Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. In July we focus on cosmetics and personal care products for soft, healthy skin and hair. The FAIRTRADE Mark can be found on a wide range of body care options, from lip balms and soaps to body lotions and scrubs.

Fairtrade certified shea butter, from African countries such as Burkina Faso and Ghana, features prominently in many skin care products – in its pure form, or as an ingredient in balms and lotions. Shea butter is a gentle natural moisturizer which helps keep skin silky smooth all year round, whether it has had too much sun in the summer, or is dried out by winter’s cold.

Argan oil from Morocco is a developing product in the Fairtrade world but is rapidly becoming known as an excellent moisturizer for skin and hair.

Many other Fairtrade certified product categories can be found in personal care products, including coffee, rice and sugar which can act as exfoliators in body and face scrubs. Cocoa butter and olive oil are also used in lotions, balms, body washes and rejuvenating masks. You can even find toothpaste tablets which use Fairtrade herbs and spices to freshen your breath.

Make ethical choices part of your daily skin care routine by looking for the FAIRTRADE Mark on your bath and body products.

The difference that Fairtrade Makes

Shea butter and argan oil are both produced mainly by women’s co-operatives on small-scale farms, providing much-needed income for women in rural areas. They use traditional techniques to extract the natural oils from tree nuts, rather than potentially harmful chemical processes. While the manual methods are more labour-intensive, the butters and oils retain much higher proportions of nourishing vitamins and antioxidants.  

Producers receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their products as well as the Fairtrade Premium which is often invested in social programs such as education or healthcare for their communities. Long-term agreements help the co-operatives build their capacity and diversify into other crops and skills to ensure year-round income.