• Plant sourcing
  • Responsible beauty

The Beauty Behind Farm-to-Face

Nowadays consumers are savvier than ever, and they are paying close attention to what they eat, drink, and put on their skin. A few years ago, farm-to-table emerged as a food trend and gave consumers a positive perception about farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Recently that concept has crept into personal care, and we are seeing farm-to-face emerge as an up-and-coming beauty trend.

From food to beauty

According to Rutgers University, farm-to-table (also known as farm-to-fork) is a “food system in which production, processing, distribution, and consumption are integrated to enhance environmental, economic, social and nutritional health.”1 Although there is no organization policing the use of this term, the general understanding is that farm-to-table ingredients are fresh, natural, sometimes organic, minimally processed, ethically obtained, and often locally sourced.

The main driver for farm-to-table is consumers desire for transparency. Access to unlimited information online has made consumers curious about every facet of their lives. They want to know the ins and outs of government, where their food comes from, and what is in their beauty products. According to the NPD Group, “U.S. women are increasingly turning to online research to better understand the ingredients in – and the brands behind – their facial skincare products.”2 In fact, this desire for transparency in beauty is the driver for many current trends, including the clean beauty movement.

The current state of farm-to-face

There are several cult brands that have already committed to providing farm-to-face beauty. For example, the brand Tata Harper is a pioneer of the farm-to-face movement. The brand claims to source more than 300 ingredients from farms all over the country, many of those ingredients are grown right in Vermont where their products are formulated.  Also, the brand Farmacy has a similar story. Farmacy creates clean skincare products using ingredients from organic farms in New York, Pennsylvania, and Brazil. The dedication and transparency provided by these brands is extremely brave and forward-thinking but outside of owning a farm there are other ways that brands can provide farm-to-face beauty. The solution lies within the definition of “farm-to” which represents natural, sometimes organic, minimally processed, ethically obtained, and/or locally sourced ingredients. The remainder of this article will give you 3 easy ways to approach the farm-to-face trend.

Choose familiar ingredients

The clean beauty movement argues that natural ingredients are not necessarily better ingredients. While there is some truth to that statement, the fact is consumers prefer ingredients that they can easily identify and recognize as being safe. Consumers feel comfortable when they see fruits, plants, natural oils, and vitamins in their food and cosmetics. In fact, farm-to-face brands put a heavy emphasis on well-known ingredients such as kale, honey, and avocado.

Gattefossé has a potent natural active based on ginseng, an ingredient that is widely used by consumers for its energizing properties. Our active EnergiNius® brings the energizing benefits of organic Indian ginseng to the skin by recharging skin’s battery (via the mitochondria). This activity protects the skin cells from the damaging effects of artificial visible light from screens.

Embrace radical transparency

Consumers are not just seeking transparency; they are demanding it. According to the NPD group “consumers are using their spending power to ensure their voices are heard and supporting brands that commit to natural ingredients and transparency”.2 A separate study done by FIT, mentioned more than 60% of consumers want brands to identify the source of their ingredients.3 Knowing the origin of their beauty ingredients gives consumers more information about whether they are organic, non-GMO, vegan, and ethically sourced.

To be transparent about our ingredients Gattefossé has created several videos about how we source our plants. Our video for Gatuline® Renew reveals the story behind the Cryptomeria Japonica (Japanese Cedar) buds, which are sourced from the French La Reunion Island. In the video, the harvester explains how he carefully picks the buds to ensure the longevity of the Japanese Cedar tree.  From the handpicked buds we developed Gatuline® Renew which is rich in energetic phytochemicals that stimulate epidermal renewal, improve barrier function, boost hydration and smooth the skin.

Prioritize efficacy

Farm-fresh ingredients are an amazing concept but even farm-to-face consumers are looking for results-driven skincare. The challenge then becomes to treat ingredients in such a way that they are powerful and potent but still natural.

To meet this challenge, Gattefossé’s scientists have been actively working on a new generation of 100% natural solvents to create highly functional active ingredients. These novel solvents are called Natural Deep Eutectic solvents or NaDES. Through an ambitious research program, Gattefossé revealed many advantages linked to this extraction technology. The botanical extracts obtained, unveil unique phytochemical signature and performance that would be impossible to reach using conventional solvents.

Thus far we have created 2 active ingredients based on NaDES. One of them is EnergiNius®, which was previously mentioned in this article and the other is  Gatuline® Link n Lift , an active derived from horse chestnut flowers handpicked in Ardèche, France.  Gatuline® Link n Lift  reinforces the dermal-epidermal junction to significantly reduce crow’s feet, under-eye, and tear trough wrinkles.

To learn more about the science behind NaDES extraction, take a look at the explainer video. 

Become a farm-to-face expert

If you would like to explore more farm-to-face solutions from Gattefossé, watch the recording of The Beauty Behind Farm-to-Face webinar.