Capitalising on provenance

Capitalising on provenance

In recent years, the ingredients omitted from a beauty product or toiletry became more of a focus than the ingredients actually included. The pendulum, however, has swung back once again, and nowadays it is not only the efficacy of key ingredients taking centre stage, but the history too.

A renewed focus on provenance feels like a natural extension of the greater ethical accountability that the beauty industry – and industry in general – has been facing in recent years. A greater number of consumers than ever before expect the ingredients in their C&T products to be fairly traded, sustainably harvested and processed in an environmentally friendly way. As well as controlling the environmental and social impact of a product, traceability additionally reassures consumers of its quality and freshness – another nice tie-in with current dietary trends for fresh, organic and homemade foods.

Moreover, great marketing stories can be built around key raw materials. Haeckles – Made of Margate, for example, prints the GPS location and weather conditions of where the key ingredients in its products are harvested on its boxes. Explicitly provenanced brands from Africa include African Botanics and Nubian Heritage. And on the topic of guaranteed freshness, Odacité offers The Fresh Collection, which is made fresh upon order for optimum efficacy and purity.

If a brand’s provenance centres around a hero ingredient, this additionally lends itself well to marketing; Youth to the People, for example, focuses on kale, while Maya Chia is built around chia seeds, and brands such as Whoopi & Maya (co-founded by Hollywood star Whoopi Goldberg) and Marly Natural are cannabis-based.

A core cosmetic ingredient can be about so much more than its effect on the skin or hair. And cosmetics companies are learning more and more about the fun and attention-catching ways they can weave ingredients into their brand narrative.

Julia Wray is Editor of SPC magazine, part of the Cosmetics Business group of products. For more information about the new look SPC, visit and for more beauty industry news and insight go to


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