Farm-To-Table Beauty Is Here

Beauty, at its core, is about innovation. The industry is constantly striving to uncover the hot, new ingredient. For the most part, that leads brands to travel the globe, searching for the most exotic plants and extracts to add to their face creams. But while many companies are jet-setting to the far corners of the Earth to find the next big thing, a few are looking no farther than their own backyards. That's right, kids: Farm-to-table has officially hit the beauty world.

And it's not just about the DIY mix masters on Etsy — these companies are on shelves nationwide, at established retailers. Brands like the luxe and eco-friendly Tata Harper and newcomer Farmacy are sourcing the ingredients for their formulas on their own land or with local farm partners.

Tata Harper's 1,200-acre Vermont farm is the brand's HQ, where all R&D, formula, packaging, and shipping is based. The organic-certified farm also grows ingredients like arnica, safflower, lavender, and alfalfa — all used in its proprietary formulas — on its own land. To round out the products and boost efficacy, there are ingredients included that are not grown onsite, but where possible the brand tries to use offerings from the local area — the raw honey used in the new, ultra-limited edition Honey Blossom Resurfacing Mask is Vermont-harvested clover and alfalfa honey.

Farmacy, on the other hand, pairs up with farmers in the upstate New York region to cultivate the unique echinacea variant, called echinacea purpurea (which founder Mark Veeder has patented as Echinacea Green Envy). The plant forms the basis of the nine-product line, and while many of the botanicals used in the products are grown and harvested on the farm, some are sourced from other parts of the world. The brand has scientists helping it to create formulations that are bioactive and irritant-free — because we all know that just because something grows naturally doesn't mean it's good for your skin when applied in its purest form.

We love Farmacy's tightly edited product lineup, which features an exfoliating powder cleanser, firming night balm, lip balm, and coconut gel mask. The Lip Blooms come in six variations, which include Apple Rosemary, Strawberry Basil, and Honey Ginger. The gel masks come in six formulas as well: Soothing (with kale extract), Brightening (with purple broccoli), Firming (with celery), Anti-Wrinkle (with rhubarb), Deep Moisture (with cucumber), and Oil Control (with carrot extract).

We've tried many a sheet mask in our day, and generally agree that the coconut gel variety is the easiest to use. This iteration, though, is one of the most advanced we've seen yet — it's a thinner consistency that adheres to the face to create an almost perfect seal. Many gel masks still require you to lay back to avoid them slowly slipping down your face. These, however, stick to your face with zero drippage and no sliding — we were able to walk around during the full 25-minute treatment period without it moving an inch. Upon removal, skin looks plumped up, brighter, and even-toned. We had to restrain ourselves from using the entire pack of three masks right away.

While we will, by no means, be giving up our globally sourced beauty products, we do find it both appealing and laudable that there are brands making use of ingredients close to home, which bolsters the economies of many overlooked local communities. We're hoping this trend catches on, and sustainability and fair-trade continue to grow in the beauty industry.

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