Farming and formulation: The SCS' tips for creating natural cosmetics

Covering soil microbes, essential oils, sustainable sourcing and scale-up, what follows are highlights from the 2017 SCS Naturals in Cosmetic Science Conference

A diverse range of topics, from soil health to scale-up tips for naturals manufacturers via frankincense farming in Oman, were brought to the podium for the Naturals in Cosmetic Science Conference (4-5 July), organised by the UK’s Society of Cosmetic Scientists (SCS).

From dirt to dresser

It goes without saying that the successful growth of plants is integral not only to the health of the natural and organic beauty sector, but to human health generally. The opening talk on day one, delivered by Elemis’ Jan Kusmirek, provided an overview of the natural cosmetics industry with a particular focus on the importance of soil.

He asked delegates to imagine something ‘natural’, before stating: “How many of you saw human beings?” This is strange, he said, given that humanity is so involved with nature – with the word ‘human’ actually derived from the Latin ‘humus’, meaning ‘from the earth’.

In modern parlance, humus refers to the dark brown decay material that is essential for healthy soil. “The organic movement is known mostly for not using things, for not using herbicides and pesticides,” Kusmirek said. “Yet, fundamentally, it is about soil activity.”

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