While doing research for an article about the long-term implications of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, personal care issues such as transparency and green chemistry are proving even more relevant to the future of the cosmetics industry. But after learning about Dirty Beauty, an inspiring Georgia-based green cosmetics company, I unearthed another emerging trend that should experience growth as a result of this act: farm-to-bottle beauty.
Launched this year, Dirty Beauty is a strong supporter of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, in part because of how connected it is to the sources of its ingredients. “We work as close to the farmer as possible, which assists us in building relationships with the producers of plant-based ingredients,” Dirty Beauty Founder Samantha Dickey told me.
The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 puts pressure on every phase of the production chain—from sourcing to formulating to labeling. If a manufacturer wants to be truly transparent about its products, it must know exactly where its ingredients come from. The best way? Just like with food, by working directly with the farmers producing these ingredients, which makes it possible to carry out green chemistry principles (which Dirty Beauty does)—and be honest with consumers (which Dirty Beauty is).
In Dirty Beauty’s case, this has meant everything from finding its beeswax at a local farmers’ market, to working with Fair Trade USA to ensure it is connected to shea butter farmers in Africa, to partnering with other companies that utilize their own farms, like Young Living for its essential oils.
But as this farm-fresh concept continues to develop and appear in the marketing of more beauty products, consumers (and optimistic editors) must be discerning. I recently came across a line of beauty products marketed with “farmers’ market.” I proclaimed my delight and asked from which local farm the manufacturer sourced ingredients. Apparently the company, like me, liked the sound of farm-fresh cosmetics; however, it hadn’t actually worked with any farmers or sourced the ingredients locally. Yes, my friends, it was farmers’ market marketing fib.
As we see more and more industry changes in upcoming months, we can also expect to see more instances like this. But consumers will also become increasingly aware, and appreciative, of those companies like Dirty Beauty doing business right, and helping us get closer to, as Dickey says, “a time when consumers will have full disclosure to make informed choices.”