In the modern industry and marketing for beauty and wellness products, many dedicated movements and specific terminology might catch your attention at any given time. Among these are Green Beauty, clean and eco-friendly beauty, healthy beauty (our favorite) and even Blue Beauty. These movements and terms are interrelated and paint a picture of the trend towards beauty products that are generally free from ingredients that may be harmful to our health and the environment. Few do this as well as Green Beauty.
The Green Beauty movement is hard to track, perfectly categorize or even describe, but there are a few hallmarks by which it can be identified. Ultimately, Green Beauty is more than a movement. It stems from a mindset, a recognition of the power of nature, and a commitment to continuous improvement to create products that are better for us, the environment and that perform using the best that nature has to offer.
A Spotlight on Eco-Consciousness in Green Beauty
For many years, as a result of the industrial revolution, large-scale manufacturers of beauty and skincare products have included ingredients in their formulations that were not considered for their sustainability and health concerns. It’s rather surprising and odd, considering that the skin constitutes the largest organ on the body. It seems obvious, but skincare products should only be made of ingredients that have a benefit to our bodies and skin, and certainly not those that produce known harmful effects.
Ingredients like PEG (polyethylene glycol), and PG (propylene glycol), phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and synthetic fragrances are all too common in beauty, skin, and hair care products. Though the harmful effects of these additives are well-researched, manufacturers have used and continue to use them in their formulations. Green Beauty is, in part, a response to these practices.
What became known as Green Beauty evolved slowly over time as brands emerged that wanted to make healthier products, and as more and more consumers became aware of the potentially harmful effects some common ingredients have either on the environment or that arise from prolonged use. After developing a familiarity with the harmful effects that these and other ingredients can have both on the body and the environment, manufacturers of beauty products began striving to do better. They began producing beauty and skincare products from naturally sourced, often organically produced, or wild-harvested ingredients.
It bears noting that the term “green” in beauty does not refer to a universally accepted standard for what it means to be a part of the movement or even indicative of it. Green Beauty is generally recognized as a dedication to using sustainable, plant-based and ethically sourced botanicals, as well as green chemistry practices; the movement is also evolving to include bio-identical synthetics.
Depending on whom you ask, Green Beauty might be considered only truly Green when it uses naturally sourced ingredients derived from plant sources. However, some consider synthetically produced but bio-identical ingredients to be as green as their naturally sourced counterparts. Others consider certified organic products as a prerequisite qualification for being listed as a truly “Green” product.
In this and in other areas, there are stringent requirements for qualifying as certified organic. Organic products should not make use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, or other known harmful substances.
Regardless of the yardstick used to qualify a product as Green, the idea here is to produce products that are less harmful to the environment, are created using more sustainable and environmentally sensible practices, and are better for the end-user, that’s us. There’s something else to consider here: the intended uses and benefits of products like these.
Welcoming Cleaner, Greener Ingredients into the Fold
Sometimes the ingredients widely used in Green Beauty are organic and even wild-harvested; at other times, ingredients accepted include synthetically produced compounds that are identical to those found naturally in plants or in the body.
It goes further than recognizing that some synthetics can be harmful to the body and the environment because as the movement has evolved and embraced some beneficial synthetic alternatives alongside naturally produced, plant-based, or organic ingredients, it has actually resulted in the development of superior ingredients that also secure better performance and results.
Previously, Green Beauty had accepted an emphasis solely on botanicals; naturally sourced, organic ingredients derived from plants. Originally, the movement shunned the use of lab-created bio-identical synthetics and other useful compounds that deliver amazing results without posing a risk to health or to the environment.
Green Beauty formulators have increasingly accepted modern, active ingredients into their formulations. Some of these synthetics and alternatives are not sourced from plants and are actually manufactured, but their benefits to the formulas in which they are included, and ultimately to the skin, cannot be underestimated.
Green Beauty has collectively grown from a movement that once used only naturally sourced botanicals to a movement that embraces not only these predecessors but also modern ingredients that drive performance. By accepting and including these modern ingredients (including many in the list to follow) Green Beauty leaders are making skincare products that not only make the grade of the pioneers of the movement – they are better than ever.
There are many ingredients you will be liable to find dispersed throughout our curation of Green Beauty products, including many of the following.
