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People, Places, & Lipsticks: How Does Your Garden Grow?

The latest certification standard for beauty products is setting the bar high for ingredient purity.

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Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 02/08/2008

When it comes to purity at the cosmetics counter, organic is taking a backseat to a green standard so pure it’s practically virginal. Biodynamic, a system of natural farming conceived in the Twenties, is quickly gaining a following as many brands up the ante in the battle for the eco-conscious consumer’s carbon footprint-free cash. In order for products to be classified biodynamic, brands must source their ingredients from chemical-free biodynamic farms and follow a strict set of processing guidelines that focus on manipulating the ingredients and materials of the product as little as possible. Unlike organic and natural personal care products that lack a primary certification committee in the U.S., the biodynamic standard is regulated by the nonprofit Demeter Association. Currently only four brands in the U.S. have certified biodynamic beauty products—Dr. Hauschka, Flower Essence Services, Ceago Vinegarden and Harms Vineyard and Lavender Fields. “Biodynamically grown ingredients are regarded as the gold standard because they produce the most vital plant ingredients,” says Dr. Hauschka chief executive Mirran Raphaely. “If you’re not starting with the best ingredients, you cannot produce the best products, nor the best results.” Yael Alkalay, founder of Red Flower, is undertaking the arduous process of gradually shifting her sourced natural ingredients and lab to biodynamic. “People are craving a quality of standardization that actually means something,” she explains. “To achieve Demeter certification is a personally invaluable mark because it stands for a higher and clearer set of standards that are more well enforced.”