What if your cosmetic contained an ingredient mined using child labor? Or your favourite sunscreen was contributing to the destruction of natural habitats and threatening vulnerable species?
Today, the clean beauty industry raises its pride in listing all the ingredients in its products. But have you ever questioning what is in your skincare products? Tracing where beauty ingredients are sourced, harvested, and produced is the revolution of clean beauty and resulting in a greener planet.
Unfortunately, some “natural” ingredients can have negative implications to the environment, and a “clean” beauty product can easily be problematic due to ecological harm and unethical practices linked to its ingredient sourcing. It’s not only how the brands claiming their products are safe, clean, and sustainable—the brands need to prove it.
Ingredient traceability is introducing a new way to the future of clean beauty, and it is an opportunity to build stronger relationships with consumers. Here’s how they are going about it.
What is Ingredient Traceability?
Clean beauty products are made without ingredients known or harm human health. For example, mineral oils, sulfate, silicone, parabens, and sodium chloride. However, clean beauty products become controversial through ingredient sourcing linked to ecological harm or unethical practices. Not knowing how ingredients are grown, harvested, or processed could rather lead to owning a beauty product that causes harm than a sustainable product.
Traceable ingredients are a basic method that companies can use to make sure they know who they’re buying from, what policies and procedures they have in place, and it would be able to share that information transparently with consumers. Without traceability, it’s impossible to know how ingredients impact people or the environment.
What are the Factors of Ingredient Traceability?
The first thing to look for the brands is to share the names and addresses of their direct and indirect suppliers, crafting stories can also be included to give consumers accurate insights. Telling consumers how the sourcing and processing could positively impact the beauty community that helps manufacture the products they buy.
In addition to sharing each step of how ingredients are sourced, brands who are transparent about their traceability will also tell you what they need to develop. Brand transparency is an ongoing learning process. Sharing what the brand is doing and what needs to be enhanced is part of being transparent.
Is Traceability The Future For Clean Beauty?
When it comes to sustainability and traceability, the best way to build trust is to be transparent. For brands to achieve full transparency, distributors and manufacturers have to join in. Distributors and manufacturers can also share more information about each ingredient and help make that information accessible so that brands can more easily integrate this information into their product listings, details, and packaging.
As a Consumer, What Can You Do?
While brands are striving for transparency and traceability, customers can educate themselves or ask questions. When researching products, think about where do they manufacture, what are the ingredients, and is it hard to access information? Remember, consumers have a right to know what they’re buying, that it’s good for their skin, for the environment, and for the communities that produce it.
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