In the past year, more and more farmer’s markets have sprung up in local communities, especially during the summer months. Farmers’ markets offer the opportunity to find fresh, local produce grown by local farmers and growers. However, some farmers’ markets also offer the opportunity to find handcrafted products such as natural skincare products. As a buyer, there are a few things that you need to be aware of (and what you should ask for) when searching out natural skincare products at these venues.
Read the Label
The term “natural” is used widely on many types of skincare products (both those in large stores and handcrafted products), although it can mean many different things. Some natural skincare products contain preservatives, whereas others are free of all preservatives. Preservatives are used to prolong the shelf life of a handmade product. A product without preservatives might be more “natural,” but it is more open to bacterial growth, particularly if it is not used within a certain time or stored under certain conditions. Read the label on the product and ask the seller for more information if you are unsure.
Experience and Knowledge of the Seller
There are no legal qualification requirements to set yourself up as a natural skincare product business. Therefore, you should ask the seller about the experience and knowledge they have to make the products they are selling if there is no information displayed. A seller with good training, experience and/or knowledge will be more than happy to talk about the process of making their products.
Range of Products
Look at the range of natural skincare products that a seller offers. It might be that they are just starting out with their business and currently only have a limited range of products. Alternatively, the seller might not be that knowledgeable about their product and has no qualitative information to offer other than that in front of you.
Licensing and Insurance Requirements
Farmers’ markets usually require a seller to have the appropriate business licensing, insurance and/or other legal requirements in place before they are given permission to sell at a farmers’ markets. Make sure that you are purchasing your products from an appropriately licensed and insuranced vendor in case of any future problems that might arise from the purchase and use of your product. A reputable seller will also have business cards/leaflets on display with contact details of where to find them.
If you haven’t purchased any natural skincare products from the seller before, it is difficult to know whether a particular product is right for you. Ask the seller if they have samples available, either to try now or take away. A sample product will help you decide if a particular product is right for you. However, don’t go overboard and take every sample that you can see, as this makes it harder for the seller to budget future samples for other customers.
Shop Naturally at Your Farmers’ Market
Shopping for natural skincare products at a farmers’ markets is a fun thing today and is a good way to support local businesses in your community. Just make sure you know what you are actually buying before purchasing. If you frequent your local farmers’ market on a regular basis, you will become familiar with the vendors and their products – and you will know exactly where your product came from, who made it and what is in it, unlike many commercial products on grocery store shelves.
- Local Harvest: Farmers’ Markets
- Author is a certified aromatherapist and makes natural skincare products
Photo by Plan for Opportunity