Earth Day 2020 marks its 50th anniversary and we wanted to think about how to be good to the planet and the conscious beauty choices we can make to help.
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, with the goal of raising awareness about our role in protecting our natural world. On this date, 20 million Americans ventured outdoors and protested in favour of a more eco-conscious society.
It’s hard to believe today, but at the time, many people were not aware of some serious environmental issues, from air pollution to toxic dumps to pesticides to loss of wilderness.
In general, we can celebrate Earth Day by appreciating and respecting the natural world. Here are some ideas to inspire you before we go into our favourite choice of beauty brands:
- Go native. Plants thrive best when they’re natural to your area. See these 10 tips for an eco-friendly garden.
- Invite bees to your garden. These are the bees that pollinate your plants for more flowers and food. Perhaps add a native bee house to your backyard.
- Start an organic vegetable garden. Here are tips on organic seed-starting, to get you started.
- Conserve water. See these tips for watering wisely in the garden and tips on how to create your own rain garden.
- Cut back on plastic consumption and recycle plastics where possible. See this Plastics Recycling Chart.
- Learn how to reuse in the kitchen, reuse in the home and re-purpose everyday household items.
Beauty Brands We Love
Earth Day has a history of uniting people around the world to solve the major problems facing our planet. No matter where you stand on climate change which is the biggest threat to humanity, according to the UN, we need to unite to do more to change our habits. A great step towards a positive impact on the planet can be revitalizing your beauty habits. This is getting easier thanks to conscious brands putting sustainably sourced ingredients and environmentally packaging first.
Earth Day comes around every April 22, but we should all be thinking about making conscious choices all year round. So, here are 10 beauty brands that we think will improve your skin whilst being good to our world:
Packaging is made from PE, a polyethylene, which means it’s made from renewable resources (sugar cane, not fossil oil). Costing up to four times more than regular packaging, it’s 100% recyclable, and reduces Codex’s carbon footprint anywhere between 50-80%. The cardboard used for any boxes is sustainably sourced, and thus costs twice as much to produce. The active ingredients are sustainably sourced to make for a highly effective product range.
This is makeup with crystal charged pigment: infused with Diamond, Amber, Sapphire, Topaz, Amethyst and Tourmaline to illuminate the skin with their light-reflective properties. Formulated with organic coconut oil and organic shea butter to create an uber smooth buttery texture for one swipe application. Infused with organic rose hip oil and organic moringa oil which provides radiant looking, glowing skin and is rich in vitamin C. The palettes are sustainably packaged: with removal of eyeshadow pans and elastic (reuse it as a hair tie!). The paper palettes are fully recyclable - a first in the industry.
Makeup Brush brand So Eco positions themselves as the face of responsible beauty. Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, So Eco brushes are created using responsibly sourced Bamboo and packaging is made using sustainable materials. Delivering a flawless finish with every application, expect a high-quality experience that also protects wildlife.
Beachy waves are just a spritz away with this texturizing and moisturizing hair spray. It contains Atlantic sea salt for texture, organic aloe vera for moisture and light hold, organic sea kelp extract with vitamins and minerals to nourish the hair and scalp, and geranium and palmarosa organic essential oils for a beachy rose scent. Even better, Captain Blankenship is part of 1% For The Planet, meaning they donate 1% of all profits.
A driving force behind organic beauty, Laura Rudoe traveled as far as the Amazon to look for superfoods for her skin-care line, Evolve Beauty, which is coming stateside in May. “I saw the [real] benefits you could bring to a community if you are working with them sustainably,” she says of her time spent traveling the globe, scooping up nourishing oils like baobab which, when infused with natural sugar extracts and water, acts as a gentle, soap-free cleanser. With a hint of rose and vanilla, it smells as good as it feels—and looks every bit of it, too. Packaged in recyclable materials sourced locally in the U.K., and hand-bottled in Hertfordshire, England, the eight-product skin-care line includes both staples like hyaluronic serum and rarities such as rainforest rescue blemish serum, which includes willow bark, acai, and copaiba—all-natural sources that boost complexion with out the risk of irritation. Proving you don’t have to sacrifice efficacy for ethics.
