Your answer to healthy skin, when you're not a skincare person 😎 Yeah, get it now!
Locally grown, farmers market, local farmers

By Mercedes Pepper

Is Your Skincare Really Locally Grown?

Let’s Bring the Farmers Market to Skincare! 

There’s a movement to buy local, eat local, and support all things local, but what does ‘locally grown’ mean for your skincare products? This buzzword suggests a promise of purity and community support, yet, the reality of these claims often remains vague. Let’s dive into why transparency in skincare sourcing should be on your mind, especially if you care about it for the food you consume.


I’m not talking about handcrafted skincare sold at a farmers market…

When I talk about “locally grown” skincare, I’m not just referring to handcrafted goodies you might find from sellers at farmers markets. 

I’m talking about knowing where each of these plant ingredients is from.  

If it says “locally grown” plant ingredients, awesome, but where exactly is that?!

Is it local within 20 miles? Or is it local within a county, a state, or a continent - like our nation North America?

It’s easy to get caught up in the charm of “locally grown” tags, but without clear information about where these ingredients come from, the term “local” loses its meaning. So, let’s peel back the layers and examine what “local” really means in the context of skincare.

How can something be called local if you can't find out where it’s from?!  

Isn’t it absurd to call something local if you can’t find out where it’s from? You’ve gotta know the location for something to be local… to know which family farm, community, state, or states these locally grown products are from. 

You wouldn’t buy a pricey juicy organic tomato at a farmers market if they couldn’t tell you where it was grown.

locally grown farmers markets
The same goes for that local grass-fed organic beef - you want to know where it's from.

Yet, we’re buying local plant-based skincare without knowing where any of its ingredients are from.

This lack of transparency is puzzling. Why should we accept vague claims about our skincare products when we demand clear information about the food we eat?

We care what we put IN our bodies and where it comes from. 

We’re careful about what we eat, making sure we know where our food comes from. But when it comes to what we put on our bodies, we’re often more lenient or just don’t care as much.

Why is that? Have you ever really thought about it? Maybe it's never crossed your mind until now?

Take a moment to think about the products in your bathroom or what you’re using now. 

Do you have any locally grown products? Do you know where the ingredients in your skincare products are from? 


Unethical Practices: Local Skincare is the New Greenwashing

Local plant-based skincare seems to be everywhere these days. Countless products claim to use local ingredients. But, these claims often lack substance, and well transparency. And this contributes to an unsettling trend of local greenwashing in the skincare industry.

Skincare brand after brand is saying they use ingredients that are locally grown. From local growers, local wildcrafters, or their farms…

Yet that’s pretty much it. Some brands will include the caveat that it’s  “most of” their ingredients or just their “plant actives.” 

It's awesome when brands share their one-to-maybe-three local or farm ingredient suppliers.

But all? Oh, no! 

What about the origins of the remaining ingredients? 

I can't help but wonder about the rest of the product… Do the remaining unknown ingredient origins make up 90% or is it closer to 98%? And where exactly do those ingredients come from?

How much of the formula do these natural ingredients - where we know are from - account for? Is it a mere 1%? Or do they even get close to the 10% mark?

Or we don't even know which ingredients they're talking about.

They make the claims but there’s no evidence. 

I’d say this is a form of greenwashing. 

And it’s time we demand more from “locally grown” skincare brands.

If you’re paying for a product that’s marketed as locally grown you deserve to know where it’s really from!


How "locally grown” is the bottle you're holding?

But let's get real for a second. Consider the scale of even a smaller skincare brand. The idea that all plant ingredients come from one magical farm, a backyard, or just foraged from the wilderness even for a small brand is a bit of a stretch.

Think about it - most manufacturers' lowest order is around 5,000 units per product (the majority higher). That's a lot! If a brand's products are small in size, and the locally grown ingredient is in a very small amount, it’s a little more realistic. But your small to average skincare company is selling way WAY more than 5,000 units!!!

So, how “locally grown” or “wild-crafted” are the bottles on your shelves, really? 

It feels like we’re left hanging without the full story. We need to peel back those layers and demand transparency about the true origins of our skincare products.

There are too many brands that talk up the locally grown farm vibe of their ingredients. 

Many brands tout a locally grown farm vibe, but often, these claims raise more questions than answers with their lack of transparency.

For example, there’s a luxury brand (that will remain nameless) claiming to use only locally grown and organic ingredients. Yet, a closer look at their ingredient list makes this hard to believe…

Why the skepticism? Well, several reasons, but here are my top three:

  1. Some of their ingredients aren’t grown or manufactured in North America.
  2. The astronomical amount of raw material needed and costs to make their ingredients is unlikely for a small independent brand.
  3. Many organic farmers aren’t certified organic due to the cost and time-consuming process.

This company could very well place orders for its organic ingredients from a local supplier. But a supplier is a distributor. 

They aren’t local growers or local farmers.

The truth is, most skincare brands work with suppliers, not directly with local growers or farmers. 

