read the ingredients list, do your research, and check for certifications like the Soil Association’s COSMOS logo. If a product is boasting one of these, you can rest assured that your beauty product is protecting the soil.

Want to do more outside of your bathroom cabinet? Get those fingers green. Keeping a compost heap, diversifying the plants that are growing in your garden and staying away from chemical fertilisers are all things that’ll encourage soil diversity. It goes without saying that, where you can, you should pick up organic foods from the supermarket shelves too.

If we all make small changes to the way we treat the soil at homes, we will encourage change at the conglomerate level – where it matters most. And it's advantageous to consumers and producers; if farmers grow crops organically by nourishing them with compost and with regular crop rotations, their soils will be around 25% more effective at storing carbon. Win, win.

Lisa Oxenham

An award-winning health and beauty writer, stylist and creative director, Lisa Oxenham is one of the UK’s top beauty editors and the Beauty and Style Director at Marie Claire UK. With 20 years of editorial experience Lisa is a brand partnership expert, and a popular speaker, panelist and interviewer on a range of topics from sustainability to the future of beauty in the digital world. She recently spoke at Cognition X and Beauty Tech Live and is on the Advisory Board for the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition.

A well-respected creative director she works on celebrity, model and influencer shoots with the highest calibre of photographers, filmmakers, make-up artists and hairstylists to create timeless images, attention-grabbing videos, digital events and masterclasses. Most recently Lisa has directed covers such as Lily Cole and Jameela Jamil, films such as Save The Arts featuring Francesca Hayward and sustainable fashion shoots such as Be The Change. Supporting the beauty industry over the pandemic has been a top focus, directing the British Beauty Council’s six inspirational short biographical films for their Bring Back Beauty campaign.

Lisa is a wellbeing and beauty influencer with a focus on mental health and a large and engaged audience on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.