Earth Day Beauty Awards:
23 Gorgeous Ways to Green Your Beauty Routine
Recycling, growing your own food, buying carbon offsets, have all become de rigueur in our brave new world of cultivating sustainability. But how many of us extend our scrutiny to our hair gel, lip balms, and even our sunscreens? Tree hugging is not enough—it’s time to start hugging our lipstick too. Not only do we need to be scouring the ingredients for environmental toxins, hormone disruptors, and petroleum by-products, we should be examining the life cycle of the packaging itself. What happens to that jar of night cream after you throw it away? Does it biodegrade, or can you plant it, recycle it, return it, reuse it? In a 2008 Mintel study (a market research firm), almost half of the women surveyed—40 percent—said that eco-friendly packaging factored into their decision of what makeup they bought.
The beauty revolution is coming, and it looks like it’s biodegradable. Even though not all of our picks’ packaging is on the cutting edge of sustainability, all of the companies we chose our committed to the environment, either through their choice of non-toxic ingredients, how they source those ingredients, or even the form of energy the company uses to create their products. So get your green on. One small change in your beauty routine, one lessoned carbon footprint for all earthkind.
Green your face
1. Night Cream: Melvita Moisturizing Cream Dry Skin (1.7 oz; $29) Loaded with moisturizing superstars such as royal jelly, honey, rose hip oil, and perilla oil (an oil extremely rich in omega-3s), this cream is rich enough for night but so absorbent that it works great for daytime as well. Committed to organic ingredients, recyclable packaging, and sustainable manufacturing processes, Melvita celebrates Earth Day with the launch of their “4 actions 4 the Planet.”.
2. Eye Cream: Bioethique Eye Cream (30 ml: $64) Light and smoothing, this cream features chamomile to fight puffiness and evening primrose oil to help reduce fine lies. Certified organic, using only biodegradable ingredients and packaging made from recyclable glass or aluminum, Bioethique has an impeccable regard for the highest quality ingredients and extraction methods.
3. Serum: Ren Rose Synergy 012 Restoring Facial Serum (1.02 oz; $80) Find your way to rose heaven with this dreamy-smelling facial serum infused with bio active fatty acids designed to boost skin repair. Ren uses Fair Trade rose extract from Morocco, eschews the gamut of skin-unfriendly ingredients, and donates a minimum of 2.5 percent of their profits to campaigns that promote a better environment.
4. Masque: red flower lymphatic phytopower sea cleanser and masque (8.8 oz; $38) Its versatility speaks volumes: this lymph powerhouse, which heats up on the skin, can be used for face and body, as a cleanser or as a masque. A feast for the skin, the masque contains healing marine plants, organic mushrooms, antioxidant rich berries, and essential oils to improve circulation and repair damaged skin. Red flower focuses on the integrity of their formulas and the sourcing of their ingredients, the recyclability of all its packaging, and minimizing shipping volume.
5. Day Cream: Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream (1 oz; $43) Count on the veritable Dr. Hauschka brand for green products way ahead of the curve. Extracts of rose petals, rose hip and avocado make for a velvety smooth lotion that renews irritated skin. Earth-friendly for more than 40 years, Dr. Hauschka has been at the forefront of always choosing organic and biodynamic sourcing for their ingredients.
6. Scrub: Bioethique Regenerating Scrub (100 ml; $48) Gentle, effective, and toning, this scrub is a must-have for all of us with clogged pores. The mix of finely ground almonds with relaxing essential oils feels like yoga for the skin—you’ll sport an afterglow that lasts all day.
7. Face Wash: dermae Tropical Solutions Facial Cleansing Gel (6 oz; $12) Part of their new line, this easy-on-the-skin face wash includes cutting edge skin foods such as tamanu, papaya, pomegranate, and acai to revitalize your complexion. Simple, effective, and a smell reminiscent of paradise, this face wash is proof that dermae can create high quality skincare without a hefty price tag. And since 2008, dermae has increasingly ramped up their efforts to lessen their impact on the environment by incorporating wind and renewable energy into their manufacturing process.
8. Toner: Aubrey Organics Green Tea & Gingko Facial Toner (8 oz; $9) A bouquet of therapeutic herbals—nettle, chamomile, gingko, lavender—make this toner a must have part of any beauty routine. Any traces of cleanser disappear and the skin is prepped for optimal absorption of moisturizer. Like Dr. Hauschka, Aubrey has been around for more than 40 years and set the bar high in terms of commitment to clean beauty and a cleaner earth..
Green your hair
9. & 10.Shampoo and Conditioner: Intelligent Nutrients 70% Organic Hair Cleanser and Certified Organic Hair Conditioner (6.7 oz; $29 and $34).
The shampoo, made from a base of organic apple juice, is as mild as they come, while the conditioner, an effective combo of oatmeal, jojoba and cranberry seed oil, works magic on the frizz. The founder of Intelligent Nutrients, Horst Rechelbacher, has worked hard to create a new paradigm of skincare made solely from food-based ingredients—so that there is no difference between what you put on your skin and what you put in your body.