The majority of suppliers are middlemen, sourcing their ingredients from other suppliers. There are a few that source their ingredients directly from manufacturers who work with the actual growers. So, the “locally grown” claims we see on product labels aren’t exactly accurate.

Let’s stop the locally grown farmer greenwashing and simply be honest and transparent. 

Brands should openly state where their ingredients come from. Say you get it from local suppliers who get it from farmers in these countries. It’s not so hard. 

But then these companies likely wouldn’t be able to charge their exorbitant price tag if you knew the traceability of their “seed to skin” products. I know of so many pricy products that are "locally grown" yet looking at their ingredients, damn sure they import at least 80% of it. They mask the truth behind appealing but vague “locally grown” labels. 

Take note, nothing is wrong with importing ingredients. It's the principle of misleading the customer as if they're local.

Traceability is a choice businesses can make. Yet, you as a consumer have a right to know your skincare products' ingredient traceability. 


Surf+Slope is Locally Grown Skincare

Enter Nation Botanics, a skincare brand with a commitment to truly locally grown skincare and a visible supply chain. Nation Botanics aims to break these vague and misleading sourcing and sustainability claims. To ensure you know where each ingredient you're putting on your precious face is from. 

To do this, Nation Botanics goes directly to the grower and farmer when possible. When this isn’t possible, I go to the supplier with the highest quality products. And one who knows where, and tells me where, these ingredients are grown, where they’re manufactured, and how they then get to me - Nation Botanics. This is because I’ve built personal relationships with Surf+Slope’s local farmers and suppliers. They’ve shared with me the states or locations of the soil they grow these ingredients in and the cultivation methods of their food and/or plants. Cause you deserve to know.

Not all of the businesses Nation Botanics sources from have certifications, such as organic, but they’ve shared their specific organic and/or regenerative farming practices. Bypassing the need for formal certifications in my mind. This is because, as noted above, not all farmers get these certifications due to financial and logistical constraints. A certification is a certification. It doesn't reflect a farmer's commitment to certain standards.

It is a fairly straightforward and honest approach. 

Yet note, 77% of Surf+Slope’s ingredients are organic, wildcrafted, and/or zero-waste (upcycled). 

As a small independent yet big-thinking start-up, Nation Botanics aims to disclose every component.

So you know where Surf+Slope’s Revitalizing Serum and Nourishing Moisturizer plant ingredients are from.

Nation Botanics is beyond basic ingredient transparency. 

This commitment supports greater accountability in the skincare industry.

The industry is only beginning to embrace this practice. Currently, there's a basic level of ingredient transparency - brands list the ingredients but don't share the supply chain. A few exemplary brands are taking steps further. They'll share the countries in their ingredient supply chain, or a few select ingredient suppliers.


Let’s Define Local

So, what do we mean by “local”? At Nation Botanics, “local” is defined as North America. The local community, or nation, of North America. 

Creating a high-end skincare product using plants native to North America, and locally sourced from here, requires a larger territory than one county or state can provide. 

But North America? That can be done - by prioritizing the closest US farmers and communities. 

Think of Nation Botanics as a North American farmers’ market for your skin. 

It’s about supporting local growers, promoting healthy skin, and upholding transparency every step of the way.


Local Farmers for Healthy Skin

Supporting locally grown skincare is about more than just having healthy, glowing skin. It’s about supporting small farms, North American agriculture, and the communities that these farmers live in. 

The Surf+Slope Revitalizing Serum and Nourishing Moisturizer uses locally grown products. It has a visible supply chain with 98% of ingredients growing wild in North America and 92% grown by farmers in North America.

You know where each ingredient is from and that these raw materials are ethically sourced. These products not only have an economic and environmental impact but also help support our communities in North America. 

Unlike other brands, you can see where Nation Botanic's locally grown products are from and ethically sourced with this map: 

Learn more on our traceable page here

Let’s connect with nature that surrounds us. Let’s support plant based skincare that’s like a real North American farmers market.


Understanding the origins of our skincare ingredients is new, but important. It’s time we look beyond charming ‘locally grown,’ or similar claims, on skincare products and seek actual locations or data to back up. 

Nation Botanics hopes to lead the way, offering truly locally grown skincare with a visible supply chain. And by choosing Nation Botanics, you’re not just caring for our skin but also supporting local agriculture and communities. 

Let’s make a conscious choice to know where our skincare ingredients come from. Let's also call for transparency and honesty in marketing practices. Supporting brands with true locality over greenwashing.  


FAQ: Why aren’t you listing all of your farmers and suppliers?

I'm keen to shout out my farmers/suppliers and help their small businesses grow along with mine. But since I'm just starting out in the big skincare world with limited resources, I'm going to play it safe at first... I'm letting you know where my ingredients come from, the real places they're grown  - which is ahead of the industry already! And little by little, I'll introduce my suppliers to you. I hope this openness doesn't put my budding little business at risk. Fingers crossed, we'll all flourish together!