Skin Care

Harnessing Nature: Botanicals in Modern Skin Care

With the rise in clean beauty and wellness trends, skin care manufacturing is following and creating more and more botanical-based beauty, cosmetics and skincare products. It’s estimated that the wellness industry will grow by 10% and the clean beauty market will double in size over the next few years.

November 29, 2023


As consumers become more conscious about what they put on their skin, and how their body, skin and emotions are connected, they’re demanding clean, effective and nature-inspired beauty products. 

Here’s everything you need to know about botanical skin care, and how to use them in your skin care and cosmetics formulation.

What are botanicals?

Let’s start at the beginning. Botanicals are ingredients that come from plants, herbs, flowers and fruits - they’ve been used by skin care manufacturers, health practitioners and therapeutic products for centuries. They’re becoming even more popular again as people look for more natural and holistic skincare and beauty products. Understanding this demand and the benefits of using botanicals is essential as a skincare or beauty brand owner who works with contract cosmetic manufacturers or skin care manufacturers.

Types of botanical skincare ingredients

If you need some examples of botanical ingredients to use in skincare, cosmetics and wellness products then we’ve got you covered. Check out these examples of commonly-used botanicals and what they’re used for.

Herbs and flowers

  • Chamomile - known for its calming and soothing properties, chamomile is often used in products for sensitive or irritated skin.
  • Lavender - used for its relaxing scent and potential skin-calming effects.
  • Calendula - gentle and can be used for its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties.
  • Rose -  rose water and rose extracts are used for their hydrating and soothing qualities, as well as their floral scent.

Fruits and berries

  • Acai - rich in antioxidants, acai is used to help protect the skin from environmental damage.
  • Pomegranate - anti-ageing properties and used to support collagen production.
  • Blueberry - contains antioxidants that might help to combat free radicals while maintaining younger-looking skin.

Plant oils

  • Jojoba oil - used as a moisturiser as it mimics the skin's natural oils.
  • Argan oil - nourishing and hydrating qualities.
  • Rosehip oil - packed with essential fatty acids, rosehip oil can help improve skin texture and elasticity.

Plant extracts

  • Aloe vera - known for its soothing and cooling effects, making it great for targeting sunburn or irritation.
  • Green tea -  green tea extracts are rich in antioxidants, making them useful for protecting the skin from environmental stressors.
  • Witch hazel - a natural astringent that can help tone the skin and reduce inflammation.
  • Cucumber - known for their cooling and hydrating properties, often used in products for soothing sensitive skin.
  • Seaweed and Algae - are used for their mineral content and potential benefits for hydration and detoxing.
  • Turmeric - anti-inflammatory and brightening properties.
  • Ginseng - revitalises the skin and promotes a more youthful appearance.

Benefits of botanical ingredients

When it comes to using botanical skincare ingredients in beauty and cosmetic products, there are definitely some benefits and advantages. Here’s why your cosmetics customers are looking for botanicals in their beauty products:

  • Natural ingredients that work - there’s a reason that botanicals have been used for such a long time. Many of them are proven to be good for your skin or health, thanks to soothing and anti-inflammatory properties or the ability to moisturise and hydrate your skin.
  • Sustainability - as consumers start to be more aware of using eco-conscious products and packaging, they’re looking for products that are sourced naturally and ethically. This can help your brand to resonate with environmentally and socially conscious customers.
  • Holistic wellness - botanicals not only deliver benefits, they also provide a sensory experience by adding aromatherapy benefits, textures and colour which can create products that look, smell and feel amazing.

Are botanical ingredients safe to use?

Lots of botanical skincare ingredients are safe to use.. However, like any other ingredient, it's important to work with experts and do proper research when it comes to creating your formulations.

You need to be mindful of allergies and sensitivities - your testing, research and labelling should help you to get your head around this. The same goes for quality and sourcing your ingredients from reputable suppliers who can show where their ingredients came from.

Making sure that your botanical ingredients are compatible with the formulation is important too. Think about temperature changes, pH levels and how they work with other ingredients. Experienced formulators and skin care manufacturers will help you be clear on this, along with awareness of regulations, guidelines and testing.

How to add botanicals into your skincare formulations

If you’re looking to create a brand new skincare product with botanical ingredients or to tweak an existing formula to add in more botanicals, then the first step is to speak to your skin care manufacturing team. They can give you expert advice and guidance on the best ingredients to use, and how to use them in your products.

You should also do your own research to identify the ingredients that align with your brand, and have the benefits that you’re looking for while they’re compatible with the rest of your formulation. But again, working with formulation experts will help you with this.

Testing and validation are an important part of the process too, so you can make sure your products are effective and based on evidence. This will also help you to be transparent when it comes to products, packaging and marketing.