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Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica

Dec 9, 2021

Welcome to this Green Beauty Opinion in which Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier shares her opinions on the polarised debate about the sustainability of beauty ingredients that pits naturals vs synthetics - yet again.  

Lorraine’s interview in the last episode with Emily King of FairWild raised nuanced questions about not just the sustainability of wild-harvested cosmetic ingredients, but also that of natural botanicals and synthetics in general. 

Sustainability can be seen as a three-legged stool that functions  only if each leg - planet, people and profit - is in balance. Should we opt for a synthetic alternative if local communities who gather and trade ethically in the natural ingredient have their livelihoods wiped out?  Regulated, sustainable practices may support future generations and keep alive valuable cultural know-how and traditions. 

As you can see, there is no black and white answer to the sustainability of any cosmetic ingredient, natural or synthetic. We simply don’t know if a synthetic or natural ingredient is more sustainable across all three pillars without meticulous research.

Yet, some in the beauty industry, particularly voices on social media, would argue that synthetics are the more sustainable route to take now. This is far too simplistic a viewpoint. It dumbs down the discussion and ignores the complexity inherent in sustainable beauty. 

Lorraine challenges us to think carefully about the arguments we hear articulated, and urges us as indie beauty advocates to keep an open mind. 

Listen in for a thought-provoking five minutes that challenges us to be the voice of change and integrity, making the beauty industry better and more sustainable.