- Retinol: Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that has been widely used in skincare products for its ability to increase cell turnover, resulting in smoother, more even-toned appearing skin. In the past two years, we’ve seen an influx of green beauty brands starting to incorporate retinol into their formulations due to the advancement of cleaner forms of retinol, preserved without BHT. Retinol is a classic hallmark of the progress that Green Beauty has made over the years.
- Bakuchiol: Even though retinol serves as an effective treatment for wrinkles and aging skin, some report certain adverse effects such as redness, dryness and irritation with use. Bakuchiol is plant-derived vitamin A (derived from a legume, babchi or bakuchi seeds) that provides similar or identical results to retinol but with fewer reporting experiences of the aforementioned side effects. For these reasons, as well as that it is plant-derived, bakuchiol has been widely accepted and utilized in Green Beauty
- Synthetic Vitamin C: Vitamin C can be naturally obtained from a variety of sources, but it is also possible to responsibly produce or isolate synthetic vitamin C from plant sources. When synthetics are produced in a responsible, sustainable, cruelty-free manner, they can sometimes be considered green, and even better, bringing along with them the skincare benefits for which the natural ingredients are known. Vitamin C in skincare is well-researched to assist with the production of collagen that fights aging and makes skin appear brighter and firmer.
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: Don’t let the scary name fool you. Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, or THD Ascorbate, is a vitamin C isolate that is both easily absorbed and gentle on the skin. It has been used to great effect in green products; so long as it has been responsibly, sustainably, and consciously sourced, it is an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera comes directly from the succulent Aloe Barbadensis plant. It doesn’t get more green or naturally derived than that. This common ingredient is a natural skin hydrator and can alleviate the symptoms of dry or sunburned skin. It’s also full of beneficial enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C.
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E): Tocopherol is another green ingredient with a complex name that should not warrant caution. It’s a form of vitamin E derived from vegetable oils such as sunflower or safflower oils. Vitamin E is restorative, hydrating, and rejuvenating; it’s also full of antioxidants and can improve skin barrier function.
- Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil: Sea Buckthorn is a plant with orange berries whose oil is well known for its far-reaching benefits in skin care. Sea Buckthorn is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and has been used for centuries to treat skin ailments like sunburn and inflammation. Naturally produced from a plant, this oil fits right into a catalog of Green Beauty
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a small shrub, the berries and roots of which provide extracts that have antibacterial properties as well as antioxidants, both of which may be able to protect and restore your skin.
- Green Tea Extract: Green tea extract in skincare, just as in the green tea we drink, is a powerful antioxidant that is loaded with beneficial, free-radical fighting properties, and may be able to reduce signs of aging.
- Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is often used as a carrier and base for green beauty formulations. It’s well loved for its properties that are similar to the skin’s sebum; it’s easily absorbed into the skin coupled with a richness in antioxidants.
- Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3 that has many sources in nature, including green sources such as some grains, beans, and other vegetables. Vitamin B-3 is instrumental to the production and restoration of keratin that strengthens the skin and it can also help to improve moisture retention and skin barrier function. We’re happy to see green beauty formulators embrace this vitamin in green beauty formulations.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid, which is produced naturally in your body, can also be sourced through a variety of processes from botanical sources. In the lab, hyaluronic acid can be made in varying molecule sizes and weights that can support attracting and retaining moisture in the skin.
- Cucumber Seed Oil: The source of cucumber seed oil may be self-explanatory and its status as a green product certainly is, assuming the cucumbers have been grown organically. As for its benefits, it contains many antioxidants and may help to fight aging as well.
- Emu Apple: The extract of emu apple, a native extract indigenous to Australia. This rare fruit can help with vitamin C absorption and has been studied to naturally hydrate the skin and fight aging. It’s just one of many up and coming skincare superfood ingredients for the skin.
- Cacay Nut Oil: Cacay nut oil, pressed from the nuts of the same name, is easily absorbed by the skin and promotes hydration. It’s also full of a variety of vitamins and antioxidants.
- Astaxanthin: Astaxanthin is an expensive and potent green beauty ingredient. This red sea plant is a naturally occurring potent algae that delivers a uniquely potent value of antioxidant. It’s the ingredient that gives Maya Chia The Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil its rosy color – but it’s also responsible for fighting wrinkles and aging and promoting hydration, among other benefits.
