Interdrocution: Nude by Nature is ranked as Australlia’s #1 mineral makeup brand, with this specific product being their bestseller. It has also won beauty awards such as the 2015 Natural Beauty Awards for Favourite Cosmetics Product. I had bought this product because of its 100% natural and cruelty free labels. However, after seeing a documentary about the sustainability of makeup and the mining industry, I started being more conscious about what’s listed in the ingredients. Particularly with mica, which may be an all natural mineral, but is commonly mined unethically with exploitative labour. I am interested to know how transparent Nude by Nature is with the sourcing of their mica and the treatment of their workers.
Overall: Before writing this review, I had thought the brand to be reliable simply based on labels, but I was disappointed by the lack of transparency offered on their websites. I do feel like I was greenwashed through this, and should have done my own research before buying the product the first time. While Nude by Nature is making a positive effort to create all natural products that are cruelty free, they still have a ways to go with providing more public information on their sourcing policies, manufacturing processes, and the treatment of workers. Lastly, a product being labelled as natural differs from an organic label, and does not always mean that it is more sustainable. At the price of $39.95 AUD, I believe that there are better eco-alternatives compared to this brand that are more affordable and also offer more visibility on their practices.
This product emphasises the use of 100% natural and 100% toxic free ingredients, as well as the avoidance of preservatives, synthetics, parabens, silicones, bismuth, or talc. This is important to know since conventional makeup products often contain ingredients that have been linked to serious health concerns, such as endocrine problems from parabens disrupting hormones.
The ingredient list is quite simple, stating the use of mica, magnesium stearate, kaoiln clay, jojoba esters, and mineral pigments (iron oxides). All of these are safe for human use and can even have beneficial effects on the skin, such as with jojoba oil providing nourishment and kaolin clay helping create a flawless finish. While they describe the history and benefits of their ingredients, there is no further information provided on how they are sourced or processed. They state that their botanical ingredients are sourced from the Australian environment, but without elaboration on any sustainable farming techniques. Mica and magnesium stearate are also not even mentioned in their ingredients glossary, despite being used in high quantities for their mineral powders. Without knowledge about their mineral sourcing policies, how will I know that they are not coming from unregulated or illegal sources? Mineral conservation is important and its extraction and processing should be efficient to avoid over-exploitation.
The packaging is sleek and simple, but made entirely of plastic. However, the product’s lifecycle does not have to end with the expiration date of the powder. The container is recyclable and was designed so that the jar can be easily refilled over and over; the downside being that Nude by Nature does not sell their own refills. In response to this, it would be great if they started offering refill packs and if they switched their packaging to lessen the plastic with a material that’s more biodegradeable, for example: wood.
Nude by Nature supports the movement to end the exploitation of animals and animal-testing. They are a cruelty-free and PETA certified cosmetic brand, and the Natural Mineral Cover is considered vegan-friendly.
The general process of making mineral powder foundations is quite straightforward. It involves mixing together base minerals with oxides for pigment, adding drops of an oil like Vitamin E or jojoba to hold the foundation together, then putting the mixture through a sieve to remove any remaining clumps. However, Australian dermatologist Philip Artemi has stated that many minerals used in mineral makeup contain trace levels of toxins and require chemical processing to remove them, making calling them “natural” a bit of a stretch.
To note: I have had to learn that the term “natural” when used in a label is different compared to an “organic” label. “Natural” is completely unregulated by the FDA and mostly refers to the ingredients themselves and what they are composed of, while “organic” is regulated and can encompass how a material was harvested and treated. Mineral makeup is not organic skincare since naturally occurring minerals are still inorganic substances.
When asked if the company adheres to labour standards for manufacturing, Nude by Nature has simply responded that they do not do business with any company that practices Child Labour. However, this is from their own word on their FAQ page and they do not disclose the locations of where their mica and other ingredients are coming from. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but with the current lack of transparency on their sourcing policies and without other certifications to back their claims, I will rate this section quite low.
The majority of mica mining is carried out by vulnerable people in poorer countries, with Jharkhand and Bihar in India as some of the top exporters. Mica mining is mostly done by hand and under dangerous working conditions, with employees given below-average pay and no protections. It is possible to be involved with responsible mica supply chains, such as through the Responsible Mica Initiative, which would provide visibility on how mica is mined, processed and shipped.
When looking for more information on the treatment of their workers, I found a Glassdoor page that rated the company a 1.7 based on employee reviews. The main complaints were of poor management, low pay and lack of communication.