Farm-to-face beauty has been a growing market for a few years now. As beauty fans demand greater transparency from their favourite brands, the process products go through before landing on our bathroom shelves is being laid bare. Switched-on consumers no longer want to know just what effect a formula will have on their skin, but also exactly where ingredients come from, their quality, and how they've been treated in laboratories.
While the rest of the industry plays catch-up, brands that have long championed this transparency are taking centre stage. Tata Harper is one such brand, harvesting all ingredients on the founder's Vermont land. "Traditionally, ‘farm-to-face’ means ingredients that come from local sources," Harper explains. "We have a factory on our farm so we make all products on site – this has been at the core of our DNA since we launched. We are obsessed with being the freshest possible."
Harper's eponymous brand is renowned for bottling the most beautiful ingredients. How does she define farm-to-face? "Other skincare products are made with synthetic ingredients that are cheaper and easier-to-work-with versions of natural ingredients," she explains. "They use a lot of preservatives, so when you're buying a product, it might already be two years old when you open the box. Each of our bottles have the freshest and highest performing ingredients possible. We strive to minimise production time, from farm to face."
For Mark Veeder, cofounder of Farmacy, the concept is also rooted in ingredients, which he harvests on his farm in upstate New York. "Our products are centred around powerful farmer-cultivated ingredients – namely our signature ingredient, echinacea greenenvy™ – and ensuring that the full potential of these ingredients is preserved through a meticulous process," he tells Refinery29. "We control our key, exclusive ingredients, from hand planting to employing organic growing methods, and we hand-harvest the root and apply science to extract, stabilise and supercharge the potent active ingredients."
Veeder also highlights the fact that tracing this journey, from yield to skin, is key because beauty fanatics are now savvier than ever. "They're paying more attention to what they eat and drink; they also want to know what’s in the products they use every day. There is an understanding from consumers that all of these things impact the end result of what they put on their faces and in their bodies."
As Harper says, we're "voting with our money" and right now it looks like we want clarity on everything from production methods to ingredient choices via packaging waste and ethical sourcing. Ahead, we've rounded up the beauty you can trace – click through for our favourite farm-to-face brands.