10 Organic Skin Care Brands That Give Back To Society And The Environment.

As consumers, we’re concerned about whether the brands we purchase from are actually making a positive impact on society. We want to be sure that they’re enriching the lives of people and are taking excellent care of our environment while they’re at it.

These natural and organic skin care brands are not just creating products that are great and safe for our bodies, they’re also making the world a better place!

1. Caudalie: This brand was founded by Mathilde Thomas and her husband Betrand in Bordeaux, France. Their products are all based on vines and grapes. They give back to the environment by donating 1% of their annual world-wide sales to the 1% for the Planet charity movement. Caudalie has committed to working with “Coeur de Forêt” to protect the region of the Alto Huayabamba river, planting a total of 150,000 trees as at the end of 2012 and hundreds of thousands more since then. Partnering with the Nordesta Organization, they also plan to reintroduce endemic bees into the Gilbues region in Brazil.

2. Green People: It started out as a mother searching for an answer to her daughters skin issues and is now a company with a complete range of certified organic products. Apart from using fair traded ingredients, 10% of its net profit is donated to charitable purposes. Green people has worked with charities such as Penny Brohn Cancer Care which helps people live with the impact of cancer and the Chestnut Tree House which provides special palliative care for children and adolescents with life limiting conditions.

3. Fushi: World renowned for their organic, cold pressed and unrefined oils, Fushi is an ethical beauty company whose products are a 100% percent natural, ethical and even suitable for vegetarians. As a recipient of the Ethical Award by the ECO for their commitment to protecting the people, animals and environment, Fushi does not shy away from doing its part in making a better world. Through their support of Tree Aid (a charity dedicated to helping villagers in the drylands of Africa to reduce poverty), women in Africa are being trained to set up small businesses using trees. The women are also taught how to harvest and process Shea nuts, giving them a sustainable source of independent income.

4. Honest: Honest is more than just an organic skin care company, they also have a range of baby care, cleaning and feminine care products. This company does not have a shortage of goodness it has contributed to society. Honest has worked with an large number of organization in their quest to make thee world a safer and better place. Some of them are: Mount Sinai Hospital – creating the Honest Company Ultra Clean Room dedicated to research aimed at reversing the rise of childhood chronic illness and developmental disability, Max Love Project- helping children faced with childhood cancer; Safe Kids Coalition, Girls Who Code and Food Corps.

5. MyChelle Dermaceuticals: MyChelle is a cruelty free, vegetarian company that approaches natural skin care from a very science advanced perspective. It has a “MyGiving Initiative” focused on promoting women’s empowerment. It has, over the past 15 years supported various organizations such as the Woman’s Bean Project, Harmony Foundation and The Young Survival Coalition that help women realize their potential with access to educational and health services.

6. Nourish Organic: In 2003, Nourish, the world’s first USDA certified organic skin care was launched. Steadfast in creating vegan and gluten free skin care products, Nourish Organic also has a very driven statement on giving back that’s inspiring.
“As citizens of the world, we believe it’s important to give back when and where we can, especially to our community and to what we believe to be some of the world’s most important causes”.
The Women’s Center, Association for the Blind, City Rescue Mission, Meals on Wheels, World Vision and the Salvation Army are some of the organizations they contribute to and work closely with.

7. Kahina Giving Beauty: It is a niche beauty brand with a minimalist aesthetic that has all of it’s products centred on Argan oil from Morocco. Kahina Giving Beauty donates 25% of the profits from their products to the Berber women of Morocco who extract the oil. In conjunction with Education For All (EFA) and The High Atlas foundation education, literacy and job creation is furthered for these women. Their products are also fastidiously produced aiming toward cultural and environmental sustainability, using ethically and sustainably sourced raw materials.

8. Dr Bronner: Popularly known for it’s castille soap, Dr Bronner has an excellent array of face and body care products available. According to Dr Bronner, “We have always and will continue to dedicate our profits to supporting positive development projects that improve and enrich people’s quality of life”, and it also definitely done so! The company has built schools and orphanages in Mexico, china and Haiti. It has donated over a thousand two hundred acres of land to the San Diego County Boys and Girls club. It is also involved in activism for fair trade, increased living wage, organic integrity and other worthy causes.


