Beauty ingredients invigorate fair trade

05.10.2011


Jessica Rubino, Delicious Living
May 9, 2011 1:54pm

Launched in 2008, Fair Trade USA’s personal care category is quickly growing, with well-established fair trade ingredients like sugar and coffee and new, exotic launches, including shea butter and baobab oil. Here are 12 of the most beautiful ingredients to hit fair trade cosmetics.

Shea butter, cocoa butter, carrier oils, essential oils

A recent fair trade introduction, vitamin A- and E-rich shea butter has already had a tremendous social impact on women in Ghana and Burkina Faso, a West African country that is one of the poorest countries in the world, says Spaull. The Union of Shea Butter Producers is a collective that ensures women get fair prices for producing shea butter, which, along with cocoa butter sourced from South and Central America and Africa, is touted for its ultramoisturizing properties that continue to offer a rich, creamy texture to fair trade body and hand lotions.

Try: Badger Company Cocoa Butter Lip Balm; Eco Lips One World Lip Balm; Bella Organics African Shea Butter; Blends for Life Organics Shea for Men

Carrier oils, essential oils

“The carrier oils probably have the greatest impacts on their communities because that’s where the biggest volume is used,” says Spaull. Palestinian olive oil, already existing in the food category, has been hit hard by Middle Eastern conflict, but has new life thanks to its recent use in personal care. Used for its replenishing omega-3 fatty acids, the ingredient appears in soaps and lotions.

Many other exotic oils are new to the market, says Tim Blakley, Aura Cacia aromatherapy educator. “Up until now, consumers have had only limited exposure to oils not in the top five: jojoba, almond, apricot, grapeseed, and sesame." New carrier oils will include baobab, coconut, tamanu, argan, rosehip seed, macadamia, and others. Additionally, consumers should look for new options in the essential oil category, says Blakley: lemon myrtle, blue cypress, and segundha kuala.

Try: Canaan Olive Oil Soap

Get the Fair Trade Facts!