Sustainable Skin Care

Aug 2015

Sustainable living is influencing every corner of our lives, from grocery shopping to travel and lifestyle. While it’s not easy to make all of these changes overnight, friends and colleagues, (myself included) admit that skin care is not the first thing they think of when taking the eco-friendly plunge. There are many ways to incorporate a sustainable beauty regime into a green lifestyle.

Eco-luxe skin care options for your beauty regime.

We spend a lot of time talking about what goes into our bodies. That same conversation should take place about what goes onto our body as well. It’s important whether you are at home or traveling. Keep toting your canvas bags and eating mindfully, but also think about starting to choose products that are as good for the environment as they are for your skin. Put your best face forward. We all know how important first impressions are.

A Few Good Reasons to Go Green

  • Keep your skin safe. Take a look at the ingredients listed on the back of your favorite skin care product. It’s likely that you’ll find various tongue-twisting terms that represent a concoction of chemicals that may or may not be healthy for your skin. That’s because the FDA doesn’t require safety tests before beauty and personal care products enter the market. In addition, whether a product is green or not, always research the company and ingredients.
  • Keep the earth clean. Unfortunately, beauty products that contain certain chemicals can harm the environment once they go down the drain. If mercury, lead acetate, toluene or petroleum catches your eye, you might want to opt for another choice that’s safe once it hits the septic system. If it will damage the environment, those things don’t belong on your skin either.
  • Support a sustainable economy. Many natural, eco-friendly cosmetic and skin care companies are started by small business entrepreneurs interested in making a difference. Many can also be local. Putting your dollars in a place that creates change and supports the community is a way to keep your dollars close to home. The combination of both represents an economy that promotes products and services that are healthy for you and the planet. By purchasing from companies committed to organic or all-natural ingredients and practices, you’re contributing to an economic effort that will better the planet and the global economy.

Sustainable Skin Care Options

So where can you go to find skin-safe and environmentally sustainable products? Here are several strategies that won’t compromise your health or the planet’s.

  1. Opt for organic products. The next time you’re in the beauty aisle, choose products that feature the official Eco-Cert label or the USDA Organic seal. According to these labels, ingredients have been produced without harmful pesticides and unnatural chemical residues that might irritate your skin.
  2. Avoid the three P’s: petroleum, phthalates and parabens.
    • With petroleum, there’s more to worry about than rising gas prices. Believe it or not, petroleum by-products, including mineral oil, paraffin and propylene glycol, are a common ingredient in many cosmetics. According to The Environmental Working Group, petroleum products not only take hundreds of years to biodegrade, but they might be linked to skin irritation, allergies and cancer.
    • Some research has linked phthalates, often found in nail polish and deodorant, to birth defects.
    • Parabens — including methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben — might be associated with skin problems like irritations, dermatitis and allergic reactions.
  3. Look for the Leaping Bunny certification-the corporate standard of compassion for animals.

Eco-luxe products for your skin

Green Products

My skin and eyes are quite sensitive and dry, so any product I add to my beauty regime has big shoes to fill. I recently tested this roundup of eco-friendly products, any of which I’d be happy to add to my green routine. All have copious amounts of additional information on their web sites.

derma-e- I’ve been familiar with this company for quite a while. Their moisturizer and eye-makeup remover are favorites. For 20+years, this family owned business has been making effective, high quality products that promote healthy skin and a healthy environment. The full line of products works with all skin types. It’s always fun to try a new mask, so when I had a weekend with my sisters, we had a little facial party. The charcoal mask removes toxins and then exfoliates away harmful pollutants that have found their way into your skin. Un-scented, the mask washes away easily after doing it’s dirty work. The purifying toner, with marine algae and green tea, rebalances and refreshes with a mild fresh scent and replenishes minerals and antioxidants. We all felt a mild sting from the toner, so you know your pores are open and it’s hard at work; skin felt tighter and refreshingly clean. This would be a great combination to use after plane travel or spending time in a city with bad air quality. I was pleased to learn derma-e products are made in a wind powered facility and packaged for recyclability. Both products retail around $15.00

Mineral Fusion™ My sensitive eyes have been fans of the mascara for years, so I was more than happy to test a few new lipstick colors-100%Vegan, 65% organic, gluten, paraben, talc and fragrance-free lipsticks for a natural pop of color. I am constantly licking my lips, and my peony color passed the test. Available in 15+ shades, I loved the way this product resists smudging and has staying power. Colors are a bit more muted, so keep that in mind when purchasing. The antioxidant mineral based formula protects against free radicals. Vitamins C + E combined with shea butter and jojoba oil hydrate and condition. Leaping Bunny certified. Retail $14.99

VENeffect-Developed by sisters Rebecca and Cecil Booth, who have years in both the medical field and beauty industry, VEN-effect is a targeted skin care collection that addresses the unique way women age. Working against the hormonal process, the plant based formulas target collagen, restoring and increasing elasticity in the skin. Containing  high levels of phytoestrogens (a naturally occurring plant nutrient that exerts an estrogen-like action on the body)  found in grape seed, red clover and soy. The product I was provided with was the Anti-Aging Intensive Moisturizer, and it definitely qualifies as eco-luxe in my book. The whipped, light emulsion left my skin feeling healthy and clean in the morning, and this is the first time since I’ve crossed a certain threshold that I’ve had three different friends tell me my skin looked great. This is a product I would consider splurging on when I get to the bottom of the jar! Retail: $185 (1.7 oz./50mL)

whish-The long awaited shaving cream for women has arrived. Begun by Jesse Werner, the company’s backstory is a romantic tale of a husband trying to please his bride. Tip to toe, scrubs, washes and buffers are the perfect compliment to a sustainable bathing experience. Formulated to have the power of men’s shaving cream, but without the harsh chemicals or drying foam, this product leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated.  Paraben, sulfate and  petrochemical free, organic ingredients are used whenever possible. Some of the key ingredients that will give you an idea of benefits (and you can know what to look for in other products):

  • Natural Squalene-moisturizer
  • Organic Shea Butter-protects and heals for young and healthy skin
  • Organic Green Tea-sun protection and anti-aging properties
  • Organic Coconut Oil-high in antioxidants, deeply moisturizing

Available in seven scents, the fragrance is light and essential oil based. Retail: 5 oz. $20.

KARI GRANI must admit I am having a bit of a love affair with my Kari Gran travel kit. Hailed as  the little black dress of eco-skin care, I’d have to say I agree. This eco-luxe, all natural brand provides a simple and elegant solution for women on the move, and dresses it up in recyclable dark violet, light blocking bottles, thus preventing molecular decay for their preservative and toxin free ingredients. The Kari Gran Starter Kit is a great way to try their signature three-part skin care system. The package includes a two-week supply of Essential Serum, Lavender or Rose Hydrating Tonic and Cleansing Oil perfectly sized for travel, the gym…or the occasional weekend getaway. Organic, wild harvested and non-gmo, the scents are fresh and divine! Hello rose scented bliss! Based on my first try, this is a company I will explore with additional products. Plus, they’ve contributed to life changing surgeries for children in India, my favorite country, through partnering with Wonderwork. Need I say more…   Retail: Travel Kit $35.  Lip Whip:$15.

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Sustainable selection of skin care products for your beauty.

Taking Joy in Living is a woman’s best cosmetic-very well said by Rosalind Russell. Incorporating a sustainable skin care regime has to be the next best step for an eco friendly lifestyle. A clean, green beauty routine.