Superior sourcing | Why going direct is better all-round

Superior sourcing | Why going direct is better all-round

From day one, we have committed to a ‘field to patient’ approach across all we do…

After more than three decades of operation, we – and thousands of our patients across the world – wholly appreciate the indisputable benefits it brings. Here, we take a look at the sourcing side of our brand, the intricacies of procuring our prized Chinese herbs and why we chose all those years ago to go direct.

When it comes to treating serious and unique skin conditions, it’s vital our formulas are just right, so as not to exacerbate symptoms; that the high levels of natural ingredients in our blends contain precisely the right balance of actives, in the most optimal concentrations. It goes without saying, therefore, that ingredient quality, sustainability and authenticity, couldn’t be more important. Yet, with Chinese herbs, in particular, ensuring a sustainable and high-quality supply proves a very challenging proposition indeed…

A brief history

In Chinese Medicine, sourcing, collection and classification of herbal substances have always held great importance. Millennia of use has shown how the locale a plant was grown in, how it is cultivated, which parts are used, and how each part is processed and applied are all key to its inherent quality.

Dao Di Medicinal Material describes those herbs with longstanding reputations for high quality and excellent treatment effects. This ‘certificate of authenticity’, in essence, is only presented to those herbs cultivated in specific regions and under strict conditions to induce their distinctive quality and standard.

Quality control

Sourcing top-quality herbs is a specialised and difficult field, with few outside of Asia trained to such a level. With their education and experience, however, both our founder Mazin Al-Khafaji and his wife and fellow Dermatology M Director, Pia, are able to do just this. From the look, taste and smell, Mazin and Pia identify and authenticate the region, age, cultivation type and grade quality of every herb we use before bringing them to our manufacturing facility back in Sussex, England for processing.

Popularity pressures

Whether for beverages, traditional remedies or even cosmetics, the demand for Chinese herbs has risen at remarkable rates in recent decades. Global demand now outstrips supply and the sustainability of these noble natural resources has become a core area of concern.

Highly sought-after or rare herbs are, as a result, demanding very high prices and, for some, the temptation of adulteration and substitution for economic gain has become too high. From presenting poorer quality supplies to concealing the fact they are different plants altogether, the market for Chinese herbs has become a highly concerning issue… which is precisely why we chose, over 30 years ago, to go direct.

By actively avoiding third-party markets where fakes prevail, we’ve built relationships with growers to ensure the quality, control and continuation of the herbs we import.

These trusted relationships go beyond the conventional supplier-customer contracts you might expect, however – a topic we explore in detail in our blog ‘Protecting Provenance | Working with growers for a better future’. We believe it’s our responsibility as buyers to encourage growers to adopt responsible practices – on the fields and within their workforce. Yet, as small, traditional communities and industries, they struggle to do this without support. Therefore, via a program led by Pia Al-Khafaji, we support growers and their business through even the hardest of times, including poor harvests, flood and drought, enabling them to progress and develop for all our benefit.

Fundamentally, all our efforts mean every ingredient inside a Dermatology M formula can be traced and we have nothing but the utmost confidence in its quality and suitability for the task in hand. It’s how we’ve always worked, it’s how we will always work, and we understand the difference it makes to for you and your skin.


Explore behind the scenes at Dermatology M further:

- Commitment not compromise | Why we manufacture our own formulas
- Protecting Provenance | Working with growers for a better future

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