Ethical beauty products
If you feel guilty when you splurge on a new lipstick or moisturiser, you'll be pleased to hear some beauty brands are giving back by supporting good causes.
My Beauty Emporium has compiled a guide to six of the best ethical beauty brands, the positive work they're doing and which must-have product you should buy to support the effort.
1. Supporting women in Morocco
- The brand: Masters of the highest quality Moroccan Argan oil products, Katima'A, use oil extracted by hand by a co-operative of Berber women in Agadir. Each Katima'A product imparts just the right amount of Argan oil to optimise moisture levels and repair damage to skin and hair.
- The charity: Katima'A are pioneers in aiding the preservation of the UNESCO biosphere and in creating fair trade conditions for the Berber women in Morocco who produce the Argan Oil used in their skin and hair care products. They also work with local populations in Morocco to ensure that the Argan forest is protected in order to create a sustainable supply of Argan oil to provide long-term financial independence for the Berber women.
- The product: Katima'A Stardust Body Oil, £27.95, is one of the brands 'hero' products. This shimmering dry oil smells delicious and leaves skin softly scented and with a delicate sheen. Apply a few drops to hair for extra gloss.
2. Promoting horse riding for the disabled
- The brand: Childs Farm is the only dedicated Argan oil-based product range for children in the world. Revered for its skin and hair-enhancing properties, Argan Oil is high in antioxidants and is brilliant for restoring moisture, as well as being highly beneficial for all skin types. Designed for children, Childs Farm shampoos, conditioners and body washes are 100% organic and free from petroleum and paragons.
- The charity: Every time you buy a Childs Farm product, 10% of the profits go to The Riding For the Disabled Association (RDA), a brilliant charity which raises money to help 30,000 people in the UK take part in horse riding and carriage driving activities.
- The product: Childs Farm Groomed To Perfection Shampoo, £4.99, is a delicious daily shampoo designed for children, (that you will inevitably steal). It smells of strawberry and mint and detangles hair brilliantly.
3. Saving the planet
- The brand: Caudalie have chalked up an impressive 15 years worth of experience in patented formulas that comprise natural grape and vine extracts. Every product benefits from high levels of potent antioxidants, including polyphenols, grape-seed oil and viniferine, ensuring that skin glows with renewed vitality – and that fine lines and wrinkles are diminished significantly.
- The charity: From 2012, Caudalie founders, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, joined the '1% for the Planet' Association, where 1% of their turnover worldwide goes toward implementing environmental projects across the globe.
- The product: Inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary's Elixir of Youth, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, £32, is a combination of scented plant extracts, including bitter orange, rosemary, mint, grape and peppermint. This facial spritz works as a pre-make-up primer, as well as boosting radiance, diminishing fine lines and toning skin. Spray on to cleanse skin, then apply make-up and glow.
4. Raising funds for ovarian cancer
- The brand: British brand Laidbare was founded by experienced cosmetics expert Sarah Silvester. Her dream was to create an effective, affordable, natural skincare range based on plant, fruit and herbal extracts.
- The charity: Ovarian cancer affects over 7,000 women in the UK each year, and is the fifth most common cancer in females. Laidbare is supporting Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by donating a percentage of sales in its natural skincare range from 1 March to the end of April 2013. £1 from each sale of Laidbare's From Dusk Till Dawn Vitamin C Serum, Tantastic Natural Tan and DIY! Two in One Cleanser & Toner will be donated to ovarian cancer charities.
- The product: With a formulation that contains liquorice, aloe vera and Apple Secret Extract to protect skin cells, DIY! Two in One Cleanser & Toner, £5.99, is a versatile cleanser and toner which leaves skin squeaky clean, toned and hydrated. It also contains brazil nut extract, a powerful antioxidant and astringent that conditions, nourishes and repairs the skin.
5. Protecting our oceans and environment
- The brand: The natural fragrance and beauty brand, Pacifica, was created by Brook Harvey Taylor who became obsessed with scent after reading Tom Robbin's novel, Jitterbug Perfume. She started blending kitchen spices at an early age and moved on to scented candles, which she and her photographer husband Billy created collaboratively after travelling extensively across America. Formulated with all-natural, safe and sustainable ingredients, Pacifica's fragrance, bath and body range has reached cult status in the US and now, in the UK.
- The charity: Pacifica has partnered with marine legend Jean-Michel Cousteau and his charity, Ocean Futures Society (OFS). OFS aims to explore the ocean and to inspire and educate people to act responsibly for its protection. It has also brought issues such as the danger of flame retardant chemicals to both marine mammals and children to the attention of international governments. Pacifica will not only donate 1% of proceeds from product sales, but also to have zero waste in their factory, to use local suppliers and to ensure that packaging is 100% recyclable.
- The product: Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Wash, £9.50, is a creamy body wash that cleanses and moisturises gently, effectively and fragrantly. A real tropical treat for all the senses.
6. Sourcing materials ethically
- The brand: One of the most sought-after nail polish brands in the world, Priti NYC, is also non-toxic, organic and ethically sourced. Even the bottle is 100% recyclable.
- The charity: Priti NYC supports organic farmers with the aim of decreasing the amount of chemicals contaminating the earth and its inhabitants. Founder Kim D'amato also collaborates with other socially conscious companies and charities, including Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation, Group for the East End's Ecofabulous, and Teens Turning Green to develop a private label polish exclusively for Whole Foods Market in the US.
- The product: There's barely a nail polish that we don't crave from Priti NYC's rainbow palette, but right now we're loving Priti NYC Snapdragon, £8.95. This vibrant red/orange shade is ideal for drawing attention to short, neat nails, whatever the weather.
Karena Callen is creative and beauty director of www.mybeautyemporium.com. Additional research by Kate Alexander.