Top tips for using botanicals in beauty: naturals opportunity interview part III

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Top tips for using botanicals in beauty: naturals opportunity interview part III
Kew Gardens’ deputy director of science reveals the opportunities from natural sources for next level botanical actives in beauty in this three part exclusive interview.

Monique Simmonds is Deputy Director of Science, Kew Royal Botanical Gardens and Director of the Commercial Phytochemistry Unit.

In this interview series, she reveals insights into how natural sources can offer the next generation of botanical active ingredients. Find part I​ and part II​. Full details of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit at which Simmonds will be speaking are available here​.

Simmonds’ top tips to maximise on the potential of botanical actives

1. Go for quality extracts


2. Ask questions about the source of plant extracts

Why do you want to use a plant - it is the aroma or it is the functional benefits? If the latter, then does it contain the specific compounds that are associated with that benefit?  Companies should check with their suppliers. Ask.

3. Check any sustainability / conservation story about the extracts


Where does it come from and are local people helping to produce the extracts? What conditions is the sourcing taking place in? If this is important, check.

Growing indigenous (local) plants by smallholding farmers can made a huge difference to their livelihoods.  

Use of local species can also support the conservation of woodlands so the people gain income raised then loosing the land to growing commodity crops.   

However, always check and see if the supply companies have long term contracts  with these suppliers.

4. Get a holistic message across

Having a natural in a cosmetic means you need to look beyond the product to the  life of the plant that is contributing to that product!

You are looking after yourself but can also be contributing to looking after the planet.

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