Have you ever wondered where your beauty products are made? As a beauty journalist and self-confessed hair, makeup, fragrance and skincare obsessive, I test a lot of beauty products in my job. Many products make their way to the Who What Wear UK beauty desk. But, after inspecting the packaging of my beauty products, I started noticing that some of my favourite beauty buys all have a common thread; the countries in which they are manufactured. For example, some of my much-loved foundations are all made in Italy, whereas all the best eye pencils I’ve tried originate from Germany.
You see, some of our favourite brands, both mass and luxe, will rush to certain manufacturers, labs and factories across the world to help them create and formulate their products. At industry trade shows such as Cosmoprof in Bologna, Italy, manufacturers from around the world will exhibit to the industry to showcase their latest innovations and technologies, which brands will then tap into to help them create the next big formulations.
As such, certain countries have gained a reputation for pioneering high-performing products in their category—think the very best mascaras, efficacious skincare and results-driven hair products. Much how each country is known for their cuisine, they are also known for their own specialism in manufacturing beauty products and game-changing formulations.
Looking at where a product is manufactured can often give you a clue into how good the formulation might be. Take Beauty Pie, a beauty buyers club that allows members to access products from the best-of-the-best labs across the world (without the inflated prices that come with retailer markups). Its products are often made in the same laboratories as the premium beauty brands we all know and love, and they also share where all of its products are made.
And the TikTok algorithm has found me, because I have recently discovered beauty product developer Alexis Androulakis (one half of the @thelipsticklesbians duo), who along with her wife Christina goes into beauty retailers to test formulas, and then guess where they are made before checking the product label—spoiler, she’s always right. And it’s fascinating to see where the best formulations come from around the world.
To find out more on the countries that make the creme de la creme of beauty products, I tapped the new product developers at Beauty Pie and Emma Lewisham for the trailblazing countries that are leading the way when creating beauty products.
Beautiful landscapes, watches and chocolate are just some of the best things in Switzerland, but its skincare is also highly regarded by beauty industry insiders. “Switzerland is known for its excellence in skincare all around; from sourcing cutting-edge ingredients and finding the very best chemists, to technical advancements in production, ‘Swiss made’ is the gold standard in skincare,” says Katie Houston, Beauty Pie Senior Skincare NPD Manager. As such, you’ll find many Swiss formulations to be both luxurious and efficacious.
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