Huatulco Life was inspired by people with a passion for Huatulco and the Mexican lifestyle. It is a place to find out more information about the region and enjoy the beauty of the Oaxacan coastline through the photo gallery. From time to time, other interesting tidbits about Mexico make their way into the pages of this blog. Enjoy!

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Mazunte Cosmetics

Since I am no expert on cosmetics, I figured who better than Renée to blog about the world of beauty down here.

Post by Renée Netzel

Mazunte is one of the most beautiful beaches on the coast of Oaxaca, with its warm sand and clear warm water, sparkling with hues of blue and green. And the town of Mazunte has managed to succeed, with some help along the way, in keeping balance with their natural resources.

At the beginning, Mazunte was a town that survived as a result of the turtle commerce. However, in 1990, as environmentalists all over the world celebrated the forbidding of further extinction of turtles in Mexico, the little village of Mazunte thought it’s whole world was falling apart. The livelihood of 90% of its people was forced to an end, leaving them unemployed and facing a bleak future.

Authorities and residents had to find new resources to sustain the families of Mazunte and improve their quality of life. Thankfully they soon received the attention of national and international developing aid organizations aimed at creating awareness towards the protection and preservation of their local environment.

Enter Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, who visited Mazunte in 1993 to find out more about the local projects for ecotourism, reforestation and organic agriculture that had developed from these aid organizations. As a result, the idea to help the community was born and a small company was formed. A group of 15 families, comprised of 11 women and 4 men, got together and founded the cooperative Cosméticos Naturales de Mazunte, S. de S.S.

A few years later, in 1996, David Hitchen, a chemist from the Body Shop came to Mazunte to instruct the the families and helped create formulas for shampoo, hair conditioner, moisturizing cream and grooming oils using materials such as avocado oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, refined corn oil, coconut oil, beeswax and Vitamin E.

Besides providing jobs to the local community, this cute, palm-shaded cosmetic factory doubles as a tourist hotspot, drawing additional revenues to satellite businesses in the area. And it is also strengthening the local economy by setting aside a portion of its profits to serve as startup capital for other local business ventures, such as the Ventanilla Crocodile Nursery run by Ventanilla Ecotourism Services.

Today, the cooperatively-owned company is completely independent and is growing their customer base by continually diversifying its product line. Its annual revenue exceeds 2 million pesos (approximately $170,000 USD).  What makes their achievement all the more impressive is that none of the employees have college education, and not all of them even completed high school. Because of this business opportunity, created some 18 years ago, women in Mazunte are now production directors, sales managers and retailers involved in a thriving, local business.

Visit their store at:
Cosméticos Naturales de Mazunte, S. de S.S.
Mazunte, Sta. María Tonameca, Oaxaca
Phone 01(958) 5839656
Fax 01(958) 5840549


  1. Thanks Renee for this very interesting post. We will definitely make a point of visiting the cosmetics factory in Mazunte on our next trip down there.

  2. Shirley LindquistApril 9, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Great article Renee. I love the Mazunte line. I have tried a lot of different products and it is by far one of the best for keeping my skin moist in this dry Alberta climate.

  3. Thank you for the acknowledgement. I very much enjoyed the experience in supporting a community to generate income for itself and I am very pleased to see it was indeed, sustainable, as we designed it to be in 1996.

    The very best to the Mazunte community.

    Dr David Hitchen