Lifestyle & Family

Sustainable skin care: Keeping your skin and the environment clean

It can be a challenge to buy skin care products that are both good for your skin and environmentally conscious. 

According to PwC Canada, more than 42 per cent of Canadians try to avoid plastic where possible and buy products with less packaging.

Maintaining a green business can be difficult for skin care brands when it comes to packaging and shipping.

These Ontario-based skin care businesses are dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint without sacrificing the quality of their products. 

Birch Babe 

Based in Bon Echo, Birch Babe is a plant-based cosmetic brand made with natural ingredients. Its entire line is vegan, sulfate-free, beeswax-free, and gluten-free.

Birch Babe’s eco-friendly efforts were inspired by the environmentally-conscious habits of people living in the Patagonia region of South America, according to the brand’s website.

Creative director Kelsey Irvine said Birch Babe is dedicated to limiting its plastic usage. More than 95 per cent of its products are plastic-free. 

She added the product she’s most proud of is the All Natural Plastic-Free Mineral Sunscreen. It is an SPF 30 sunscreen made with 100 per cent minerals.

Irvine said “It’s kid and marine [life] safe, goes on almost clear, feels smooth, soft on the skin and not sticky. It’s also made in Canada with ethically sourced ingredients.”

Photo Courtesy of Anastasia Creative (Birch Babe)

Skin Essence Organics

Skin Essence Organics is North America’s longest established certified organic skincare brand. The company is based in Kingston.

According to its website, Skin Essence Organics was first developed when the use of organic oils and extracts was still uncommon. 

Its product lines include cleansers, exfoliators, moisturizers and treatments. These products are packaged with paper from sustainable forests and recyclable bottles.

Skin Essence Organics prides itself in its eco-friendly and sustainable efforts by using paper from sustainable forests and recyclable bottles. 

Co-founder David Brooke said one of the company’s most popular products is the E-cream.

The E-cream is a soothing skin balm with anti-inflammatory benefits that can help people with eczema and rosacea symptoms.

Bare Butter

Bare Butter is a Black woman-owned skincare business based in Toronto. 

The vegan and cruelty-free brand caters to all skin types. It produce skincare with a minimal amount of ingredients. 

Founder Moyo Soji said “These products were curated with so much love and care to ensure there are options for every type of skin.”

She added, “We use unrefined butter and oils to ensure that natural benefits are being kept.”

The product line includes body butters, scrubs, and buff bars that moisturize, brighten and smooth the skin. 

Each product is available in a range of scents such as lavender, oats and honey. There are also unscented products for people with scent sensitivities.

The business also has a recycling program where customers living in the Greater Toronto Area can return their empty jars. 

 Once customers return their jars, they can receive a 10 per cent discount on their next purchase. Returning 10 jars earns customers a free refill.

Soji said she personally recommends the body butter products. 

 The shea butter protects skin during cold winter months, the cocoa butter is high in fatty acids and the mango butter can soothe eczema. 

Photo Courtesy of Bare Butter

Soko Natural Beauty Canada

Yudi Bucaram grew up surrounded by cocoa farmers in Ecuador. This led her to start her cocoa butter-based product line Soko Natural Beauty Canada as a way to share the benefits of cocoa. 

According to its website, the company imports its cocoa from Cofina S.A. in Ecuador. 

It also states that Soko Natural Beauty Canada is committed to preserving and planting cocoa production to ensure the cocoa is top quality. 

The products include soap, body butter, face care, and even cocoa butter products for children. 

All of its products have recyclable packaging. Bucaram said the brand is are researching glass packaging to avoid the use of plastic.

Bucaram said she takes pride in the brand’s Cocoa Butter Balm.

“It’s made 70 per cent of 100 per cent organic virgin cocoa butter, and it offers 90 uses for your face, body, hair, hands, makeup, kids, and even pets,” she said.

Muslim Cosmetics 

Muslim Cosmetics is a small business based in Toronto that sells Halal and ethically sourced skincare products and candles.

Popular spices and ingredients used in its soaps and scrubs include turmeric, black saffron, and sidr.

Owner Amira Al-Lehabi said sidr has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help heal wounds. 

“It’s unique, and it’s also a major ingredient in traditional Islamic healing,” she said.

Sidr is the main ingredient in Muslim Cosmetic’s Sunnah Remedy Sidr Salve. The salve is made using an ointment melting technique traditionally used by Indigenous people in North America.

According to Al-Lehabi, this is the first product of its kind.

To maintain low waste and low energy output, the business is run out of Al-Lehabi’s Scarborough home, minimizing the energy it would take to transport the products. 

Photo Courtesy of Amira Al-Lehabi (Muslim Cosmetics)

Muslim Cosmetics’ mailing packages are also 100 per cent paper. For its Canadian customers, the company uses a postage label made of treeless bush paper called lokta from Nepal. 

 “I really hope products like this will give not only Muslims somewhere to turn to for Halal-safe products, but also let people around the world of any religion know about our traditional ingredients,” said Al-Lehabi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *