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Brand Break Down: Codex Beauty

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

*This feature is not sponsored or paid for in any way by Codex Beauty or any other invested party

A lot of brands take inspiration from nature. Exotic or ancient practices, after all, were used by our ancestors for a reason. Combined with the scientific advances that have been made throughout the years, ingredients from nature can make for some very effective skincare. This is what Codex Beauty offers its customers, with the added bonus of being a sustainable business. Doing business by what they call the Codex Beauty Code, they set new industry standards to prove their commitment to “data-driven, overachieving skincare.” while maintaining ethical standards surpassing that of standard regulations.

Codex Beauty “honours the ancient Irish herbal traditions of the past by using ingredients that appear in old legal records and Irish legends all the way back to the 8th century. To that, they apply the scientific knowledge of today to create an effective skincare line that celebrates ancient knowledge.

We were able to get in touch with a representative for Codex Beauty, so read on to find out more about the brand.


The brand is registered as Codex Beauty Corporation and has no parent company. It is helmed by founder and CEO Barbara Paldus.


Codex Beauty uses plant-based ingredients and chooses organic whenever possible. They also aim to use as many native and local ingredients as possible but they still need to do some international sourcing. Codex Beauty chooses their ingredients based on how effective they are known to be, either through long-term traditional use or published research.

You can read more about the ingredients they use here.

They understand that “natural” doesn’t always mean safe so they formulate with concentrations under the safe dermal limits to avoid sensitivities, especially when using essential oils.

Because Codex products contain water, they need to have preservatives. But instead of using synthetic preservatives, Codex has developed “a new, proprietary, patent-pending preservative system that is entirely free of synthetic chemicals—and is entirely plant-based.” Their preservative system is proprietary and patent-pending.

Codex Beauty products are COSMOS-certified organic, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, and Vegan Association certified vegan. They do sell their products in mainland China, but only on the online platform Taobao and not in brick and mortar stores.


Codex Beauty carefully sources their ingredients, relying on organic farming and wild harvesting techniques or foraging, to select naturally hardy plants. These practices ensure that Codex Beauty is using safe and effective ingredients in their products while maintaining a “respectful connection with nature” and only taking what is needed. They work with experienced foragers to ensure that wild areas are respected. As for their organic sourcing, the Irish organic farmers that supply them are well paid and do not require fair trade protection.

However, for ingredients where this is an issue, they purchase from the Organic Herb Trading Company which ensures fair trade.

Codex Beauty also controls the complete supply chain, from sourcing to processing to packaging, and apply current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) to their production process. They have also made information about their safety practices and manufacturing and quality management available on their website.

The most rigorous testing methodology in the industry, in-vivo testing, is used to test Codex products. This involves testing the product on the skin on human volunteers in a clinical setting evaluated by a dermatologist. You can read more about their testing methodology here.

As far as labour is concerned, the Codex Beauty Social Standards states, ”Core to our business practices and tenets is the adherence of fair labor, cultural diversity and adherence to being respectful to everybody who helps make our products. We think and act with a unified and equal global mindset.” We, however, received no specifics.


All of Codex Beauty's packaging is fully recyclable.

They use green polyethylene product tubes made from sugarcane, which has a negative carbon footprint. They also use glass containers that are completely sustainable and recyclable but are still looking for a more sustainable alternative.

Their bottles are also 100% post-consumer recycled materials, and their cartons are all made of FSC or PEFC-certified paper made from renewable fiber from sustainably managed forests.

They have also minimised their carbon footprint in shipping and distribution. They have designed their packaging with transport efficiency and density in mind to reduce transport emissions.

They do not have a recycling program or refilling option at this time.


Codex Beauty donates Skin Superfood to healthcare workers. They have worked with 328 organisations to donate $116,235 worth of products to 4,823 doctors.

They are also committed to environmental and social stewardship, choosing to only work with partners who share their same philosophy of minimising their carbon footprint, supporting fair labour, and generally promoting respect for the earth and society.

You can read more about their sustainability and social standards here.


According to their Social Standards, “the adherence of fair labor, cultural diversity and adherence to being respectful to everybody who helps make our products” is at the core of their business practices and that they “think and act with a unified and equal global mindset.” They also express pride for their diversity, however, they did not provide us with any data regarding workforce diversity.


Codex Beauty certainly pulls out all the stops to be as transparent as possible about the ingredients, materials, sourcing, and production behind the products and the brand itself - something we always appreciate. Their commitment to creating and choosing the most sustainable options for their products is also something to give them kudos for. If the ethos behind the brand interests you and want to dive into it, check out their website for a which has a wealth of information, and to get your hands on some “Clinically Proven, Seriously Sustainable” skincare.

Codex Beauty is available in the USA & Canada, and the following locations in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Croatia, Iceland, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. It is also available in Australia via select online retailers.


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