Planet-friendly beauty essentials

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  • Six products that will leave you and the planet feeling great

    Each week, Marie Claire’s Beauty and Style Director, Lisa Oxenham, shares her edit of products that will enhance your beauty routine. This week, it’s all about how to make your beauty routine more eco-friendly. From plastic-free refillables to soothing skin serums, here are the new products from sustainable beauty brands that I’m rating.

    Organic ylang ylang bath and shower gel, £20 | Nereus

    Black plastic ends up in landfill even when you chuck it in your recycling bin because of the colour sensitive optical separation systems in most recycling plants aren’t able to separate and process them, so I always try to steer clear of products in black containers because while they might look lovely in my bathroom, they are wreaking havoc on the planet.

    British brand Nereus London is taking action and advocating against the use of black plastic in beauty, and the brand which makes shampoos, conditioners, and body washes, has gone completely plastic free. All the products are packaged in 100% recyclable BPA free aluminium bottles and caps, which are as easy to recycle as a can. Additionally, they also recover 1kg of ocean-bound plastic for every bottle sold, meaning that just by making the switch to Nereus you are doing your bit for marine life, too.

    nereus body wash

    Superkind Bio-Barrier Serum, £113 | Tata Harper

    I am a massive fan of Tata’s Softening Cleanser, so when I found out the brand was adding a serum to the ‘Superkind’ roster, i.e. products which pack a punch thanks to active ingredients and which also re-enter the Earth’s ecosystems seamlessly, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

    This serum has been a godsend when my skin is stressed and dry, and it’s at once silky smooth and gives my skin a brightening boost. The reactive ingredients, which include volcanic post-biotic complex and plant ceramides, provide my skin microbiome with all of the goodness it needs to remain balanced and strong.

    Tata Harper Superkind serum

    100% Organic Cotton Buds, £1.99 | ZERO by Skin Academy

    We are all aware of the environmental impact of cultivating cotton, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about the extent of the problem. Inorganic cotton production uses the most pesticides and insecticides out of all of the Earth’s global crops and experts say that it has the highest water usage out of all agricultural commodities. This means that it causes huge damage to the world’s ecosystems, biodiversity, and soils.

    That is why it’s important to make sure that the cotton beauty products we all buy are made from organic cotton. By growing cotton organically, farmers nurture species and protect people from droughts by watering their crops with rain water. I use Skin Academy’s cotton buds for cleaning up makeup smudges because I can rest assured that they are safe for the planet. Certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, the cotton buds also have a bamboo stem which is biodegradable and compostable.

    ZERO by Skin Academy - Cotton Buds - £1.99 - Amazon Front

    Original Mineral Veil Pressed Setting Powder, £26 | Bare Minerals

    I’m out and about socialising a lot more these days, and as a result have rekindled my love make-up and in particular for natural, simple and versatile base products. Sometimes, setting powders are a product to steer clear of when it comes to creating dewy, everyday makeup looks, but I have found the perfect solution for keeping my skin luminous but also reducing any oily shine, which also happens to be planet-friendly in the form of the Original Mineral Veil Setting Powder from Bare Minerals.

    It’s talc-free, is made from 86% naturally-derived ingredients, is infused with Shea and Cacao Butters and Vitamin E to help defend against environmental stressors, is, like all of Bare Minerals’ products, cruelty-free, coal tar-free and mineral oil-free, making it the perfect eco-friendly choice.

    bare minerals pressed powder

    Aluminium refillable bottle | The Body Shop

    2021 has felt like the year of refillable beauty which is a great move in the right direction. Since June, I have been a regular at The Body Shop refillable stations which make refilling and reusing simple. The stations are always manned by the brilliant staff who fill my bottle up to the brim with some of the brand’s most iconic lotions, whether soothing almond milk and honey shower gel or zingy ginger scented shampoo. If all of us switched the refillable today, the Body Shop estimates that we could save over 25 tonnes of plastic per year. That’d be worth making the switch alone, but then throw in the brilliant formulas and winning scents and, well, you can see why I’m a regular.

    the body shop refillable bottle

    The Body Strategist Thermo Cream, £54 | Comfort Zone 

    One of the beauty brands leading the way when it comes to protecting the environment is Comfort Zone. As a certified B-corp company, one of the hardest eco-accolades to be given, the brand is committed to ensuring that every stage of their supply chain is as good for the environment as possible. From carbon-neutral offices to 100% recycling, the brand not only looks brilliant in your beauty stash but protects the planet for future generations.

    I recently tried the Body Strategist range which is made up of highly concentrated product that’s active ingredients firm up my body and to help keep my skin more supple and toned for longer. Polyhydroxy Acids and natural jojoba stimulate fast skin renewal and caffeine and microalgae encourage your skin to remodel and firm.

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