Sustainable beauty ingredients: What is by-product skin care?
  • Clean beauty
  • Eco & ethical

Sustainable beauty ingredients: What is by-product skin care?

Sourcing sustainable beauty products is easier than you think! Here we explain why we’ve used by-product beauty ingredients to make some of our natural skin care innovations and reveal the sustainable beauty ingredients that are best for your skin type.

By Hannah Mepham

5 Minute read

It’s a requirement of certified organic beauty that our organic skin care ingredients are sustainably sourced and we can trace our ingredients from farm to formulation.

As part of our commitment to using sustainable beauty ingredients, we also choose to use some by-products of other industries which might otherwise go unused.

In this post we look at some of the origins of the by-product ingredients that we repurpose for use in our organic beauty products.

By-product ingredients and sustainable beauty

A by-product is something that is created during a manufacturing process which is not needed in the final product. With waste reduction of paramount importance, we repurpose some natural by-product actives and used them to make a small selection of our organic beauty products.

Ingredients we use that were originally by-products include the Coconut used in our Purifying Face Mask and the Betaine and Cellular Apple Water that are used in our Nordic Roots range.

By-product Cellular Apple Water

We use Apple Cellular Water in two products in our Nordic Roots range and this vitamin-rich water comes from biodynamically grown apples which are initially grown to be made into apple crisps.

Once picked for harvest, the apples are dried and drained of their cellular water. This juicy, vitamin-rich fruit water is naturally unscented, gentle on skin and has properties that help to refresh skin and improve skin elasticity.

These properties make Apple Cellular Water a really beneficial sustainable beauty ingredient to use in our Apple Complex Moisturiser.

By-product Betaine

We use Betaine in our natural toothpastes and in our skin care products and the Betaine you find in our Nordic Roots skin care collection is another example of how we use by-product ingredients.

The Betaine found in our Nordic Roots Hyaluronic Booster Serum and our Nordic Roots Apple Complex Moisturiser is a by-product of Sugar Beet production. A small amino acid which moisturises the skin, Betaine helps to protect against skin dehydration and water loss and is the ideal repurposed ingredient for these unscented skin care products.

To maximise the skin-hydrating benefits of Betaine we suggest layering your Nordic Roots skin care. Start by applying the Hyaluronic Booster Serum to clean skin and wait around 20 seconds for this to be absorbed. You can then apply your Apple Complex Moisturiser.

If you have very dry skin, you may then want to seal in the hydration by applying a few drops of the Atlantic Marine Facial Oil as the last stage of your skin care routine.

By-product Activated Charcoal

One of the ingredients used in our Purifying Face Mask comes from repurposed coconut shells. The coconut is harvested and used to make products such as coconut milk and coconut shampoo. We save the discarded husks and use them to create activated Charcoal.

Activated Charcoal has skin-purifying properties that mean it can act like a skin-detoxing magnet and gently draw impurities out of congested pores. Once on the skin’s surface these can be cleansed away so that the pores feel fresher and are less likely to attract acne bacteria.

By-product Rice Amylopectin

Our natural wellbeing products make use of by-product ingredients too! Time to Restore Magnesium Body Lotion gets its skin-hydrating power from a moisturising matrix of sustainably harvested Red Algae and Amylopectin from the waste products from the refinement of Rice.

These have been shown to increase skin ceramide production, reduce trans-epidermal water loss and enhance skin barrier function.

Our repurposed packaging materials

As well as using by-products as sustainable beauty ingredients, we use many different types of packaging of which some is made from repurposed materials.

In 2019 we introduced our biodegradable One Balm pot which is made with sawdust produced in a sustainable forest. This raw material is produced as a by-product and moulded with plant polymers to make a beauty pot that will break down after use. Read more about our zero-waste beauty balm.

In 2021 we started using recycled plastic packaging to form part of the plastic mix in our tubes. This type of packaging material is made using all kinds of recycled plastic waste. The first product to include this recycled plastic as part of its packaging was our Organic Children’s Berry Smoothie Hand Wash and this has also been rolled out to other hand washes and deodorants. 

Are sustainable beauty ingredients important to you? To find out more our natural and organic skin care ingredients, please contact our UK customer care team on 01403 740350 or by emailing


If you wish to republish this content, please credit Green People as the original creator with a link to "Sustainable beauty ingredients: by-products in skin care ". Please do not use an affiliate link.

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