11. Hair styling product: John Masters Organics Shine On (4 oz; $30) Kelp, rather than synthetic silicone that can lead to a heavy build up, is the magic ingredient in this leave-in treatment. Hair stays shiny, soft, and de-frizzed all day, thanks to a dream team of certified organic plant extracts. John Masters is at the forefront of natural haircare, and committed to using organic, wild-crafted, biodegradable, and Fair Trade ingredients whenever possible. For the second year in a row, treehugger.com named John Masters Organics Best Haircare Brand in their “Best of Green” awards.
Green your body
12. Bodywash: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shikakai Lemongrass Lime Body Soap (24 oz; $15) Shikakai, renown as a gentle cleanser for skin and hair, works its magic in this fragrant body wash that leaves skin feeling invigorated and refreshed. Dr. Bronner, one of the oldest natural skincare brands, has been certified since 2008 under the Fair Trade program Fair for Life.
13. Body Bar: John Master’s Organics Orange & Ginseng Exfoliating Body Bar (4.5 oz; $8) For those who prefer a bar to a crème, John Masters Organics new bar soaps offer the perfect option. Made with certified organic palm and coconut oils, and featuring organic orange and lime peel, the Exfoliating body bar leaves a fresh scent and soft skin. In addition, the bars are wrapped in 100% recycled paper and printed with water-based inks.
14. Body scrub: Joia Botanicals Tropical Organic Sugar Scrub Cocoa Coffee Vanilla (8 oz; $18) Stimulating coffee and lush babassu oil team up for an unforgettable spa-like experience. All of their ingredients are sustainably harvested from the Brazilian rain forest, and their body butters come in a state-of-the-art biodegradable paper jar.
15. Body cream: Booda butter (3 oz; $14) Treats everything from razor burn to stretch marks, this organic moisturizing cream has only five organic, powerhouse ingredients: shea and cocoa butter, and coconut, olive, and jojoba oil. With a tag line that says: “What goes on you goes in you,” this new company joyfully spreads their commitment to the vegan, the handmade, and the non-toxic.
16. Hand wash: Pangea Organics Cascadian Pine with White Sage (8.5 oz; $11) Antiseptic pine needle oil, combined with antioxidant white sage, makes for a lather with a delicious scent that lingers. Pangea’s new line of hand soaps makes hand washing feel like an indulgence rather than purely functional. Always ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation, Pangea was the first company to embed their bar soap wrappers with medicinal seeds that sprout when planted. To celebrate earth day, during April all Pangea products are 25 percent off, and 5 percent of sales will support the Jane Goodall Institute.
17. Hand cream: Alaffia Shea Butter Hand & Body Balm (2 oz; $8). Who knew that shea butter not only moisturizes but can also heal cuts and burns as well? Perfect for gardening hands, this shea butter mixed with rose geranium essential oil is just one of many of Alaffia’s Fair Trade certified products that directly contributes to their sustainable ecology programs in Africa.
18. Children’s product: Baby Hugo Naturals Soothing Foaming Milk Bath (8 oz; $13) A rich—vegan!—milk bath designed to delight both baby and parent. Emollient rich vegetable glycerin, plus pure vanilla and chamomile, make for plenty of tear-free bubbles. Nothing toxic goes into baby’s skin, nor down the drain, with this company’s line of skincare.
19. Sunscreen: Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen (3.5 oz; $13) Thank Goddess for a chemical-free sunscreen that absorbs well and doesn’t leave you looking like a ghost. Made with 79% organic ingredients, this 30 SPF sunscreen gives you broad-spectrum coverage without nasty chemicals or toxins.
20. Mascara: Zuzu Luxe Mascara ($17) A luxurious, paraben-free mascara that doesn’t smudge ranks as crucial for any earth-conscious fashionista. Another bonus for those with sensitive eyes—all Zuzu Luxe products are gluten-free. For the month of April, 10% of all Gabriel Cosmetics proceeds will go to Autism Speaks.
21. Lipstick: Revolution Organics Freedom Lip Gloss ($28) With fabulously flirtatious colors, Revolution Organics utilizes organic plant proteins, organic oils, organic shea butter, organic aloe vera and natural pigments that leave your lips feeling soft and moisturized. The company is committed to their eco ethos as well; the packaging is 100% recyclable (the secondary package is also biodegradable) and printed with soy-based inks on FSC paper.
22. Perfume: Strange Invisibles Musc Botanique Eau de Parfum (1.7 oz; $135) Egyptian geranium, frankincense, white amber, and botanical musk delicately mingle to create a seductive scent that’s hard to forget. Made from certified organic, wildcrafted, biodynamic, and hydro-distilled essences, once you inhale the real thing, you can never go back to synthetic fragrance. Their packaging rocks as well—the eau de parfum cartons are printed on FSC and PEFC certified paper manufactured using biofuel with pulp from sustainably managed forests.
23. Hair care and lotions: Neuma hair care products and lotions (300 ml; $25) lack all the 'No Nos' ... no synthetic fragrance, sulfates, parabens, neurotoxins, glycols, and the list goes on. They only use renewable plant-based ingredients with certified organic extracts. The products are served up in 85% post consumer recycled bottles, produced with 100% wind power. Marketing collateral is plant-able, printed on recycled paper embedded with wildflower seed! Talk about a sustainable line, these guys are CLEAN!
By Elizabeth Marglin