Much like farm-to-table cuisine before it, the concept of farm-to-face beauty has been a growing market for a few years now. And it's more than just a buzzy catchphrase — it's a movement. As in-the-know beauty enthusiasts demand greater transparency from their favorite brands, the process products go through before landing on our bathroom shelves is being laid bare: 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 center stage. Tata Harper's eponymous brand has been at it since first launching several years ago; each and every ingredient used in the brand's formulas is foraged from the Harper's property in Vermont. "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."
The difference between her products and other, less holistic products, Harper explains, has to do with not only bottling the most beautiful ingredients, but opting out of the synthetic preservatives that some brands rely on. "When you're buying a product, it might already be two years old when you open the box," she says. "Each of our bottles has the freshest and highest-performing ingredients possible. We strive to minimize production time — from farm to face."
For Mark Veeder, co-founder of Farmacy, the concept is also rooted in ingredients, which he harvests on his farm in upstate New York. "Our products are centered around powerful farmer-cultivated ingredients, 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, stabilize, and supercharge the potent active ingredients."
Veeder also highlights the fact that being able to trace the journey from harvest to skin is key, because beauty fanatics are savvier than ever these days. "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," Veeder says. "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 it looks a lot like we want clarity on everything from production methods to ingredient choices via packaging waste and ethical sourcing. Ahead, we've rounded up the best finds in farm-to-face beauty right now. Started from the harvest, now we're here...