9. Boerlind: This brand is a family enterprise whose products are based on plant extracts. Vegan, Boerlind also uses its own Black Forest deep spring water which is free from chlorine and other chemicals. Annemarie Boerlind goes beyond fair trade in its social responsibilities. It supports families in Siokoro, Mali by providing financial subsidies to the Shea butter plant situated there. In 2014, it planted a tree in Mali for every body butter sold. It even donated money to build a boy’s hostel in Bangladesh for children to whom transportation to school posed a huge problem.

10. Organic Surge: This brand sells a very affordable variety of natural body and hair care products. It’s ethos revolves around individual products, natural formulas and charitable links. Organic surge has made numerous donations geared at creating educational scholarships in Kenyan schools. Organic Surge has also been a huge sponsor of the Baby Care Unit in Kenya Children’s Home, Nairobi since 2009. It also recently started sponsorship of Mercy Ships, a hospital ship NGO that provides free state of the art medical care to places in Africa with little or no access to healthcare.


What You Need To Know About Natural Skin Care Tools

What you need to know about Natural Skin Care Tools

Great skin is gotten from a combination of the right products and tools. Incorporating the use of organic skin care tools into your routine can have wonderful effects on your skin. From konjac sponges to muslin cloths, here are the things you need to know about these tools before you purchase them:

  1. Konjac Sponges: Taken from the root of the konyaku potato plant, the Japanese have been using it for over a century in skin care and medicine. Working as an exfoliant, the Konjac sponge should be used while cleansing (face or body) either with a bit of your cleanser, or on its own. It’s gentle enough for babies and even the most sensitive of skin.

Benefits: Konjac sponges are reputed to help with acne, eczema, skin rashes and ingrown hair.. According to the Konjac Sponge Company The unique net like structure of the vegetable fibres helps to stimulate blood flow and promote skin cell renewal.”

You can buy them infused with different ingredients that work for different skin issues. The green coloured ones are usually infused with green clay to draw out impurities and control oil, while black ones are usually infused with charcoal to help deep cleanse pores and target acne. They are super affordable but need to be replaced roughly every 3 months.

The Konjac plant is highly sustainable, so you shouldn’t be worried about the impact it’s harvest has on our environment. The sponges are also 100% bio degradable,, which means that you can toss the old one in your garden when you replace it.

Try out the pink clay sponge from The Konjac Sponge Company and Julep’s Konjac cleansing sponge.

  1. Body Brushes: They’ve been around for a long time but just really started gaining mainstream popularity in the last decade.

Benefits: Skin brushes help to soften and improve the appearance of your skin. Their benefits go deeper than the skin’s surface though, They also help to increase muscle tone, detoxify skin and better distribute fat deposits. An added plus is that dry skin brushing is relaxing and can relieve stress.

Body brushes with plant bristles are the best choice for dry exfoliation, unlike synthetic bristles which may damage your skin. They also last longer. When choosing a natural body brush, you should get one with a long (detachable) handle for over all easy reach of your back and feet. Body brushes come in different bristle strengths, like hard, medium and soft, so you should use brushes whose strengths you’re comfortable with.

Dry brushing isn’t the only way to use body brushes though, they can also be used wet while you’re taking a bath. You should get a brush with boar bristles for this as they’re water resistant.

Note: Avoid brushing areas with open wounds, sun burns or varicose veins. You also shouldn’t use body brushes on genitals or freshly shaven skin.

Try Elemis’ Home Detox Skin Brush and Hydrea London’s Olive Wood Bath Brush

  1. Organic Muslin Cloths: These are cloths made from 100% natural and unbleached cotton. They are generally used to remove cleansers and exfoliate the skin. Organic muslin cloths are very environmental friendly for two reasons. Firstly, they’re grown without toxic chemical inputs. Secondly, they’re reusable.

Benefits: A muslin cloth is great for brightening the complexion because it removes dead skin cells and unclogs your pores. It helps you save money and time as it converts your regular face wash/cleanser into an exfoliating one. Meaning you can rinse and scrub at once and you don’t have to waste money on synthetic exfoliating scrubs. It can also be used for facial steaming and to remove make-up and face masks.

