Eco Beauty

Eco-Beauty 101

You ditched the plastic water bottles ages ago, recycle religiously and even adopted vegetarian night twice a week. You’re a regular eco warrior – almost. Next up is the medicine cabinet. But how do you overhaul your beauty routine to keep mama earth happy? Fear not. There are tons of eco-friendly beauty products out there – from hand soap to lip cream, hair care to cosmetics – that make it easy to go green without sacrificing results. Here are a few of our favorites.

In the Shower

KORRES Shower Gel

KORRES Modern Green Apothecary is the brainchild of a homeopathic pharmacist and a chemical engineer, both of whom shared a vision of products that were environmentally and skin-friendly with clinically proven efficacy. The KORRES skincare line includes moisturizers, overnight treatments, serums, eye creams, cleansers and scrubs, plus body lotions, shower gels and after-sun care. The ingredient list sounds positively edible – black pine for its firming properties, wild rose for brightening and even Greek Yoghurt (very nourishing, apparently).

The company’s commitment to eco-friendly formulations is evident in every product. The natural content percentage ranges between 80 to 99 percent and they avoid the use of fillers and synthetic preservatives like silicone, parabens, mineral oil and propylene glycol. KORRES is against animal testing, all packaging is recyclable and the company is committed to recycling internally wherever possible.

Creamy and luxurious, these shower gels are formulated with emollients and humectants for serious moisturizing, plus ingredients to smooth, soften and reduce inflammation. Beautiful scents like Japanese rose, basil lemon, vanilla guava, fig, white grape and others make them even better. Check out White Grape – straight from the vineyards of Santorini to your shower.

Yaro Shampoo & Conditioner
Yarok Shampoo & Conditioner

Yarok is Hebrew for “green,” and that’s the theme behind this line of organic hair care. The idea is shampoo, conditioner, hair masques, styling and finishing products that work just as well as their synthetic-laden counterparts, with the smallest possible negative impact on our planet. From packaging to products, daily operations to company partnerships, Yarok puts the environment first. Refreshing, right?

Botanicals for the company’s products are “consciously sourced and responsibly harvested,” and the entire line is free of parabens, sulfates and alcohol. They never test on animals. Product labels are made of 80% non-GMO corn, which is the most eco-friendly non-paper waterproof material around. It’s just one more way that Yarok is reducing its carbon footprint.

Whether you’re looking for extra moisture or a volume boost, Yarok has your head covered. Luxurious shampoos and conditioners promise to feed your hair and scalp with an aromatic mix of flowers, herbs and essential oils. See? No need to compromise, even when you’re putting the planet first.

For your Face

Tarte Sunscreen
Tarte Cosmetics Sunscreen Lotion

Tarte got its start when a self-proclaimed beauty addict became fed up with the “unhealthy, icky stuff” on the market – and its unglamorous packaging. She set out to build a line of cosmetics and skincare that was cruelty-free, eco-chic and awesome. The full makeup line includes products for the complexion, cheeks, eyes and lips, and there’s skincare too – a neck treatment, eye cream, face masks, bronzers, self-tanners and more.

The company continues to focus on products and formulations that are naturally derived – no parabens, mineral oil, tricolsan, synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, or even gluten – without sacrificing performance. As for pretty packaging, tarte uses sustainable components that can often be re-used, minimizing environmental waste. The company also supports cooperatives in the Amazon rainforest.

Tarteguard is a non-chemical, broad spectrum sunscreen lotion designed to defend your skin. Oh, and with red algae, apple and honeysuckle extracts and maracuja, this SPF 30 powerhouse is moisturizing, brightening and invigorating as well. It’s recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation for everyday use and, like all tarte products, created with an eye to the environment.

Yes To Carrots Balm
Yes to Carrots Color Balm

Two guys with an idea to launch a super-natural beauty line derived from fruits and veggies – that’s how YES TO got its start. The global leader in the natural beauty product world promises at least 95 percent natural ingredients in all its products, and for YES TO, that means ingredients that are made or come from renewable resources found in nature. They’re also cruelty-free and a proud member of the Leaping Bunny Program, meaning they’ll test their stuff on friends and family, but never on animals.

YES TO has an extensive product list, and you’ll find their stuff at the big name stores (think Whole Foods) and the little mom and pop shops too. Collections vary – Yes to Carrots, Yes to Blueberries, Yes to Tomatoes, Yes to Coconut, Yes to Cucumbers and much more – and they have products for your face, body, hair, lips, even your baby.

Lightly tinted, glossy and nourishing, this lip balm is packed with jojoba and sunflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter, vitamin E and yes, carrot root extract. It’s 99 percent natural, with no petroleum or parabens and it’s a lovely, sheer shade of peach

On the Body

msc scrub
MSC Skincare + Home Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

Handmade in Brooklyn and jumpstarted by an owner who grew up with a “fear of being ‘the smelly kid’ ” and a love for skincare and beauty products, MSC Skincare + Home is good stuff. Artisan soaps, lotions, scrubs, moisturizers, toners and cleansers are all produced from sustainable and renewable ingredients (and specifically no palm oil because of the impact its harvest has on rainforests and orangutan habitats) and without the help of animals (all vegan, baby). All packaging is recyclable, and that extends to shipping materials too.

Sugar, sunflower oil, shea butter, essential oils – and that’s about it. Go with Sandalwood & Cinnamon for a warming essential oil blend, Lemongrass & Lavender for something invigorating, or Grapefruit & Spearmint, one of the company’s most requested scent combinations. Whichever you choose, these intensive scrubs are perfect for exfoliating the body (and particularly feet, elbows and other rough spots), and they come prettily packaged in recyclable jars.