Photo: farmacybeauty / Instagram
Yes, eco luxury skincare is a thing—just ask the hordes of enthusiasts who attend organic beauty trade fairs in New York and London. And they don’t come cheap because better and fresh ingredients and more painstaking methods are used in order to create sustainable skincare products.
Here are five you should definitely know about:
A “farm-to-face” (the next generation of natural skincare, this movement includes products with super-fresh, hand-reared homegrown ingredients that are cold-pressed and distilled to enhance their potency) brand.
Farmacy is founded by an avid gardener from upstate New York, who has patented Echinacea GreenEnvy™, the super-plant ingredient that has 300% more natural antioxidants in its roots than regular echinacea.
Star product: Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm ($50, 90ml) is proof that an effective cleanser doesn’t need to be harsh. A scoop of this nourishing wax-like solid balm melts right away on wet skin and after washing off with water, the skin doesn’t suffer from a ‘stripped’ dry feeling but a soft and clean result—perfect for the most sensitive skin.
One of the earliest skincare brands to embrace the green and sustainable path, Vermont-based Tata Harper hit the retail market about 11 years ago, after more than five years of research and development.
The former industrial engineer created her eponymous label after her cancer-stricken stepfather was told my doctors to change up his grooming routine to keep to products that are as organic and natural as possible.
Star product: With 11 active ingredients such as skin-strengthening pomegranate, deep-cleansing apricot seed powder, exfoliating white willow bark and refreshing grapefruit, the Regenerating Cleanser ($112, 125ml, Beauty Candy Apothecary at Mandarin Gallery) is gentle enough for daily use on all skin types. It doesn’t foam and leaves skin feeling soothed and refreshed.
We all love a successful underdog story. Herbivore Botanicals is founded by a wife-and-husband team just seven years ago with just one product—the Bamboo Charcoal Bar. They began selling at local farmer’s market then on Etsy until Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Sephora came knocking.
Perfect for green skincare lovers, the Seattle-based brand is created with natural ingredients like food-grade cold-pressed oils, steam distilled therapeutic-grade essential oils, GMO free soy wax and certified organic ingredients.
Star product: The Lapis Facial Oil ($72, 50ml), in the most beautiful shade of blue and soothing slight herbal scent, will be the oil that solves oily skin. It sounds contradictory but because of ingredients such as the Blue Tansy oil that holds a component called Azulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, Lapis thoroughly hydrates without clogging pores and suits sensitive skin as it brings down redness.
Did you know the French founder of Chantecaille also created the cult foundation-blending brand Prescriptives in 1979 under the Estee Lauder group? With all that beauty industry experience under her belt, Sylvie Chantecaille went on to found her eponymous brand in 1997, beginning as a niche fragrance house with four scents based on essential oils and then expanded into a full range of skincare and makeup products, based entirely with flowers.
Star product: It’s rare to hear of a serum that is gentle enough to go on both the face and eye area but Vital Essence ($194.70, 50ml, Takashimaya Department Store), is one. Infused with powerful botanicals that hydrates and promotes plump-looking skin, this rose-scented serum absorbs extremely quickly into the skin and has an immediate soothing effect on dehydrated and sensitive skin.
With a focus on active ingredients in its skincare range, Los Angeles-based Arcona contains no petrochemicals, binders or fillers, chemical stabilisers, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphates, perfumes, dyes or any other caustic, toxic ingredients. Arcona uses cosmeceutical-grade enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids to formulate small batches to ensure freshness without preservatives.
Star product: The Cranberry Gimmage ($63, 100ml) has the most divine scent of natural cranberries and its exfoliants are so fine and paste so rich, it makes the entire exfoliating experience very luxurious. Although the recommended use is only two to four times a week, it’s tempting to use it more frequently, especially when it’s a results-showing product of just after one use. Skin is immediately brighter and smoother.