What Does It Take to Be a Palm Oil Free Skincare Brand?

Written by me. Originally published on Selva Beat.

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“I’ve had a cleanse and moisturise routine since I was 14 years old!” Sarah Rueger confesses to me over email. As the founder of Scottish skincare brand Amaranthine, she still uses a cleansing balm and face oil every night — but now it’s her own formulation — one that is mindfully plant-powered and palm oil free. Her process is fairly simple. She explains, “Once I decide what type of product I want to make, I work out what exactly I want it to do and who the product is for. I then research what ingredients I want to use. After that, it’s trial and error until I get the formulation perfect. I try [them] out on myself and my friends (they are always happy to oblige!).” Lather, rinse, repeat.

Of course, formulating natural skincare products is not a flawless process. Rueger continues, ”It can be challenging to get the consistency of a body moisturiser or balm right — you don’t want it to be too hard in the winter or too soft in the summer as temperature affects non-emulsified products.” But Amaranthine is committed to top quality raw ingredients, so Rueger has stayed the course. “Once I’m happy with my formulation, I then submit it to a cosmetic toxicologist who will check that it is safe. In Europe, all cosmetics need to pass and receive a cosmetic safety report before they can be sold to the public.” And in addition to that traditional regulatory process, Rueger has chosen to pursue the stringent International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme (POFCAP).