The Pure Culture Code
We are on a mission to set the highest standard in clean F-beauty. It ain’t easy, but we are darned determined to try.
This is why we chose Uncompromising Natural Beauty as our True North, and why we’ve committed to following these seven pillars that make up The Pure Culture Code regardless of how inconvenient, time consuming, and complex they make our processes.
1. Responsibly-sourced raw materials
Mindfulness is ingrained to our core so we are committed to ensuring that the way our ingredients are grown, harvested, mined is ethical and sustainable. We do our best to use natural actives that are certified to guarantee environmentally friendly production and processes while also respecting human health.
There are a lot of ingredients that we do not use, such as Palm Oil (which is very readily available in the Philippines) for obvious sustainability issues. There were also a lot of local ingredients that we wanted to use, but have decided against, due to irresponsible harvesting.
Because we care about sustainability, we have to ask a lot of hard questions about the supply chain.
2. Conscious formulation and preservative selection
We are committed to always using mostly natural-origin ingredients, at least one sustainably-sourced Philippine origin ingredient, and heat-inactivated probiotics (sometimes called postbiotics) in our formulations.
We have a “Heck No Checklist”—a comprehensive list of questionable ingredients that we will never, ever use, beginning with the Toxic-Free Campaign Criteria of Safe Cosmetics Australia, plus a lot of our own research. An example is phenoxyethanol, a widely-used and widely-accepted ingredient that we refuse to put in our products.
Preservatives are a difficult topic in natural skincare formulation. While the idea of preservative-free may sound appealing to some consumers, we believe that preservatives are necessary in skincare safety. Our philosophy is not to refrain from using preservatives, it is to use harmless preservatives for both our bodies and our environment. Some find it easy or necessary to compromise in this area because the dosage required is so small. However, some of the most harmful ingredients in skincare are preservatives, and science has proven that bioaccumulation – the gradual buildup of toxic substances in a living thing or environment – is a real concern.
Lastly, all our leave-on products undergo stability testing.
3. Sustainable, ocean-friendly packaging
Giving back to our planet is a major part of why we do what we do, so we are committed to using only ocean-friendly packaging. This means using materials that are proven to break down in nature. We do not use bioplastic tubes, bottles and jars are these are not proven to break down outside of industrial settings.
4. Rigorous local and global supplier vetting
We partner with the top labs here and around the world, but only the ones who share our values. Our criteria includes proven expertise in natural formulations, ethical labor and health practices, and high standards in environment-friendly processes.
We do not only heavily assess our partners, we also treat our initial projects with labs as a test. We have abandoned projects (where we have already invested) because while the lab has initially met our criteria, certain standards were not met in practice.
5. Ingredient transparency
We list down all our ingredients on our packaging and website with allergen notice (items in bold on our ingredient list) for both common and uncommon allergenic ingredients. We aim to be an example of transparency among skincare brands, and encourage more honest and standardized practices such as listing all ingredients on labels, most especially colorants, fragrances and preservatives.
6. Seeking assessment instead of doing the bare minimum
We purposefully open up our formulations and processes to be scrutinized by like-minded international organizations to ensure that we are creating products that are of the highest standards when it comes to safety and sustainability. We do not prescribe to the idea that just because there are no firm regulations on Clean Beauty in the Philippines (including "natural" and "organic"), that this can be used as a marketing opportunity to make claims that cannot be backed.
7. Giving back from Day One
We started Pure Culture not only because we love beauty, but also because we wanted a platform to give back and start a movement. We believe that the best way to help our skin, our bodies and the planet is to rewild, and we are committed to give 1% of our sales to rewilding habitats, starting with Philippine oceans. This goes beyond talk, we are audited by 1% for the Planet.