Earth Day Beauty Picks
This year I decided to observe Earth Day by cleaning up my beauty routine. Green beauty practices involve choosing products that are sustainably produced, made with natural ingredients and have minimal environmental impact. I’ve found some natural products that are safe, effective and delight the senses.
I’d always wondered what happened to those tiny plastic beads in facial and body scrubs after they’re washed down the drain. Recently, I learned that these beads are polluting our oceans and the Great Lakes, which is deeply disturbing, since these minute spheres of polyethylene do not biodegrade. The solution, of course, is to use scrubs made from natural, biodegradable ingredients.
S.W. Basics, a Brooklyn-based natural skin care line, makes a fantastic body scrub that the company describes as “dessert for your body.” The ingredients are completely organic, biodegradable and delicious: Demerara sugar, extra virgin coconut oil and shredded coconut. This is skin care that’s truly good enough to eat. Don’t forget to try their facial cleanser and toner as well. The cleanser contains a perfect balance of rosewater, glycerin and tea tree oil that is gentle on your skin while combating acne-causing bacteria. The toner further calms the complexion with raw apple cider vinegar and witch hazel from local wild crop farms.
As an interior designer, I work on a lot of sustainable projects, and I’ve been applying many of the same principles to the selection of my beauty products. For example, one way to improve sustainability is to use locally manufactured materials.
Fortunately for Washingtonians who love luxury skin care, I’ve recently discovered Miracle Cream by Skincando, a 100 percent natural high-end skin care line manufactured locally in the Washington, D.C. area. Described to me by company founder Sara Damelio as an “organic Crème de la Mer,” this lovely cream — the star of the company’s Luxe line — nourishes the skin with organic apricot oil, extra virgin coconut oil, omega-3 fatty acids and rose essential oil blend. I’m also a fan of Skincando’s Combat-Ready Balm, a multi-purpose cream that does wonders for your cuticles.
Sustainability also depends on picking products that are made from rapidly renewable resources and/or sustainably harvested materials. I keep this in mind, whether I’m specifying furniture on a project or choosing a new hairbrush. If you happen to be looking for a new hairbrush, two great eco-friendly options are Conair’s Contemporaries Paddle Brush, which is made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood and the bamboo-crafted Ionic Massage Collection by Olivia Garden.
When it comes to packaging, less is more when it comes to living a environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Of course, recycled materials are a plus, and I always try to find products that are refillable. The other day I noticed that L’Occitane is offering an Earth Day special on their best-selling refill packs. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be making a trip (not by car, of course) there soon.