The Challenges and Beauty of Crafting Natural Beauty Products

8 February 2024

Navigating the Complexities of Natural Ingredients and Formulations

In the world of beauty, the term “natural” has become a buzzword that consumers gravitate towards. However, truly natural beauty brands are rare, as the process of creating products using natural ingredients is far from simple. While the idea of simplicity may be associated with natural products, the reality is quite the opposite. Crafting natural beauty products requires surrendering to the seasons, testing and refining complex formulations, and embracing the inconsistencies that come with using ingredients sourced from the earth. In this article, we delve into the challenges and beauty of crafting natural beauty products, exploring the perspectives of industry experts who have dedicated themselves to this pursuit.

The Complexities of Natural Formulas

Creating a natural formula involves navigating a multitude of variables, according to Tata Harper, founder of her eponymous brand. Harper’s brand is known for its exclusion of synthetics such as petroleum and glycol. She emphasizes that natural ingredients are more expensive and rare, often sourced from different parts of the world. Unlike manmade substances, natural ingredients require special handling and top-notch emulsification and preservation systems to ensure a two-year shelf life. Harper’s formulas are developed from scratch, a process that can take up to two years due to the delicate nature of the ingredients. The formulation of natural products demands time, patience, and extensive trial and error.

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Upholding Brand Integrity in the Face of Synthetic Alternatives

Allison Audrey Weldon, the founder of Sangre de Fruta, started her brand to celebrate the timeless ingredients used throughout history. However, she acknowledges the constant pressure to move towards synthetic alternatives, which are operationally and financially more convenient. Navigating regulations and FDA guidelines is also more challenging for natural beauty brands. Weldon emphasizes that maintaining brand integrity can suffer if the process is rushed. The commitment to natural ingredients requires a concerted effort to find solutions that align with both the brand’s values and regulatory requirements.

Embracing Nature’s Inconsistencies

One of the unique aspects of natural beauty products is the lack of synthetic uniformity found in the natural world. Just like wine, roses, or homegrown vegetables, natural ingredients vary from season to season. Richard Christensen, founder of Flamingo Estate, which specializes in locally-sourced products, highlights the beauty of consistent inconsistencies. While customers often expect extreme consistency, natural products embrace the ever-changing nature of their ingredients. Essential oils, for example, may have varying aromas from batch to batch, but this natural variation adds to their allure.


Crafting natural beauty products is a labor of love that requires an understanding of the complexities involved. From sourcing rare and expensive ingredients to formulating delicate and time-consuming recipes, natural brands face unique challenges. However, these challenges also bring forth the beauty of natural products—their connection to the earth, the celebration of ancient ingredients, and the embrace of nature’s ever-changing qualities. As consumers continue to seek out natural beauty options, it is important to appreciate the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into creating these products.

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