What you need to know before making your organic raw material purchase


Raw materials are the basis of your skin care products. We have been supplying raw materials to help the growth of organic skin care in Asia, or more specifically Indonesia. As a student a few years ago, I also had the same frustration and issues when it comes to sourcing for raw materials to make my organic skin care. I realized that this is a very important point to accelerate the growth of organic skin care in Indonesia – having easy access to high quality organic materials here locally. I have spent the last few years testing out many suppliers from all over the world – France, Germany, Italy, Australia, USA and many more.


Here is a few key information we would like to share based on our experience.


Shelf life

  1. Organic raw materials have a very short shelf life. In fact, my suppliers told me, that they are not allowed by ECOCERT to put a best before date of more than 12 months for carrier oil and hydrosol as well. However, what they can do is, to test the ingredient when it’s close to the 12-month mark, and have the option to extend the shelf life for another 12 months if the ingredient is still at good quality. Please note that storage is also very important. Even if the oil has a best before of 12 months, but stored at a hot location with direct sun light, it will speed up oxidation and the oil will go rancid more quickly.

I know some retailers add vitamin e or antioxidants when they receive their oils, to extend the shelf life to 24-36 months. This is however a practice we cannot adopt this practice, due to legislation issues here in Indonesia.

We have recently purchased some shea butter that has an expiration date of 2 years, but has already turned rancid in 6-8 months – even at proper storage. It is sad, we have to throw away 25kg of shea butter, probably purchased from a supplier who “overextend” the shelf life of the ingredient.



  1. Not all raw materials are equal even though they have the same inci name. I have purchased many ingredients with the same inci name to many different suppliers and getting very different results. Cheaper is not always better. More expensive also does not guarantee anything. At Skin Dewi, we try our best to source the best and highest quality of that particular raw materials so that we can provide the best to you as well. We are obsessed with trying many different suppliers until we find one with a quality we liked best. We also value ethical sourcing, non animal testing, and environmental friendly suppliers.

This applies to all raw materials, carrier oils, essential oils,        surfactants, even gum, extracts, hydrosols (floral water) and many more. Always ask detailed questions to your supplier prior to making your purchase as different suppliers has different definitions of similar names.  




  1. Note that natural ingredients tend to differ from batch to batch. Think about it, when you purchase an orange or apple from your local groceries store, sometimes they’re sweet, sometimes less so. Sometimes they might contain more water and sometimes they are somewhat dry. This also applies to our natural raw materials. At times the same raw material might appear a little different – color, viscosity, smell …. Be prepared mentally when this happens.


Expiration Dates

  1. Ask in advance to your supplier of any expiration dates to prevent any surprises or disappointments. Communicate as much as possible to your supplier prior to making your purchase. Always check the raw materials you receive as soon as you receive it. It is easier to communicate to your supplier if there are any issues as soon as you receive it vs many months later.




  1. Shipping cost – yes we feel you. We also import from all over the world, and shipping cost can sometimes be more expensive than the raw materials itself. My suggestion is, you can choose to find your own shipper and offer that as an option to your supplier. At Skin Dewi, we actually subsidize about 10% of your shipping cost – which means we pay an extra 10% to DHL from what you pay us, this is because DHL increase our fees yearly, but we don’t have the heart to increase that to you, and we made the decision to absorb the cost. Our plan with DHL can be upgraded with a larger frequency of shipment. Please support us as well so that we can negotiate a better deal with DHL.




  1. Custom cost – dealing with customs is always a headache, however this is between the customer and their country. We can help to supply documents as needed by customs, however please check with your local customs legislation. Every country has different laws and regulations and be sure that you are well equipped to import these materials. All customs that you pay goes to your government and not us.


Ask for wholesale prices

  1. Our main intention of supplying raw materials is to make it easier for formulators to having access to organic raw materials at whole sale pricing. We have package sizing from 10-30g up to 10 kg or more. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any specific sizing requirements. We also have a special membership especially to small businesses to get more discounts when purchasing our raw materials. Do ask us to know more about it.


We hope this short blog can help you on your organic skin care journey wherever you are. We would love to hear from you, please drop us a line if you have any questions, or even there are certain sizing options you need that are not being offered.


Until next time…