100 episodes

Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica, the online organic formulation school, challenges you on the way you think about the beauty industry. Our host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles topics that encourage debate about green, indie and sustainable beauty. Subscribe to the Green Beauty Conversations podcast and become part of the global green beauty movement. www.formulabotanica.com

Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica Formula Botanica

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 211 Ratings

Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica, the online organic formulation school, challenges you on the way you think about the beauty industry. Our host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles topics that encourage debate about green, indie and sustainable beauty. Subscribe to the Green Beauty Conversations podcast and become part of the global green beauty movement. www.formulabotanica.com

    How many certification schemes does beauty need?

    How many certification schemes does beauty need?

    We expect to find beauty brands that are certified clean, green, sustainable, Halal, vegan, carbon negative, plastic free and more. But, would you know which to choose if you had to opt for a vegan or plastic-negative version of the same product. "Have we over-certified the beauty industry to the point of confusion?", asks Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier.
    In this opinion short, Lorraine says that even those of us in the beauty industry struggle to make sense of all the schemes, so it is inevitable that many beauty consumers will simply have no clue about their merits. Now, retailers like Target and Sephora are coming up with their own standards and choosing to reject stocking brands on the basis of their own criteria.
    In her last guest episode, Lorraine interviewed Yashi Shrestha, Head of Science & Research at Novi Connect, an online platform helping cosmetic formulators comply right from product inception stage with a variety of standards. Similarly, another platform Provenance, also a recent podcast guest, helps with product transparency by using blockchain to verify brands' claims.
    But, even with these innovative, pioneering platforms, Lorraine says she keeps coming back to the question of whether the beauty industry needs all these certification schemes. Has the beauty industry gone too far and made life impossible for itself and its consumers?
    This podcast has covered a large number of the most commonly used terms and certifications on beauty and we urge you to delve into the archives to play catch up on them. All seem open to interpretation though.
    The fact remains that many cosmetic formulators are relying on obtuse supply chains that may not have all the documentation required to verify a claim or help certify a standard. The beauty industry is still working in the dark having made a rod for its own back by creating standards that for many are simply unattainable.
    Lorraine challenges us as formulators and beauty shoppers to ask ourselves what really matters to us. What standards and claims do we prioritise and why? Or, are we simply too exhausted and confused by the schemes to know?
    Listen in to another Green Beauty Opinion that challenges us to make the beauty industry a better, more sustainable place.

    • 7 min
    Taking cosmetics transparency to the next level

    Taking cosmetics transparency to the next level

    Confused by the plethora of standards, regulations and accreditation schemes at large in the beauty industry? You are not alone. Whether you are a big brand striving for sustainability or an indie founder needing to demonstrate Halal, vegan, clean, safe, GMO-free or any other mission for your products, there is every possible scheme to apply for and label to slap on your products these days.
    But, how do you really know the provenance and composition of your cosmetic ingredients and can your suppliers provide a paper trail to back up any claims?
    From Formula Botanica's years of experience working with natural formulators and indie brand founders, we know the pain involved in digging deep on the supply side of cosmetics. But, times are changing. More and more beauty shoppers - and conscious retailers - wish to know the truth about what goes into cosmetics and are pushing the industry to validate its claims.
    One innovative platform is managing to square the circle and open up industry minds to a brave new world in which ingredient information is researched in detail, divulged, shared, and validated against claims to the benefit of everyone in the cosmetics' business.
    In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host talks to Yashi Shrestha, Director of Science & Research at Novi Connect, a turnkey solution for formulators to build beauty and personal care products that meet the complex transparency needs of today’s consumers.
    Put simply, Yashi and the Novi team are sorting out the whole mess for formulators and brands keen to make their product development cycles more transparent and sustainable. Listen in for an episode that could make conscious formulating a whole lot easier.

    • 21 min
    Plastic is not the enemy - we are

    Plastic is not the enemy - we are

    In this Green Beauty Opinion, we pick up on key issues of plastic waste raised in the last episode with guest Peter Wang Hjemdahl, co-founder of rePurpose Global. Here, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier sounds a note of realism and cautious optimism about how beauty can tackle its plastic dependency.
    While sceptical of offsetting and plastic waste credit schemes, Lorraine says that realistically a plastic-free beauty industry is not likely in our lifetimes. Offsetting and credits that help pay for the removal of plastic and global activism on plastic pollution are valid. Entities like rePurpose Global are making us aware of our responsibility to reduce, recycle and repurpose plastic already in circulation. This in itself is a first vital step to tackling the issue.
    Sustainability is a journey not a destination and we have to acknowledge that plastic is here to stay. Lorraine explains that plastic in itself is a fantastic invention. It is our use - or misuse - of plastic coupled with the lack of capacity worldwide to recycle and retain plastics within the supply chain that are at fault. Plastic is not the enemy. We are, along with the waste we create.
    Beauty and personal care industries should embrace circularity. We have seen this in action with past podcast guests; the US personal care company Meow Meow Tweet is a pioneer of return-and-refill schemes that keep plastic packaging in circulation. If all plastic in beauty could be cleaned and refilled and also made of PCR plastics that would be an enormous achievement.
    Lorraine challenges us to seek out beauty brands that use plastic responsibly and to cut down on our own consumption. Using less plastic and being responsible for the plastic on our doorstep is how we start to tackle those staggering figures on plastic waste, and make the beauty industry a more sustainable and better place.

    • 6 min
    Should beauty go plastic free?

    Should beauty go plastic free?

