Podcast 211: Revolutionising Beauty with Upcycled Ingredients

Upcycled beauty company

This is our fourth episode this year on the topic of upcycling in beauty. It’s a subject that thankfully we’re going to hear about for the long term as more voices in the cosmetic industry realise that upcycling should be the norm, not the exception in how we source ingredients.

In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Harry McIlwraith, of  The Upcycled Beauty Company, a trailblazing venture revolutionising the beauty industry by repurposing overlooked food waste resources into potent skincare ingredients.

With a focus on innovation and sustainability, Harry’s insights shed light on the incredible potential of upcycled beauty and inspire us to rethink traditional manufacturing practices. Join us as we uncover the fascinating story behind The Upcycled Beauty Company and discover how this visionary approach is reshaping the future of skincare.

Listen here

Inspiring Quote:

“In the longer term, everything on the shelf is packaged in and all the raw materials will be upcycled.” – Harry McIlwraith

In this episode with Harry McIlwraith, you will hear:

  • An introduction to the Upcycled Beauty Company and its mission to revolutionise the beauty industry through upcycled ingredients.
  • Insight into the upcycled ingredients offered by the company, including nectars, tonics, and crushes, derived from various waste sources such as fruit juice leftovers, brewery waste, and hummus production remnants.
  • Discussions on the vision for the future of upcycling in the cosmetics industry, including the potential for all beauty products to utilise upcycled materials.

Key takeouts include:

  • Upcycled beauty ingredients offer a sustainable alternative to traditional cosmetics, utilising waste streams from various industries to create valuable raw materials.
  • The Upcycled Beauty Company aims to lead the way in promoting upcycling within the beauty industry, with a vision for all beauty products to incorporate upcycled materials.
  • The upcycled beauty movement is gaining momentum despite challenges such as lack of certification standards, thanks to growing consumer interest and awareness of sustainability issues.

Meet our guest Harry McIlwaith

Harry McIlwraith - Upcycled Beauty CompanyHarry McIlwraith is General Manager of the Upcycled Beauty Company, a UK-based manufacturer specialising in upcycled cosmetic actives. With a background in formulation and a passion for sustainability, Harry aims to transform the beauty industry by promoting the use of upcycled ingredients.

Harry graduated from the University of Bath in 2009 where he studied Chemistry. He joined the contract manufacturer Acheson & Acheson Ltd, starting off as Laboratory Technician and worked his way to Technical Manager before joining The Upcycled Beauty Company as General Manager in 2020. In 2023, Harry was also invited to join the Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition formed by the British Beauty Council.

Connect with Harry McIlwraith:
The Upcycled Beauty Company | LinkedIn | Instagram


There’s a wealth of information in our old episodes and we encourage you to go back and listen to them. If you want to hear more about some of the topics we covered in this episode, please do delve back into the podcast archives. Go and listen to:

Episode 59: How upcycled waste built a global beauty brand
Episode 175: The future of clean beauty – evolve or die
Episode 201: FRUU Cosmetics and the sustainable upcycling of wonky fruits

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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