home blog The 1970s: Natural Ingredients and the Birth of Eco-Friendly Skincare

    The 1970s: Natural Ingredients and the Birth of Eco-Friendly Skincare


    Skincare has always been a fundamental part of human culture. From ancient times to the present day, people have sought ways to enhance their appearance and maintain healthy skin. The skincare industry has seen significant advancements and transformations over the years, with the 1970s marking a pivotal moment in the rise of eco-friendly and natural skincare products. In this article, we will explore the history of skincare, from traditional farming practices to the birth of organic and eco-friendly skincare. We will also delve into the changing trends in skincare, the environmental impact of the beauty industry, and the importance of sustainable and clean beauty practices.

    The Ancient Origins of Skincare

    Human history is filled with evidence of skincare practices dating back thousands of years. Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome placed great importance on skincare and beauty rituals. From the use of natural ingredients like honey, milk, and oils to the creation of complex skincare recipes, these civilizations laid the foundation for skincare as we know it today. Cleopatra, the legendary queen of Egypt, was renowned for her beauty and used ingredients like milk and honey in her skincare routine. The Greeks and Romans also embraced skincare rituals, with the use of olive oil and herbal remedies to nourish and protect the skin.

    Traditional Farming and the Natural Lifecycle

    Before the advent of modern agriculture, traditional farming practices played a crucial role in skincare. The soil was fertile, and plants grew following the natural lifecycle, ensuring the maximum retention of nutrients and energy. However, these traditional farming methods often yielded smaller quantities and were susceptible to natural disasters. Despite these challenges, the plants retained their original properties and provided natural skincare benefits.

    The Rise of Modern Agriculture and Chemical Synthesis

    The industrial revolution in the early 19th century brought about significant changes in agriculture and manufacturing processes. Modern agriculture techniques introduced new planting methods that deviated from the natural growth cycle of plants. Transgenic technology weakened the principle of "survival of the fittest," which had governed the evolution of plants and animals for millions of years. While modern agriculture and chemical synthesis brought advancements and solved pressing issues, they also had unintended consequences for human health, biology, and the environment.

    The Shift towards Organic Agriculture and Natural Skincare

    In response to the growing concerns about the environment and human health, Europe began promoting organic agriculture in 1958. Organic agriculture emphasized the use of organic fertilizers, insecticides, antibacterial agents, and herbicides. It advocated for the natural growth cycle of plants, rejected genetically modified seeds, and prioritized the health and safety of crops and plants. This shift towards organic agriculture led to a reexamination of the relationship between humanity and nature, extending to skincare and personal care products. As a result, natural aromatherapy and plant-based skincare gained wider recognition and acceptance.

    The Emergence of Natural Aromatherapy and Plant Skincare

    The 1970s marked a turning point for the natural skincare movement, with the rise of aromatherapy and plant-based skincare. Botanists and aromatherapists who believed in the power of nature and advocated for natural ways of living began to challenge the use of synthetic ingredients and chemical preservatives in skincare products. In 1972, the world's first organic skincare brand was born in France, followed by the introduction of organic certification systems for skincare products. This period saw a growing focus on the use of natural and organic ingredients in skincare formulations and a rejection of animal testing and harmful chemicals.

    The Clean Beauty Movement and Consumer Demands

    In recent years, the clean beauty movement has gained significant traction, driven by increasing consumer awareness and demands for transparency, sustainability, and natural ingredients. The term "clean beauty" refers to products that prioritize natural and safe ingredients, free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. While there is no regulatory definition for clean beauty, consumers are seeking products that align with their values and promote overall well-being. This movement has prompted skincare brands, both large and small, to reformulate their products, adopt sustainable packaging practices, and prioritize ethical sourcing of ingredients.

    The Environmental Impact of the Beauty Industry

    The beauty industry's environmental impact has become a pressing concern in recent years. The packaging waste generated by beauty products, including plastic, glass, and metals, contributes to the global waste problem. The recycling of cosmetic packaging is often challenging due to mixed materials and lack of convenient recycling options. Plastic pollution, in particular, poses a significant threat to marine life and ecosystems. Microplastics, including microbeads found in skincare products, further exacerbate the issue by entering water bodies and harming marine organisms. Unsustainable resource consumption, such as the use of palm oil and non-renewable resources, also contributes to environmental degradation.

    The Importance of Sustainable and Clean Beauty Practices

    Recognizing the need for change, the beauty industry is making strides towards sustainability and clean beauty practices. Many brands are embracing eco-friendly production methods, utilizing renewable energy sources, and adopting sustainable packaging solutions. Clean beauty certifications and standards, such as COSMOS NATURAL and Ecocert, provide guidelines for brands and consumers seeking truly sustainable and natural skincare options. Consumers are increasingly demanding transparency and ethical practices from beauty brands, driving the industry towards cleaner and more sustainable alternatives.

    The Future of Skincare: A Commitment to the Environment

    As we look to the future of skincare, it is clear that a commitment to the environment and sustainability is paramount. Brands must continue to innovate and develop eco-friendly skincare solutions, prioritizing natural and safe ingredients, sustainable sourcing, and responsible packaging. Consumers, too, play a vital role in driving change by making informed choices and supporting brands that align with their values. By working together, we can create a future where skincare and beauty practices are in harmony with the health of our planet.


    The history of skincare is a testament to our evolving understanding of the relationship between humans, nature, and beauty. From ancient civilizations to the modern clean beauty movement, skincare has undergone significant transformations. The rise of organic agriculture, the clean beauty movement, and the push for sustainability reflect our growing awareness of the impact of skincare on our health and the environment. As we continue to prioritize natural ingredients, sustainable practices, and ethical sourcing, we pave the way for a healthier and more environmentally conscious future in skincare.

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