    Having looked at the shocking extent to which plastic is present within beauty formulations in liquid microplastic forms, in this episode Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles plastic in beauty packaging.  Few of us would disagree that the beauty industry and its consumers should reduce, reuse and recycle plastic packaging more. But, as the figures show, the challenge is great.
    Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years and production of plastic has increased exponentially from 1.5 million tons in 1950 to 367 million tons by 2015. An incredible 8 million tons or so of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. As we know from our episode on biodegradability, plastic can take about 400 years to break down in the environment.
    Any discussion on plastic packaging and the millions of tons of waste it produces is fraught with complexity and seemingly irresolvable problems. Where do we start as small beauty businesses to play our part in reducing plastic waste when the figures are so daunting?
    There are ways to start small and still make a difference. In this episode, we hear from one pioneering social enterprise that is literally removing plastic waste and helping companies of all sizes to reduce their dependency on plastic.
    rePurpose Global is the world’s leading plastic action platform dedicated to reducing waste, reviving lives and restoring nature’s balance. Lorraine talks to Peter Wang Hjemdahl, co-founder and Chief Advocacy Officer at rePurpose Global, about the creative, yet practical ways the social enterprise is tackling plastic packaging from its source in supply chains to its end of life in waste mountains.
    Listen in for some positive news on how our plastic dependency is being be tackled.

    • 39 min
    We must ditch plastics in our cosmetics

    We must ditch plastics in our cosmetics

    In this Green Beauty Opinion, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier voices her concerns about the pervasive use of microplastics in cosmetics.
    Following on from the previous guest interview with Madhuri Prabhakar of the campaigning organisation the Plastic Soup Foundation, this short opinion episode is a call to action to all beauty consumers to spread the word about just how worrying microplastics are. Because most of us just don’t know that they lurk in the majority of our everyday personal care products.
    These liquid plastics – or synthetic polymers – are in everyday products from paints and sealants to shower gels and lipsticks. Their traces are found throughout the world from raindrops to our blood stream. Lorraine points out that there is a place for plastic, but not in cosmetics. It is used far too much and to the extent that we could say we have ‘plastified’ our lives.
    But the beauty industry is massive and powerful and has spent decades convincing us that the performance of a cosmetic product is paramount. Microplastics are synthetic polymers with low water solubility that enhance glide, skin feel and stability in cosmetics. As nanoplastics they can enter the body, and they also get washed off to enter the food chain and persist in aquatic environments.
    With legislation on micro- and nanoplastics pending in the European Union, cosmetics' trade bodies have hit back at calls for a ban on microplastics in personal care formulations. Their argument seems to focus on semantics. Their definition of microplastics would provide a loophole to ensure their beloved synthetic polymers can remain in formulations.
    Lorraine stresses the need for the precautionary principle to come into play in this debate with action and legislation to remove microplastics from cosmetics before the extent of their harm is felt – and proved. The UK’s Royal Society of Chemists says that industries should seek to move away from a ‘take, make and dispose’ model of manufacture in order to reduce the amount of liquid synthetic polymers in use. As Lorraine has said many times on Green Beauty Conversations, the mainstream beauty industry thrives on this very cycle of manufacture.
    In summing up, Lorraine challenges us all to spread the word about hidden microplastics in cosmetics so more beauty consumers are aware of their choices and can lobby the microplastic-loving beauty giants.

    • 5 min
    The microplastics hiding in your cosmetics

    The microplastics hiding in your cosmetics

    Reducing plastic in the packaging of personal care products is high on the agenda of many mainstream cosmetics’ firms, but are microplastics in cosmetics getting the same attention? Even if a brand’s packaging is plastic free, the product inside may not be. What goes into the bottle – the formulations we slather on each day – are literally riddled with micro- and nanoplastics. Shocked? So were we.
    We have covered the issues of post-consumer plastics, biodegradability and zero waste in the past. But plastic in outer packaging is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the use of plastic in the cosmetics’ industry.
    An estimated 9 out of 10 mainstream personal care products may contain microplastics. These figures aren’t plucked from thin air. They come from the Plastic Soup Foundation, a single-issue environmental organisation working to stop plastic pollution at its source. The Foundation conducted scientific research into its database of over 7,000 cosmetics from 10 big brands and concluded that microplastics were present in 87% of the products analysed.
    The environmental and human health impacts of these hidden plastics are now the subject not only of research, but also of proposed EU legislation. As we discover in this episode, intentionally-added microplastics are contentious and the very mention of their restriction or outright ban has seen push back from the mainstream cosmetics industry.
    To unpack the data from the charged debate, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Madhuri Prabhakar, project leader and campaigner of the Beat the Microbead (BTMB) campaign by the Plastic Soup Foundation. Listen in for some shocking revelations about plastics in cosmetic formulations.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
211 Ratings

211 Ratings

Goldnphnx ,

Love this! Plant based colorants

What a great podcast. Such an honest review of using botanicals in makeup. While listening to your chemist, I appreciate her knowledge and honesty in using plant pigments. It does give us me a realistic perspective of how to use plant pigments in makeup, where to get them, limitations with their uses, and experimentation steps during makeup creation.

instagram: @be_all_natural_beauty

Happyone1002 ,

Grateful for Formula Botanica Podcast Education

I have to admit this first podcast I’ve ever listened to (usually not my thing). However, the Why Black Skincare Matters episode was great. Different than I thought it would be. Very informative and thought provoking as we look at skincare world.
Let’s just say I am excited to listen to more episodes. They are mini masterclasses of hot topics within the beauty/skincare arena!

rosebudchiny ,


I absolutely love listening to your podcast. I am a small business owner and I’m learning as I go. Listening to your podcast has thought me a lot about the beauty industry.

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