Muslin cloths’ open weave allows it to dry quickly and prevent bacteria growth, making it better than a regular face cloth.

Try Dr Hauschka’s Organic Muslin Compress and Pai’s Organic Muslin Face Cloth

4 Reasons Why Homemade Vitamin C Serum Is A No-No.

Vitamin C in serums (creams and toners too) can be very good for your skin, from sun protection to fading dark spots to anti-ageing. It can even help boost collagen production. So it’s a given that most women would want to have a skin care product that contains vitamin C. The minor problem with this is that most vitamin C serums on the market are a bit pricey. Scratch that, they can be VERY pricey. Looking for alternative means to still get that ‘Vit C-goodness’ might lead you to discover guidelines for DIY or home-made Vitamin C serums online. The instructions and ingredients needed for them are so simple and easy to find that you wonder why you ever considered shelling out a lot of hard-earned cash for the ones in store.
What you need to know is that Vitamin C is a very tricky ingredient to work with and if you aren’t a cosmetic chemist, you have no business working with it. Here are the major reasons why home made vitamin c serums can be potentially irritating or just plain ineffective
1. Wrong Carrier: Most home-made vitamin c serums instruct you to put the l-ascorbic acid powder or vitamin c tablets in water. They ask you to stir or wait till its dissolved completely. Bad news: that’s almost completely pointless. Once you apply that solution to your skin, the vitamin c will crystallize back and will therefore be unable to penetrate your skin. Which means you won’t be getting any of its benefits. More detailed recipes might tell you to mix it in alcohol or glycerin which will make it water soluble, but it still won’t be able to pass through your skin barriers very well. It still won’t deliver the amount of benefits that a professionally formulated serum would.

2. Oxidation: Yes, vitamin C can ‘go bad’. Once it starts to turn yellow or brown-ish it means it’s oxidizing and is rapidly losing its effectiveness. Sunlight., air, heat and water can all destabilize vitamin c . There are different types of Vitamin C actives: l-ascorbic acid, ester C (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate), ascorbyl palmitate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. L-ascorbic acid is the most effective form of vitamin c. It is also the most unstable one. To have a fully effective and safe DIY vitamin c serum made with l-ascorbic acid, you would have to make new batches of it every day or even more frequently. Properly formulated serums add anti-oxidants such as ferulic acid that have stabilizing effects or they cover the vitamin c in protective coating (microencapsulation). Also, improper storage of vitamin c affects its stability. You can’t just put it in any container you find in your house. It should be stored in dark glass bottles (and preferably in the fridge).

3. Not enough ingredients: While Vitamin C can be very effective and beneficial to the skin. It is not a miracle ingredient. Most home-made vitamin c serum recipes just contain 2 or 3 ingredients: water l-ascorbic acid and/or gylcerin. Professionally crafted vitamin c serums incorporate many other beneficial ingredients into their serums. For example, in combination with vitamin c: ferulic acid increases photoprotection, vitamin E enhances UVB protection. They also add great ingredients like oils and plant extracts.

4. The wrong PH: Our skin’s natural Ph is around 5.5. Because it is acidic, L-ascorbic acid must be formulated at pH levels less than 3.5 to enter the skin properly. Most home-made vitamin c serums will not be formulated at the right pH. When it is mixed with water at about a 5% concentration,the pH of L-ascorbic acid is somewhere around 2.2 to 2.5, which is way too low and could irritate the skin and/or sensitize it to the sun. Most commercially available serums are formulated at a ph between 2.9 – 3.4. That’s the perfect range for effective penetration.

A lot could go wrong if you try to make your own vitamin C serum in your kitchen. It’s safer for you to buy a professionally made one. There are a lot of effective serums on the market. Word of mouth and reading reviews of people with similar skin types to yours should help you choose the right vitamin c serum. This is because they vary in the vitamin c concentrations they contain and also in the other ingredients added to them.

Note: Vitamin C products do not work well for everyone. Even if formulated by the best cosmetic chemists in the world, it may still cause redness, stinging, irritation or allergic reactions for those with extremely sensitive skin.