When making your own natural skin care, sourcing ingredients that are pure, natural, and align with your values are nearly as important as the actual formulations themselves. In fact, using ingredients that fit with your ethics is one of the top reasons we believe you should make your own skincare products.
But deciding where to find these ingredients — especially with a lot of misinformation floating around — can be difficult. That’s why we’ve consulted top experts that own their own natural skincare lines about how they source their ingredients.
Here are a few sourcing tricks-of-the-trade you can borrow from the pros.
Test every batch
ZYM Skin takes pride in the fact that they curate, extract, ferment and bottle their products by hand, creating small batches that are consistent and high-quality. They have honed testing parameters to ensure the efficacy and quality of their natural skincare ingredients that they source locally from farms in the area or through quality wholesale vendors.
CEO Victor Yoon says, “Each batch of product is slightly different. Just as the seasons can affect produce, nutritional content may slightly vary batch to batch. But we test our products using these parameters to ensure we’re providing the absolute best for our customers.”
It helps to be creative
Audrey Carlson ensures she knows exactly how ingredients are sourced and harvested to get the very best for her customers. “I source the majority of my ingredients through a company that partners with the women harvesting these butters to ensure all ingredients are natural, organic, raw, and sustainable.”
She enjoys playing around with interesting flavor and oil combinations in her products, but she’s not able to always find the scent she’s looking for from her trusted wholesalers. “In these scenarios, I’ve turned to infusing my own oils with organic coffee beans, tea leaves, even cocktail bitters. This takes significantly more time but for me is absolutely worth it to ensure that the items I produce are truly safe and enjoyable for everyone.”
Research, research, and more research is the name of the game for Janelle of JanellesNaturals. “I have done a lot of research on the companies I get my ingredients from to make sure they are certified organic, and that I know exactly and how and where they are being sourced. I don’t buy ingredients from filler sites like Amazon because I don’t know exactly how the ingredients are being made.”
Stand by your ethics
Quality and efficacy are the most important for Silke Bayer of Silba Body and Skincare. “We carefully select our ingredients from trusted suppliers and test each of them for the beneficial properties they supposed to have,” she says, noting that country of origin, cultivation and extraction methods, and GS/MS reports for ingredients are all important when selecting suppliers. Silke also notes that she tries to look for organic ingredients, but prefers natural ingredients when quality and results are better.
Finally, ethics and values are critical for the team at Silba Body and Skincare. “We are Leaping Bunny Certified, and we do not purchase from suppliers who are unable to prove that they are also cruelty-free. No animal testing ever. A trustful relationship to all of our suppliers is crucial for us.”
Look for certifications
“Sourcing ingredients was probably the biggest challenge but also most illuminating and educational part of setting up my own skincare brand,” says Anya. “When looking for reliable suppliers of organic ingredients, I came across a lot of companies that are there to make a quick profit by selling superficial materials. Quite often, they are blatantly lying to consumers about their organic certifications. Sadly, it happens more often than you think,” she warns.
That’s why Anya’s team at No Ordinary Skin works with suppliers whose growers and producers are approved by certification bodies that comply with the highest accreditation standards and are approved under EU and UK organic regulations. She notes that these certifications are easily accessible for customers to verify as well.
Good things take time
It took years for the team at No Ordinary Skin to find trustworthy suppliers, but as Anya says, it was more than worth it. “We never compromise on quality and purity of every ingredient we use, even if it means us paying a little extra. That’s why we work with smaller family-run businesses where people put their soul in what they do, so we know where every batch of oils and herbs we use came from and how it was grown and harvested.”