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The growth of farm-fresh cosmetics

While doing research for article about the long-term implications of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, key personal care issues such as transparency and green chemistry are proving even more relevant to the future of the cosmetics industry. But after talking with 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 act 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 growing these ingredients, which makes it possible to carry out green chemistry principles—and be honest to consumers.

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’s connected to shea butter farmers in Africa (and has the certification to back it up), 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 on more products, consumers (and optimistic editors) must also 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 the 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 more aware, and appreciative, of those companies like Dirty Beauty doing business the right way. “We are closer to a time when consumers will have full disclosure to make informed choices,” said Dickey.  



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