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Truth In Aging's mantra has always been that the products we like have to (1) show visible results that we've seen with our own eyes (2) are backed by clinical trials and consumer tests and (3) do no evil to us or the planet. It is a tall order to find products that aren't full of necessary evils such as harmful preservatives or the unnecessary evils of chemicals and fillers. Happily, however, cosmetics are getting greener and there are some great brands that seem to live by mantras that are a little like our own. So, this Earth Day, here are some of the companies that we salute.
REN Clean Bio-Active Skincare is not my first choice for anti-aging potions and lotions, but they make great cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. The full range of this English company's goodies isn't available in the US, but when you do find something - such as the Moringa Seed Micro-protein shampoo - expect it be full of intelligently chosen botanicals.
Talking of moringa seed, this is well worth a quick digression since it almost qualifies to be Earth Day's emblematic plant. The moringa tree is native to northern India. Packed with an abundance of potassium, iron, vitamin A and other nutrients, it is quite remarkable. Its leaves (which, unusually for a tree, are pure protein), pods and flowers have seven times the vitamin C found in oranges, four times the vitamin A of carrots and three times the potassium of bananas. Some people believe that if you planted enough of them, moringas could be the solution for world hunger. In addition to all of this, moringa seeds have been used for centuries to purify water. And it gets better. Moringa is jammed with a cytokinin called zeatin. Cytokinins are plant hormones that help cells divide and protect against oxidation. Zeatin is the most powerful of all cytokinins. According to a 2004 Danish study, zeatin helps promote small cell size, a key component to more youthful skin. Go moringa!
Back to REN for a second. I also really like their Zostera Marina cleanser. This is a gentle, creamy cleanser that dry skins will purr for. And Niall recommends REN's Ultracalm cleanser for sensitive skins. All of REN's products are designed to live up to the company's 'five principles': right ingredients, right science, right product experience, right environmental impact, right attitude.
Jimmy put us on to Pangea Organics. The packaging is almost better that what's inside, reflecting the eco-friendly mentality of Pangea. All of their product boxes are made using a zero-waste process that mashes 100% post-consumer paper (without glues or dyes) with organic seeds. So instead of throwing it away, you can soak the box in water then plant it in the earth. Now that redefines land fill!
Pangea believes that a company and its products should be guided by the same thing, "integrity". Whenever you buy a Pangea product, a portion of profits go to the Pangea Institute, which researches and teaches sustainable living and working practices. And there are plenty of things to buy. We have especially liked the Massage and Body Oil with jojoba seed oil and cardamon (the package comes with sweet basil seeds ready to plant), the jack-of-all-trades mask with matcha tea, acai and goji berry, and the shower gel with white sage, geranium and yarrow.
Suki tries to "lead the evolution in responsible & ethical practices that will positively affect the world around us" and adds "we will continue to search for new information, helping us all demand the very best for ourselves and our environment". The cosmetic formulas are a 100% organic with cutting edge actives so that these are potions that work. I can testify that the Intensive Complexion Brightening Cream is an effective freckle fader. The Lemongrass Exfoliating Cleanser is a must have, in my opinion.
Busters might sound unashamedly like a guy's guy brand. And it is. But that doesn't inhibit it from being one of the first all-organic male grooming lines that we've come across. Buster’s Organic Face Moisturizer Peptide Complex is one for the record books, as it’s completely original (challenge to anyone who can find another men’s-based moisturizer with peptides as the main concentration). Jimmy really liked Mineral Face Wash with a soft burst of essential oils and ocean minerals that, according to Jimmy, send your skin "straight to nourish heaven".
Lisa led us to Bryce Organics with her review of the California Meyer Lemon Facial Scrub. Although almost disqualified for the appalling music on their website, Bryce deserves accolades for a simple range of nice products that in their own words: "have NO toxic chemicals, parabens, fillers, preservatives or additional additives. Period." Lisa swears the scrub puts her in a good mood in the morning and she loves it so much that she practically eats. This is very much an artisinal, up-coming brand and we look forward to seeing much more of it.