This line of natural skin care out of New York has masterfully combined powerhouse products with guilt-free practices. Each botanical found in the serum, hydration mask, and balancing oil, the latter of which includes the antioxidant-rich sacha inchi oil, which was harvested on a farm in the coastal region of Peru, is cold-pressed, unrefined, and never diluted—an act that ensures both efficacy and environmental sustainability. And, if an ingredient can’t be traced back to its roots, it doesn’t make the cut: “It is not just about what goes in the bottle,” says founder Chris Kim, who launched Circumference with his wife Jina this month. “It is a question of how [the product] is raised, extracted, and processed, down to where the plant is from indigenously, so to make sure we are not sourcing ingredients that are in a shortage from a global standpoint.” Pair that with its chic, recyclable glass bottles, and you have a minimalist’s dream come true.
Why can’t we reinvent beauty?” asks Tina Hedges of Loli, a skin-care line that boasts a food-grade, fair-trade, organic, and ethical policy. With naturally grown ingredients hand-sourced from the farm and sea, the brand offers a wide range of bases (a plum elixir for your hair and face made of repurposed kernels from a farm in France) and raw oils (antioxidant-rich grape seed, collagen-boosting red maca root) for you to mix and muddle based on your skin’s needs for the day. Think of it as a whole food delivery service but for your face: With all the right ingredients and recipes at your fingertips, your skin will never go hungry again. To add to these credentials, the packaging is designed to break down into compost in 180 days, and with each purchase, a donation will be made to organizations committed to ending human trafficking.
Vegan, plant-based, and made with organic ingredients, Esker’s concentrated aromatic extracts are made in the U.S. but sourced from flowers, fruits, seeds, and more found all over the world. “Our frankincense comes from Oman, Africa where they have these really cool trees with families that have tended to the land for generations, distilling resin into oil,” says founder Shannon Davenport of the ingredient found in her restorative oil, which is also made of antioxidant-rich carrot seed and organic ylang-ylang flower. The colour coded recyclable packaging is clever and a rainbow of pastel hues marks each ingredient for even the most label-averse eyes. The hidden gem is a packet of pollinator-friendly wildflower seeds which are good for the bees, the plants and the planet.
This non-toxic must-have is both aluminum-free and cruelty-free. But what elevates it from others is its sweat-activated technology that prevents B.O. even after workouts. Other reasons to love it: You can apply it without getting your hands messy thanks to the squeeze-tube applicator. And the lightweight creamy texture feels good and applies evenly, but won’t stain your clothes. It comes in four fresh but not-too-overwhelming scents — The Visionary, The Minimalist, The Dreamer and The Achiever. The model’s go-to seems to be The Dreamer which is a light white floral aroma with hints of ylang ylang and jasmine.
Small Beauty Habit Changes
Here are a few eco-conscious ways to get started:
- Look for organic products: If a product is listed as organic then it means it conforms to several environmental standards and is made from organically farmed ingredients.
- Buy in bulk: If you know you love a certain shampoo, then why not buy one big bottle instead of several smaller ones? It will use less plastic and probably save you some pennies in the long run too.
- Skip the chemicals: Look at the ingredients of your beauty products and see how many words you can pronounce! Using products with ingredients that you recognise rather than complicated chemicals probably means they’re more natural and less harmful to the environment.
- Protect the animals: If you can, try to avoid products that are tested on animals.
- Coconut oil: Ethically sourced coconut oil can replace so many parts of your beauty regime. It can be used as a moisturiser, a cleanser, a hair mask and you can even cook with it! If you’re looking to make your beauty routine more natural, then coconut oil is a great place to start. You can check out a coconut oil guide here.
You can participate by using the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE.
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Earth Challenge 2020, a joint initiative from the Earth Day Network,