The beauty and skin care industry is in the middle of a remarkable transformation. Though it’s largely
still all about bringing out the best in consumers, major industry players have chosen to push for this
philosophy while also embracing more sustainable sourcing practices.
Several factors are responsible for this ongoing shift. One is the ongoing trend of customers supporting
beauty brands that reflect their values. Another is companies’ increasing mindfulness of the
environmental impacts of their sourcing principles, as these are what support their continued existence
in the long term. Failing to address sourcing processes that contribute to climate change and the loss of
biodiversity will eventually threaten the stability of the beauty and skin care industry and the markets
and communities that support it.
Over the years, both newcomers and pillars of the beauty industry have made good progress at adapting
their sourcing processes to be more sustainable. Below are some of the methods they’re utilizing to do
1) Practicing Sustainable Harvesting
Sustainable harvesting refers to the practice of ensuring that the ingredients required by a company are
gathered at a rate that allows for natural regeneration. It’s a means of protecting ecosystems and
preserving biodiversity, and it’s at the center of the skin care and beauty industry’s quest for eco-
conscious ingredient sourcing.
Many now prioritize working with suppliers that adhere to the practice of sustainable harvesting. In
doing so, each participating brand contributes to the long-term health of the environment while
delivering products that harness the inherent benefits of natural ingredients.
2) Ensuring Fair Trade and Ethical Sourcing
Caring for nature, in many ways, overlaps with looking after the communities that inhabit the area.
More companies in the beauty industry have made it a point to do both by engaging in fair trade and
building their supply chains around ethical sourcing practices.
Fair trade entails making sure that all workers in a supply chain are treated and compensated fairly. A
beauty company that supports fair trade should be compelled to partner with a coconut oil
manufacturer that gives back to the communities of the farmers it works with, for instance.
Beauty brands that put people and the environment over their profits will also pay fair prices for
ingredients. This ensures that the communities involved in the production process benefit economically
and socially, and that the mutually beneficial partnership can continue in the years to come.
3) Making Use of Local and Indigenous Ingredients Embracing local and indigenous ingredients is a strategy that more skin care and beauty companies have
turned to in order to reduce the carbon footprint associated with ingredient transportation. Sourcing
close to home means that companies can keep fuel consumption at a minimum, support local
economies, and respect traditional knowledge about the plants they’re using as ingredients for their
On top of keeping carbon emissions at a minimum, utilizing local sources is also a way of celebrating the
cultural richness and heritage associated with these indigenous ingredients. This, in turn, can be a
unique selling point for a brand’s beauty products.
4) Engaging in Wildcrafting
A modern take on gathering or foraging, wildcrafting involves sustainably collecting plants and other
ingredients from their natural habitats. This ethical and controlled harvesting practice has become more
prevalent in the beauty industry as it allows for the responsible sourcing of ingredients while
maintaining the ecological balance of their natural habitats.
5) Acquiring and Maintaining Certifications
Certifications play a vital role in verifying the sustainability and ethical sourcing of beauty and skin care
ingredients. Beauty companies have made it a point to seek third-party certifications like Fair Trade,
Rainforest Alliance, or Ecocert as proof that they adhere to fair treatment practices, and that their
operations have a positive impact on the environment and constituent communities. These
certifications also impress transparency and assurance upon consumers, which allow them to learn
more about products that align with their values and ethical considerations.
6) Trying Out Regenerative Agriculture
Regenerative agriculture is another practice that’s currently contributing to the beauty industry’s effort
to source sustainable ingredients. This approach focuses on restoring soil health, sequestering carbon,
and improving biodiversity in farms raw ingredients for beauty and skin care products are cultivated. By
supporting regenerative agriculture, brands not only contribute to the sustainability of ingredients like
botanical extracts, but also promote agricultural practices that help mitigate climate change and
preserve natural resources.
7) Taking Part in Waste Reduction
Minimizing waste is a key focus in the beauty industry’s efforts to source ingredients sustainably. Skin
care brands can contribute to this by minimizing their waste when it comes to ingredient sourcing. This
can be done, for instance, by utilizing every part of the raw material or employing byproducts for other
purposes. This approach reduces environmental waste and optimizes resources, making ingredient
sourcing both more efficient and more eco-friendly.
8) Employing Traceability Tools and Systems Big advances in technology and supply chain management have also translated to better traceability for
beauty and skin care ingredients. Brands can now track the journeys of each of their ingredients from
source to final product, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the whole manufacturing
process. The end result is a working system for ensuring that all raw ingredients are sourced ethically,
sustainably, and in compliance with all the necessary environmental and social standards.
Through developments like these, the beauty and skin care industry has gradually become more ethical
and environmentally responsible as a whole. As a consumer who cares about their future, support
brands that are committed to sustainable practices and to preserving the beauty and wealth of the
*This is a collaborative post in partnership with Germaine Ignacio She is a freelance writer. As a Psychology major, she is interested in how investing in personal growth and happiness can improve professional productivity. See our full disclosure about guest posts and partnerships here.