Natural Selection

With Earth Day approaching, consider some of these eco-awesome beauty products

It’s April already, and with Earth Day approaching, I have an excuse to rethink my current product rotation and start exploring some uniquely sourced natural ingredients. The trend to go natural doesn’t seem to be slowing down: On a recent stroll through Sephora and Space NK, I noticed more shelf space devoted to toxin-free products that promise the same health and vitality as their high-tech counterparts do without the unpronounceable chemical nasties (parabens, triclosan, formaldehyde, sulfates, glycols, and even talc).

I spoke with Tata Harper, founder of eponymous natural skin and body care line, via email. “I find that women today are increasingly in tune with their overall health and wellness, and are becoming more aware of the link between what we do every day and how we feel,” she says. “As soon as your eyes open, as a consumer, to the idea that the products you use and the food you eat play an active role in how healthy you are, it’s hard to go back.”

The skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs a large percentage of whatever you put on it, which makes me think twice about everything I use. Now, I get hooked reading about internationally fair trade ingredients, which guarantee that strict economic, social, and environmental criteria were met in the production and sale of ingredients like butters, oils, honey, and plant extracts. Today, we see a slew of naturally sourced elements like kakadu plum and algae extracts on labels, or else ones that emphasize the beauty of raw materials, like the hand-harvested actives found on Tata’s own 1200-acre farm in Vermont’s Champlain Valley.  

Sometimes these products can be worth the price. “They are almost always more expensive than their synthetic alternatives, because they’re delicate and require a lot of careful quality control,” says Harper. If you’re anything like me and spend a good chunk of your paycheck at Whole Foods, consider some of these eco-awesome beauty picks for the face, body, and hair that allow you to give your skin a chemical-free breather.

A native Angeleno, Navdeep Mundi is a Leo, hates cilantro, and has studied beauty products for more than 18 years. She spends her days directing media and strategy and her nights sniffing out slightly quirky yet impeccably pretty things along with her German Shepherd, Le Tigre.