Welcome to Green Beauty Conversations, the podcast that challenges you to think about how you buy, use, make and sell your natural beauty formulations. Our host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles topics that will make you think and encourage debate about green, indie and organic beauty with your friends, followers or customers. Formula Botanica is the accredited online organic cosmetic science school, hosting thousands of students in 150+ countries who have enrolled for their award-winning online formulation courses. The school has long been a hub for artisan skincare entrepreneurs, who form part of their large, engaged global online community. The global green beauty community looks to Formula Botanica for guidance on major events in the industry, such as new ingredient releases, innovative formulation techniques and indie business guidance. Formula Botanica is at the forefront of the global green beauty industry and is committed to bringing you the best and most up-to-date information from the green beauty world. Listen to the Green Beauty Conversations podcast and become part of the global green beauty movement.
EP84. The beauty industry is avoiding the elephant in the room
5:59Welcome to this Green Beauty Opinion in which Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier asks if by using trending terms like 'waterless', the beauty industry is shying away from the very real challenges of sustainability. Waterless is on the beauty industry’s lips, and follows on from concepts like carbon neutral and biodegradable beauty, skinimalism, beauty miles and more. But, waterless is a particularly irritating term as behind the scenes every beauty product leaves a water footprint, large or small. Waterless is no doubt used by well-meaning beauty brands keen to do the right thing for the environment. But, as Lorraine argues, by heralding the latest concept as yet another definitive blueprint for sustainability, the beauty industry is glossing over issues and avoiding the elephant in the room: its inherently unsustainable model of rampant economic growth built on finite resources. Latching on to single concepts deflects attention from the far more challenging blueprint for sustainability the industry needs to adopt. Lorraine invites us all to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk in our drive for beauty industry sustainability. 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.
EP83. How waterless beauty greenwashed the beauty world
19:10Waterless beauty is on everyone's lips these days and waterless products are being touted as a key pillar of the beauty industry's drive for sustainability. But, as with most beauty industry buzzwords, the term waterless has the potential to be hype, hot air and just another case of greenwashing. In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier, a biologist and chartered environmentalist, is joined by colleague and deputy education manager Ana Green to unpack the waterless beauty trend. Listen in for a reality check on the meaning of waterless. Does it have substance or it is just another beauty industry marketing term that doesn't stand scrutiny? In this episode on waterless beauty, you will hear: How the term waterless has gone from meaning simply anhydrous products and then more concentrated solid products to being equated firmly with sustainability. About the 4 key reasons waterless beauty products have captured consumers' hearts and minds. How a beauty product may have a totally waterless formulation, but will inevitably leave a water footprint throughout its life cycle. Why waterless beauty can be considered window dressing and that the sustainability issues facing the beauty industry are far more nuanced. Key take-outs include: Waterless skincare in the true sense of anhydrous products has plenty to offer beauty consumers. Water plays an important role in skincare products. An optimal beauty routine would involve hydrating the skin topically with water-based products which can also impart water-soluble, active ingredients. It is misleading to use waterless to imply a product is automatically a more sustainable option. Instead, the beauty industry should be talking about 'water-responsible' beauty and practices.
EP82. The beauty industry has a problem with transparency
6:17Welcome to this Green Beauty Opinion in which Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier shares her main takeouts from the previous episode interviewing Jessi Baker, MBE, Founder and CEO, of Provenance, a software solution helping brands build trust and enabling change through transparent communications. Traditionally, the beauty industry and consumers have thought of transparency as relating to ingredients alone, and focused on the near polar debate of natural good, synthetics bad. However, when it comes to transparency about sustainability, the debate is more nuanced. Eradicating greenwashing requires us to ask questions about beauty brands’ commitment to recycling, waste, the climate, their social footprint and far more. And we need transparent, verifiable evidence of any claims they make. Thankfully, with the power of tech solutions, companies like Provenance are independent auditors of claims, helping propel brands to a more sustainable place and in doing so helping consumers make more sustainable choices. Lorraine challenges us to think about what is important to us in the beauty products we buy and to press beauty brands for transparency about more than their ingredients. Listen in for a thought-provoking five minutes that challenge us to be the voice of change and integrity, making the beauty industry better and more sustainable.
EP81. Can the beauty industry ever be transparent?
25:50The beauty sector is a half-a-trillion-dollar global industry, but it's only recently that beauty brands are finally starting to take part in the sustainability conversation. Largely, this is in response to greater consumer demands for transparency in how beauty does business - all the way from its supply chains to the truth behind its claims. We've seen this play out on this podcast. Over the past year, sustainability has featured in just about all our episodes in some form. We have covered topics such as circular, net zero, zero waste and climate neutral beauty along with the issues like biodegrability, sustainable retail and skinimalism. But, there are plenty of brands, from multinationals to indie beauty, who are are out there using sustainability terms as a veneer; green-washing us in other words. How do we as beauty consumers verify the truth of a beauty brand's claim that their packaging is made of recycled materials? Or that they’ve offset their last year’s carbon emissions? None of us can hold every single beauty brand to account on every single impact. One ambitious entrepreneur is on a mission to change that by encouraging the beauty industry, as well as many other industries, to verify their claims and turn positive social and environmental impact into brand value; a win-win for brands and consumers. In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Jessi Baker, MBE, the founder and CEO of Provenance, a software solution verifying sustainability claims and helping empower shoppers to make sustainable, ethical choices at the point of purchase.
