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Raw Materials: Sourcing The Right Skincare Ingredients

Raw materials are the building blocks of any cosmetic product. The raw materials we use affect everything from the efficacy to the consistency and right down to the smell of the product, so it’s essential that whichever raw materials we choose, the ingredients’ properties work in harmony with one another.

There are so many different raw materials for a formulation team to choose from, and each one brings a beneficial property to the product. To give you an idea of how our raw materials work to make sure our products really perform, we’ve put together this blog on raw materials and how we use them here at Orean.

The Power of Ingredients

Each and every skin and hair care product uses a selection of raw materials that work together to create a product that performs. There are many different types of all raw materials, and your experts at Orean will work with you to decide which ones will work the best for your next release.


Acids are used for a number of different reasons. They can serve as exfoliants, moisturisers, PH balancers and even preservatives, ultimately increasing the effectiveness of the product.


Antioxidants help the skin to combat the damaging effect of free radicals. They’re also used to ensure the products aren’t subject to oxidation over time.

Botanical Extracts

Extracts harness the activity and quality of botanical materials such as Aloe, Centella, Green Tea to name but a few. They can be water-soluble, called hydrolates or oil-soluble, lipid extracts, and as such, can enhance any cosmetic formulation.


Emollients provide a silky, smooth quality for the product. They work to soften and smooth the skin, building a barrier against water loss.


Emulsifiers are a particular category of surfactants used in creams and lotions to mix water and oil (or silicone) together, keeping them from separating. The choice of emulsifier has a strong influence in the resulting skin feel of the product.


Sometimes dead skin cells don’t shed completely, which can result in dry, flaky patches and closed pores. Exfoliating assists in the removal of dead cells and can be achieved via a physical or a chemical process. Physical exfoliants can be anything from salts and seeds to minerals, and work by physically rubbing against the dead skin cells to remove them. Chemical exfoliants such as acids and enzymes work by dissolving the dead skin cells.


It is well known that when consumers pick up a product the first thing they do is smell it.

Fragrance is part of a product or brand identity and communicates to the consumer. Whether natural, nature-identical or synthetic, floral, fruity or oceanic there is a fragrance route to suit.

Gums & Thickeners

This is a key category of raw materials for influencing the texture, stability or application of products. These materials can be natural or synthetic in their origin and allow novel sensorial properties to be achieved.


Humectants, such as glycerin hold and retain moisture in both the product and the skin, helping them to stay hydrated and prevent drying out.

Minerals & Trace Elements

Minerals and trace elements include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfur, iron, zinc and selenium. They are proven to be very beneficial in topical applications with benefits including protection, hydration and soothing.

Oils, Fats, Waxes & Butters

This group of ingredients forms an important cross-section of raw materials found in most cosmetics and toiletries. They are multifunctional in their benefits, used as emollients, conditioners, thickeners and can modify the sensory properties of a formulation.


Proteins provide valuable protection, moisturisation and repair to both the skin and hair. Typically, proteins are sourced from either wool or plant sources, depending on whether they are vegetarian or vegan.


Silicones play a key role in enhancing the sensorial elegance of a product. They improve the spreadability of a product, as well as the slip, plus, they create different textures and form a breathable layer on the skin.


Surface active agents, or surfactants are used as raw materials in cosmetic products to allow incompatible substances to mix together or to dissolve one another. They are multi-functional ingredients with properties such as foaming agents, conditioning agents, emulsifiers and solubilisers.


Vitamins make an incredible difference to skin and hair. Including A, B3, B5, B6, C and E, they have a range of functions such as antioxidants, moisturisers, skin conditioners, anti-pollution agents, anti-blemish and skin luminosity.

These are just a handful of raw materials; there are many more that lend themselves to the innovation and success of products. Here at Orean, we’re always looking for new raw materials to add to our collection, so that we can offer our clients the very best ingredients for their products.

Raw Materials at Orean

Here at Orean, we’re always straightforward, open and fair, so you can be sure that you’ll receive transparency around your raw materials at every stage of production. Our brand values include integrity and expertise, and this means that as well as honesty, we’re always looking to expand our knowledge, and find new, innovative ways of using raw materials in our products.

Our dedicated Procurement team is led by a very experienced manager of supply chains, meaning that we have the very best of relationships with all of our raw materials suppliers. Given our flexibility and speed to market, we’re frequently approached by our suppliers and presented with new raw materials for us to try, so we’re often the first to be able to offer innovative raw materials to our clients.

Our team are fully trained in complying with the industry best practices in the handling and storage of our stock of raw materials, giving you the confidence that your ingredients will be well-cared for and at their optimum performance levels. The exclusive raw materials we source for our clients are managed very carefully. We aim to procure only that which is needed to fulfil an order, and when this has to be exceeded, we work with the client to explore other options in addition to their original product idea.

Here at Orean, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of the industry and our expertise in the science behind our products. That’s why we’re always confident that the products we produce will work for your customers and for your company. If you’d like to discuss which raw materials should go into your next product, get in touch with our intelligent and talented team.

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