Redrhubarb's Facial Vitality Cream.

You might say skin is just leather waiting to happen. If you take that view, it’s a natural leap to transform the ingredients used for non-toxic tanning into natural cosmetics.

That’s what’s happened with Germany’s Redrhubarb Natural Cosmetics, a three-piece range of organic, vegan skin-care products that are free of parabens, gluten, silicones, paraffin and perfumes. Its namesake ingredient is said to be rich in antioxidant polyphenols and fruit acids with anti-inflammatory and antiaging properties.

Redrhubarb is the creation, or side effect, of Deepmello, which makes sustainable, environmentally conscious, chrome-free leather tanned with rhubarb roots from plants they also cultivate. Deepmello sells its trademarked “rhabarberleder” (rhubarb leather) to producers of fashion, automobile interiors and home goods. But it also markets its own branded bags, small leather goods, shoes, accessories and leather apparel, and has collaborated with designers including Leandro Cano, Esther Perbandt and Anne Gorke.

Behind the Bernburg, Germany-based company are three scientists, Anne-Christin Bansleben, David Bansleben and Ingo Schellenberg, and their research firm, Rhubarb Technology Gmbh.

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“Because holistic usage of the rhubarb plant is important for us, and we were only using substances from the roots for our tanning process, we started exploring various ideas for products that would use the leaves and the stems of the plants. And that’s how we came to develop our sustainable cosmetic line,” explained Anne-Christin Bansleben.

The Redrhubarb lineup, which launched this month, includes the Eye Care Complex (30 ml. for 79 euros, or $86 at current exchange); Face Vitality Cream (50 ml. for 69 euros, or $75), and Facial Cleansing and Care Toner spray (50 ml. for 39 euros or $43). They are currently sold only at the Redrhubarb and Deepmello web sites, and more products are likely to join the range. The cosmetics, like the leather and fashion, are made in Germany.

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