EP80. Let's remind the ingredients' sector of its roots
6:12Welcome to this Green Beauty Opinion on the challenges indie beauty faces in sourcing natural ingredients. Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier shares her views on the main takeouts from the podcast interview with Timo von Bargen of Covalo, a one-stop platform representing 40k beauty industry suppliers. Lorraine welcomes the arrival of innovative marketplaces like Covalo and praises entities like in-cosmetics Global, which facilitate the matchmaking of suppliers with customers. But, she reminds us that indie beauty has faced an enormous uphill struggle to be recognised by ingredients' manufacturers as a force in the industry. Even today, some in the industry don’t understand that the indie businesses of today can be the giants of tomorrow. Formula Botanica has seen this attitude change and is itself now approached by suppliers keen to reach indie beauty brands. However, the industry seems to have forgotten that some famous, decades-old beauty brands were in fact started by indie formulators. Lorraine challenges us to connect and communicate as a collective voice to change the dominant culture in some quarters of beauty industry that downplays the value of indie business. 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.
EP79. The indie beauty challenge of sourcing natural ingredients
19:20Finding cosmetic ingredients is one of the first challenges every indie formulator faces. After all, we want our ingredients to be natural, sustainable, efficacious and, ideally, available in small Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs). However, the big wide world of cosmetic ingredient suppliers has not set itself up to cater for indie beauty. Suppliers generally don't realise that today’s indie formulators may become tomorrow’s industry giants. We've a good many of our graduate brands at Formula Botanica which have grown large and fast and are now taking overseas markets by storm. So, how do indie beauty brands find and source the innovative, plant-based ingredients that will set them apart and help them formulate effective products and grow remarkable brands? In this episode, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Timo von Bargen of Covalo, a comprehensive search platform that connects beauty brands with over 40K suppliers. Covalo offers access to a huge ecosystem of cosmetic ingredients as well as listings of suppliers of packaging, and services such as contract manufacturing, formulation, regulatory compliance and testing. These are all areas of the beauty supply chain and business that small indie brands have to grapple with. But how do they find their way through the thousands of possible solutions and ingredients? We encourage you to listen in for some very useful advice and tips to help you on your formulating journey.
EP78. We can't shop our way to sustainability
5:05Welcome to this Green Beauty Opinion on the sustainability of the beauty industry. Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier shares her own views on the main takeaways from the previous episode with guest Anna Teal of the British Beauty Council. Lorraine, a chartered environmentalist herself, praises the British Beauty Council’s 2020 report ‘Courage to Change’ which raises the industry's unsustainable practices and challenges it to change. But, she asks if the industry can ever do more than pay lip service to sustainability if rampant consumption of beauty products lies at the heart of its economic model. There needs to be a complete rethink in the way the entire sector operates, from manufacturers, retailers and buyers to the media right down to individual shoppers. Lorraine is astonished that the beauty industry, while talking sustainability, has gone silent on the elephant in the room: its traditional model of volume-driven profit. After all, we can't shop our way to sustainability. 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.
EP77. Does the beauty industry have the courage to change?
28:46"For beauty brands, the risk of not changing is starting to outweigh the risk of changing, uncertain and fraught with challenges as it may be." When Green Beauty Conversations' host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier read words like these in the British Beauty Council's report, The Courage to Change, she realised that the beauty industry had reached more than a light bulb moment in its drive for sustainability. The Council's 48-page report, which is full of wake-up call statistics and hard-hitting quotes from surveys and leading industry names, is more than window dressing. It shows that the British Beauty Council, a not-for-profit body founded just over three years ago, is already a catalyst for that change. The beauty industry impacts the environment heavily and touches all of us whether we're directly involved in the industry or not. From the obvious actors such as personal care manufacturers and beauty retailers to each of us taking a shower every day, this is one industry that we all participate in. The beauty industry is not traditionally known for its collaborative approach nor to value the environment more than the volumes of product it churns out. However, the Council's report states that some 88% of consumers want brands to do more to help them make a difference. Given the sheer diversity and scale of this sector, how can its players collaborate and be the actors of change consumers are demanding? Lorraine spoke to Anna Teal, The British Beauty Council's Pillar President for Innovation and a leader with over two decades in the commercial beauty sector. Listen in to hear how the Council, headed by visionaries like Anna Teal, is determined to help the beauty industry change the habits of a lifetime.
EP76. Treat essential oils with reverence
4:44Welcome to our Green Beauty Opinion on the sustainability of essential oils hosted by Lorraine Dallmeier, Formula Botanica CEO, who is also a Chartered Environmentalist and biologist. In this short opinion piece, Lorraine picks up on the key takeouts from the last episode when she spoke to Dr Sally Gouldstone, a long-time conservationist and founder of Scotland-based natural skincare brand Seilich. The overuse and misuse of essential oils is worrying not only qualified aromatherapists but also environmentalists. Essential oils can leave a heavy production footprint to the detriment of the planet. Urging us to reduce our use of essential oils, Lorraine points to botanical alternatives that formulators can explore for their scent and skin benefits and talks about the option to go fragrance free. Can you cut down on your own personal use of essential oils? Would you pay more to buy the limited amount you need from ethical suppliers that support a sustainable essential oil industry? 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.
EP75. How sustainable are essential oils?
26:03A few decades ago, essential oils were used mainly by aromatherapists and barely featured in our daily lives. Now, we use essential oils in everything from cosmetics to household cleaners. Essential oils are also a mainstay of natural skincare where they are used for their gorgeous scents and also as skin-beneficial ingredients. However, our use of essential oils is putting pressure on plants, pollinators and the planet's sustainability. Essential oils are big business for entities like multi-level marketing companies and large cosmetics' manufacturers. Even indie beauty, which generally works in small batches and low volumes, is contributing to the global demand for essential oils. Lorraine Dallmeier, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO, talks to Dr Sally Gouldstone, conservationist and Founder of natural skincare company Seilich. Sally puts forward some controversial opinions on essential oil use and starts by asking: "Just how essential to our lives are essential oils?" This episode challenges Sally to square the circle for natural formulators who want to continue using essential oils, but mindfully and sustainably.