Skin Care

By Tia Albright

Organic, earth-friendly, and natural. All words that induce feelings of crunchy, granola-obsessed, heath fantasism found only in local whole food stores hidden on side streets or in posh, upper-class, overly-priced fad boutiques. In recent years, people have come to realize that the movement toward a healthier lifestyle is more than just a fad. It’s the growing understanding that everything affects our health, looks, and the environment. Organic obsession began with foods – fruits, vegetables, and meats. Consumers began to realize that what they put in their body had a direct relationship with health and environmental sustainability. But, it’s more than what we put in our bodies – it’s also what we put on it.

Each day our skin, the body’s largest organ, absorbs layers of makeup, grit from city streets, and even our “skin care” products. Meant to make us more beautiful, mainstream skincare regimens contain preservatives and synthetic chemicals that toxify skin. So, what makes us appear healthier, fresher, and younger is the root of what will eventually age us. Without realizing it, we’ve put our skin and our health at risk – and we’re all part of the problem. Now, with the “green” movement in full force, it’s the perfect opportunity to rework your skin care to help yourself and the environment.

With 40 percent of the world’s industrialized emissions, the United States is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. Aiming toward a harmonious relationship that both utilizes and gives back to Mother Nature, today’s companies are taking skincare to the next level. What started with the use of 100 percent organic ingredients has transcended to include company-wide integrations. These strides consist of biodegradable and recycled packaging, sustanibly harvested ingredients, and donations from proceeds to like-minded, forward-thinking organizations working for a healthier tomorrow. We’re worked through piles of products, and found a few choice products that epitomize eco-friendliness. Take a chance and “go green” with these revolutionary skin care products.

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The epitome of eco-chic, UK brand Nude has evolved as a leading product bringing together health consciousness and beauty. A high-end luxury brand founded by Fresh & Wild’s (the UK’s whole foods market) Bryan Meehan, Nude’s natural ingredients work to protect the skin from external damage and rebalance its moisture levels. The Cleansing Milk removes makeup and leaves skin clean with an organic blend of baobab oil for moisture, licorice to soften, iris and juazeiro extracts to cleanse, as well as other probiotics and peptides, derived from milk, to strengthen the skin’s defenses. For added protection, the Replenishing Night Oil utilizes Omega 3, 6, 7, and 9, as well as raspberry, cranberry, avellana, and kukui to work as antioxidants against free radicals. Tahitian vanilla oil and rose absolute create a calming natural fragrance. In an effort to refrain from polluting, the company, itself carbon neutral, packages products in recyclable bottles and jars made with 40 percent post-industrial recycled plastic. This extends to boxes, gift bags, stationery, and non-toxic inks produced with green energy that accompany orders.

Available at Barney’s New York, select Whole Foods and www.nudeskincare.com

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Naturopathica’s giving back and now you can, too. A portion of the proceeds from their Environmental Defense Mask will go to www.stopglobalwarming.org, a non-partisan effort geared toward demanding a solution for, and to fight global warming. An aromatic concoction of red wine’s anti-oxidant qualities, wild cherry bark to reduce inflammation, wild black cherry puree to soothe, and red grape seed extract, the environmental defense mask is rich and revitalizing. The use of sustainably harvested ingredients without petroleum-based ingredients and paraben preservatives, recycled paper contents, and minimal packaging to reduce waste add their eco-friendly effort. Even with a thin layer, the mask creates a slight tingling of the skin, but it goes away quickly. Once rinsed away, it reveals glowing skin. Your skin will go from tired to luminous in less than 10 minutes. This pick-me-up can be used twice a week. Not only does Naturopathic give back financially, the company is also making strides within the business. The company is enrolled in the Green Choice Utility Program to offset 100 percent of their electricity usage and reuses all packaging and materials received by company warehouses.

Available at Great Jones Spa, 29 Great Jones St., or www.naturopathica.com

Available at Life Thyme, 408-410 6th Ave., or www.zianatural.com

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Huiles & Baumes is the brainchild of French biochemist Maximiliano Bustos. Founded in the Alps in 1989, the product line is 100 percent all natural and organically certified by Ecocert, one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world. The all-natural ingredients combine to create revolutionary products, including the Cleansing & Make-Up Remover Oil. Unlike other harsh, drying removers, this one contains pure melted vegetal oils for a mild and moisturizing cleanse. The jojoba, apricot, and black cumin oils soothe and calm skin, while the daisy maceration strengthens sensitive eyes and skin. After ridding your skin of the day’s makeup, pamper your body with the Toning Body Milk, an anti-aging and regenerating product that utilizes seven unique oils, including Rose Hip. Known as rosa mosqueta, it’s renowned for its ability to improve the appearance of scars, hydrate skin, repair damaged cells, and reduce wrinkles. The modern line packages all products in recyclable containers with airless technology to preserve the active ingredients.

Available at Space NK or www.huiles-baumes.com

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Good for the environment and for healing acne-prone skin, Organic Apoteke’s Active Face Cleanse Gel deeply penetrates the skin’s outer layers with an herbal blend infused with lemon and bergamot. Neem is added to work as an anti-bacterial to cleanse pores. Free from parabens, petrochemicals, alcohol, and synthetic ingredients, Organic Apoteke’s products fight skin problems without polluting. After clearing away dirt and debris, clarify and sooth skin with the Active Face Hydrating Gel. Blends of botanicals help to balance sebum production to even your complexion and heal blemishes. Clinical trials have shown a 68.2% reduction in blemishes in an eight week time period. Not only will the products benefit your skin, but five percent of all profits are donated to the Earth Day Network environmental charity and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. All Organic Apoteke products are certified organic, and are also vegetarian and kosher.

Available at Henri Bendel or www.organicapoteke.com.

Originally published May 2008
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