- Bio-Identical Ingredients: In addition to these ingredients mentioned here, Green Beauty has evolved to accept certain synthetically produced bio-identical ingredients that are responsibly produced and provide any of the benefits mentioned throughout this section. Although they’re not naturally derived, bio-identical ingredients are synthetically produced to be exact replicas of their naturally occurring counterparts and are considered a part of the research taking place in green chemistry labs around the world.
Though it would be impossible to create an exhaustive list of ingredients commonly used in Green Beauty products, these are some of the traditional and up-and-coming ingredients that you will find in modern green beauty formulations. However, with the Green Beauty movement, it doesn’t stop with ingredients alone.
Going Beyond Ingredients
Green Beauty is not simply known for the movement’s insistence on using naturally-sourced, plant-based ingredients and equivalent lab-produced bio-identical compounds. It can also be categorized according to a number of other best practices that the movement promotes, all of which have the ultimate goal of fostering healthier living and minimizing our adverse impact on the environment.
Eco-friendly packaging is another hallmark of Green Beauty and is central to diminishing waste. Minimal, recyclable and compostable packaging have become a huge focus for virtually every brand in green beauty and beyond. With the growing awareness of the plastic pollution crisis and global warming all consumer brands are reviewing packaging with a new lens. Green beauty brands, of course, are leading the way, with a head start in being ahead of the current thrust for eco-friendly packaging.
Products that Exemplify the Movement
While there are many products that represent the modernization of the Green Beauty movement, the following are just a few examples of this new wave of green beauty formulation.
Josh Rosebrook’s Active Infusion Oil: Josh Rosebrook’s Active Infusion Oil is full of phytochemicals, vitamins, and antioxidants, and is expertly formulated to lighten, brighten and smooth the appearance of your skin. With vitamin A retinols, jojoba, ashwagandha, green tea extract, and more, it’s both responsibly produced and formulaically-optimized to deliver results.
LILFOX Haute C: LILFOX Haute C is designed to support SPF protection, discourage blemishing, and restore the skin. This blend contains Tetra-C, the most penetrative form of vitamin C, along with blends of niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, aloe, camu camu, bergamot, and a blend of other essential oils. This blend protects and nourishes the skin, even promoting collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!
Mukti Organics Vital B Elixir: With naturally produced hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, aloe vera, cucumber seed oil and a broad range of other Australian native extracts, Mukti Organics Vital B Elixir is a wonderful blend that provides quite a range of benefits. This elixir soothes the skin and fights dryness, decreases the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and can even give skin a balanced feeling of sebum production.
Blüh Alchemy Botanic Retinol: This cell-renewal concentrate contains bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to Retinol that promotes collagen production, evens out skin tone, and is fierce at fighting aging. It also contains a blend of organic and even wild-harvested ingredients that are optimally balanced to fight aging while hydrating and nourishing the skin for overall health.
Lovinah Goddess Glow Bio Retinol Balm: The Lovinah Goddess Glow Bio Retinol Balm is another excellent highlight from our collection of Green products. It’s a special overnight formula fortified with bakuchiol (very similar to retinol) that has been carefully formulated to restore your skin’s natural glow – hence the name. Bakuchiol fights aging and restores your skin’s natural vibrancy and this product is supported by calming licorice along with restorative astaxanthin, moth bean oil, sea buckthorn oil, sunflower oil, vitamin C, and more.
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Green Beauty, like so many movements in the industry, is a living process that is constantly evolving. As we learn more about the benefits of organic ingredients and discover new purposes for them we make artful use of them, without losing sight of the value of safely produced bio-identical compounds and other eco-friendly practices like zero-waste packaging.
The movement continues to be defined by a commitment to utilizing better, healthier, organic ingredients and cutting back on the impact that production and packaging have on the environment. Alongside other natural beauty movements such as Project Blue Beauty, Green Beauty continuously betters the industry. It’s better for the user, better for the environment, and better for the performance of the products themselves.
Like other movements, new developments arise on a steady basis. Make sure you never miss a new process or product when you follow us on our social media accounts – Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, feel free to contact us at email@example.com to learn more about popular trends in eco-conscious beauty like this!