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We're all conscious about ingredients in the food you eat, why not the ones in our beauty and skincare products?
With Earth Day upon us (April 22), it’s an excellent time to take stock of what’s in those bathroom drawers: one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products is an industrial chemical—anything from pesticides and hormone disrupters to cancer-causing agents. Just like your grocery list, if you can’t pronounce what’s in the box, you probably shouldn’t be using it (we’re looking at you diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15).With that in mind, here are six easy-to-find beauty brands that make us feel good—and help us look good too.
When we first learned that Gwynneth Paltrow was the creative director of Juice Beauty, we half assumed the line would literally be good enough to eat. Turns out, it’s pretty close—and it’s affordable to boot. The completely organic brand’s launch of 78 antioxidant makeup products features a collection made with botanical juices, waxes and powders (in lieu of water and petroleum fillers) and no artificial dyes.Its Phyto-Pigments Last Look cream blush come in four juicy colours. $30, holtrenfrew.com
We’re big fans of drugstore beauties and Burt’s Bees is tops in our books. Although no longer owned by its original beekeeper founder Burt Shavitz, the brand still keeps it real with ingredients that are safe enough for babies’ bottoms. Most notably, they send zero waste to the landfill by turning it into biomass-based fuels, electricity and even cement instead.This spring’s new lipstick shades are all 100 percent natural, last eight hours (and moisturize too) and come packed with ingredients like moringa oil, raspberry seed oil and beeswax (no parabens, no phthalates, no animal testing). $10, londondrugs.com
Found online or through retail partnerships like J.Crew and Target (R.I.P. Target Canada), Beautycounter is a relative newcomer to the clean beauty market, having made its foray into the space in 2013. But with accolades and awards under its belt already, it’s quickly become a cult-fave (Bono is an investor) thanks in part to its good list of ingredients and progressive initiatives (the company launched its mascara last year and donated $100,000 to global nonprofit Girl Effect). Its No. 2 Plumping Facial Mask is made with kaolin clay and made without a trace of artificial colours or synthetic fragrance. $55, beautycounter.com
As the story goes, Epsom salt came from early 17th-century Epsom, England after a farmer’s cow refused to drink the local water because of the bitter taste. The farmer took note and soon realized that scratches and rashes disappeared rather quickly when doused in the water. Word spread of this particular liquid’s curative powers and today the special ingredient in the water, magnesium sulphate, forms the backbone of Dr. Teal’s whole body wellness line. Packed with essential natural oils, the collection targets muscle aches and pains, exfoliates dead skin cells, soothes sore feet, reduces stress and can even improve sleep.This May, the brand launches its Pink Himalayan Restore and Replenish Mineral Soak featuring bergamot and sweet orange all aimed at reducing toxins in the body. $10, shoppersdrugmart.ca
5. Eminence Organic Skin CareOne of our favourite local brands, Eminence Organic Skin Care just opened the doors to their certified organic farm in Hungary. Come Summer 2017, travel through the Hungarian countryside to learn how the beauty of organic fruits, herbs, vegetables and flowers (like pumpkin, rhubarb, Echinacea and peppermint) are harnessed in their products.Launched this March, the Stone Crop cleansing oil counts microgreens among its ingredients to help remove impurities from the skin. $52, buynaturalskincare.com
Another local luminary we love: AG Hair. This hair care powerhouse, once the sole purview of salons, can now be easily scooped off-the-shelf which means its clean ingredients are readily available minus the requisite blowout. All made in Vancouver, AG Hair strives for natural and sustainably sourced ingredients—as such, 95 percent of its ingredients are either bio- or photo-degradable.This spring, AG Hair’s Fast Food sulfate-free shampoo and Leave On conditioner promotes the Every Bottle Counts program—a portion of each bottle sold gets donated directly to One Girl Can, a Vancouver-based charity that supports women’s education in Sub-Saharan Africa. $22, aghair.com