By the end of the 20th century, chemists, in response to the awareness of the impact of toxic compounds and the consumer concerns, started to form a new way of understanding science and technology; the result was the principles now known as green chemistry. These principles have been developed to consider and continually advance the prevention of waste and pollution, offering safer and more ecological alternatives to hazardous chemicals, the use of renewable raw materials and optimizing efficiency. To me, the green chemistry revolution is a vast opportunity for innovation and the advancement of cosmetic chemistry.
Over a decade and another lifetime ago, I knew Begoña Sanjuan as a master international educator, and she knew me as a Spa Director. We collaborated on several different events, and I always marveled at her depth of knowledge and passion for her work. Imagine my deja vu and delight when I connected with her again, this time each founders of our own companies. AYUNA skincare was founded by Begoña and her business partner Isabel Ramos, a scientist and master formulator. With over 40 years combined experience in skincare and spa, the two Spain-based beauty veterans created the AYUNA skincare line on the premise of “skin fasting”, a scientifically-sound practice of feeding skin only what it needs, essentially starving it of toxins, inflammatories and overstimulation.
If you have the fortune to meet Axiology Founder, Ericka Rodriguez, in person, you’ll quickly learn that for this California-born beauty, she’s not into playing small. A vegan since her tween years, Ericka has been an advocate against animal cruelty for as long as she can remember, using her voice to protect the voiceless. She also had a mad crush on lipstick, amassing a collection of shades to pair with her current mood. Imagine her shock when she realized many of her favorite brands tested on animals and even contained animal byproducts. She turned her anger into action and set out to create the most comfortable, wearable, sustainable lipstick on the planet, starting with small batches from her kitchen.
There’s no question about it: Natural beauty is booming, and in the grand scheme of things, this is a very good thing for all of us. It signals a movement towards greater awareness, discernment, transparency and advocacy. It’s pushing conventional personal care companies to clean up their act, and even if they never win clean beauty awards, they’re making progress in the right direction, removing the most harmful ingredients and trumpeting their green initiatives, steering the masses to consider natural the new normal. It’s a sign of the times – we’re waking up and demanding better quality from brands. Yay, us.But, let’s be honest. We also know that natural is loosely defined, and since greenwashing is so much easier than becoming a natural beauty formulator, many brands have mastered the “look and feel” of natural, but don’t have the formula integrity to back it up. So, while they may get to hang out with the pros in the Naturals section, they haven’t earned their stripes.
When I stumble upon a new skincare or beauty brand, I start with Why. “Why did this Founder have to create this brand?” More often than not, there’s a compelling story that captivates me, and I immediately want to share it with the Beauty Heroes Tribe. But, when I first discovered LINNÉ Botanicals, my first question wasn’t Why?; it was How? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how this founder created a brand so luxurious, with formulas that were as unique as they were effective. LINNÉ Botanicals was unlike anything else I’ve come across. In fact, when I first applied this month’s Hero product duo, PURIFY Face Wash and ACTIVATE Body Wash, I told Jenna Levine, the Founder of LINNÉ Botanicals, that I simply could not choose between the two! They were both Hero worthy and I felt they both deserved the spotlight. So, in the first time in Beauty Heroes history, we celebrate a double feature Beauty Discovery that is pure, effective and unique.
Susan Jane White isn’t just our newest Brand Ambassador, she is my newest health and wellness inspiration and Hero. The former President of the Oxford University gastronomy society, journalist, cookbook author and long-time Beauty Heroes subscriber and fan has been connecting food, health and beauty in the most delightful ways with her wit, sass and deliriously delicious approach to healthy living. She brings a heaping serving of humor to the table and the page every time, helping us all take it all just a little less serious so we can get back into the true joy of healthy cooking. I highly recommend her two wheat, dairy and gluten-free cookbooks Tasty. Naughty. Healthy. Nice and The Virtuous Tart that are both chock full of inventive and approachable recipes and are even more fun to read than they are to prepare. Can you tell, I’m a fan? I know you will be too, just watch, read on and enjoy meeting Susan Jane White.
Indie Beauty Expo, known in the industry as simply iBE, has quickly evolved into one of the most exciting and engaging consumer beauty events in our industry. Co-founded by Jillian Wright and Nader Nayemi-Rad, the event puts a spotlight on … Continued
Svetlana Zakharevich, Founder of GRESSA, is the first to tell you there’s no such thing as a miracle in a jar, which makes her stunning beauty and lit from-within, radiant skin seem even more enviable, because you know she comes by it honestly. In fact, Svetlana has dedicated her career to demystifying healthy, glowing skin. While earning her PreMed degree, she discovered that the topic of nutrition was barely broached, so she pursued degrees in natural sciences in biochemistry to offset this gap in her education. What she learned through her studies is that total body wellness begins in the gut through a healthy diet and a balanced biome. A love for all things glamorous happily collided with her passion for science, and she set out on a mission to formulate products to highlight and support healthy skin. Her skincare-first makeup line is a range of natural skincare and color formulations that nourish the complexion, illuminate its best features and wears like a second skin. With each product taking years to perfect, Svetlana takes us behind the scenes and reveals her inspiration for her brand and shares the philosophy that has made GRESSA a cult-favorite among the most discerning audience – celebrities, makeup artists and beauty editors. Meet Svetlana.
19 Green Beauty Brands We Fell In Love With at the Indie Beauty Expo
In the Venn Diagram that is green and indie beauty, the overlap is fairly large. After all, what could be more natural than a mom-and-pop shop or oils mixed up in one’s own kitchen? But these all-natural, indie brands that we fell in love with at this year’s Indie Beauty Expo in New York City are not simple, homemade concoctions sold at regional farmers’ markets (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but these are some truly sophisticated, high-tech, luxurious products that just happen to be made by smaller companies, run by pioneers, families, and some truly inspiring women on a mission.
By now, we’ve all heard about the myriad benefits of antioxidants in food and skincare. We know that the vibrant reds, oranges, purples and blues in our fruits and veggies equal antioxidant potency, and we know that ‘free radicals’ are … Continued