April is the month we cast the spotlight on our magnificent yet increasingly fragile planet, celebrating Mother Nature and all her splendor. But seriously, shouldn’t we be doing this every month and, better yet, every day? There are small steps we can take all the time to be more mindful of our impact on the environment. One glaring area for adjustment is in your daily beauty routine—one that can actually reduce your carbon footprint.
No one’s suggesting you get all hasty and purge all of your beloved products in one go. If you can’t live without that La Mer face cream, that’s totally cool, but consider making adjustments elsewhere. The automatic understanding might be that green beauty swaps mean sacrificing quality or effectiveness, but that’s honestly no longer true.
To help steer you in the right direction, here are some innovative green beauty products that are as good for the environment as they are for you.
We all know that the cardinal rule of skincare is to never (ever!) go to bed with makeup on. It’s a well-established no-no, but we’ve all broken the rules on more than one occasion, stumbling into bed with a face full of makeup. Keeping us in check is the old faithful makeup wipe, which does a bang-up job of removing makeup and cleaning the skin, or so we thought. Turns out conventional wipes aren’t actually cleansing our skin, but instead robbing it of its natural oils. Besides, consider the waste factor when it comes to disposal.
Luckily there are some great natural alternatives out there with the seal of approval from Mother Nature, like these Juicy Bamboo Gentle Facial Cleansing Oil Cloths from Kaia Naturals. These 100% unbleached bamboo cloths are infused with vitamins C, E, and B12 and combine the skin-nourishing benefits of jojoba oil, sunflower oil, and organic honey. The best part? They are 100% biodegradable and will disappear in 60-70 days when planted in soil.
While we’re on the topic of wipes, here’s something a little different. These are wipes, but supersized! In fact, they aren’t wipes at all; they’re “sheets,” and they are designed with the entire body in mind. These non-toxic, plant-based, and alcohol-free sheets are luxuriously large (12" x 10", to be exact) to help you whisk away dirt, sweat, and odor while you’re on the go (aka post-hot yoga). They get their antibacterial prowess from Neem Leaf Extract and keep you feeling fresh with the addition of peppermint. Made from sustainable wood pulp, these sheets are biodegradable and compostable, allowing them to break down completely within three months.
Say hello to planet-loving oral care. Created by Aussie eco-warrior Bridget Rose, Pearl Bar was born from the realization that the oral care industry was in dire need of an overhaul. Rose is on a mission to transform everyday routines into planet-loving practices one toothbrush at a time. Activated charcoal has been getting major props in the beauty world, and rightly so. When it comes to its detoxifying properties, the ingredient is king and, as the folks at PearlBar put it, “the captain of nature’s whitening squad,” hence their bristles are brimming with it. Made with a carefully crafted bamboo handle, this brush is made to last as long as a regular toothbrush but is 100% biodegradable, breaking down in soil within 6 months. They are non-GMO, cruelty-free, and vegan, but what’s more is the company’s commitment to giving back by donating 10% of all profits to their favorite charities. They also provide toothbrushes to orphanages, homeless shelters, and other charitable events across the globe.
Made with organic pumpkin and tomato, this facial soap provides a gentle yet effective enzymatic exfoliation. Organic honey and camellia seed oil, along with a carefully selected blend of essential oils, complement the exfoliation with their soothing, softening action.
Founder Sarah Villafranco and the Osmia crew feel just as strongly about their packaging as they do about the product themselves, pointing out that for them, the only true environmentally friendly packaging is no packaging at all. These guys have gone to impressive lengths (insert fist-bump emoji) researching and sourcing the very best ingredients for their products and the most mindful materials in which to package them. Their facial soap boxes are made with 100% recycled, 30% post-consumer paper. Bonus: Osmia also makes these handy little cotton drawstring bags for their bar soaps to travel in, because no one likes a gooey, messy soap case.
This multi-stick for face and body is an herbal balm that does it all. Formulated with nothing but the good stuff like medicinal herbs and organic oils, this small but mighty botanical salve’s got you covered from head to toe. The addition of vetiver root, geranium, and lavender makes this stick a skin-healing powerhouse. And, packaged in a 100% compostable tube, this little baby is zero-waste (zero plastic = zero waste). Earth Tu Face founders Sarah Buscho and Marina Storm are passionate about doing right by the planet through conscious business practices. Through the sale of each zero-waste Skin Stick, 5% is donated to the Center for Biological Diversity.
This beautiful bouquet of colourful flowers and aromatic herbs made of 100% certified organic ingredients including cornflowers, calendula, rose petals, and tulsi is particularly beneficial for dehydrated or breakout-prone skin. To get the most out of your steam, Apoterra recommends reusing the herbal water to mix with clay masks or adding it to bathwater. Mother Nature would approve!
Eco-friendliness is among Apoterra’s most important core values, and when creating products, the entire cycle is considered, from ingredient sourcing to where the bottles will end up, so needless to say, products are packaged in non-toxic, easily recyclable glass. What’s cooler is that they have a unique batch number system, allowing customers to look up the country of origin and certifications of all products.
With a bachelor’s degree in Environment and Culture under her belt, environmentalism is close to Canadian makeup artist Sarah Devika’s heart. Sarah has sought out the highest-quality locally-sourced botanical and herbal extracts to create what we think is one of the best mineral foundations out there. Made with skin-nourishing organic ingredients like calendula, sea buckthorn, and marshmallow root, to name a few, this foundation adjusts to the skin beautifully and is buildable to achieve optimal coverage. The collection includes an impressive 33 (yes, 33!) shades, so it really is made for ALL women. In making product by hand using ingredients that come from Canada, Sarah has created a reductionist approach to her carbon footprint and has her sights set on going even greener by incorporating a recycling program and introducing refillable packaging. In case you’re not already sold, there’s more. As a Level II Reiki practitioner, Sarah infuses every batch with Reiki energy to create a mineral foundation with a soul. Pretty cool, right?