February 11, 2021 - Braina Laviena

February 11, 2021 - Braina Laviena


It’s Eco Week at UOCC, which means we’re digging into the best in sustainable beauty, from our fourth annual Eco Beauty Awards to what it really means to follow a zero-waste beauty routine. Consider this week your education on how to be a more eco-aware, knowledgable beauty consumer.

There are a lot of small changes we can do to minimize waste in our daily lives. You can start out slow, and do small things that can make a big difference in the long term, like choosing a reusable water bottle instead of using single-use plastic bottles. It’s definitely not about being perfect, and feeling guilty isn’t conducive to positive change.

1. Yay for Earth

Created, hand-mixed and -poured by Stevie Van Horn in a completely zero waste production, Yay for Earth has one product, and that’s all you need: a “sensitive skin lotion” that I would describe more as a multi-use balm for all skin types. I buy this on the regular in the biggest and smallest size, keep one on my bedside table and another in my purse. With how much I’ve been washing my hands recently, my eczema has started to surface in the folds between my fingers and this has been the best remedy to keep it under control.

2. Loli

Tina Hedges, founder of LOLI, believes that skincare begins with superfood—just like it has been through history. Her philosophy is that what nurtures us inside should also nurture us on the outside. Her company is truly the leader in zero waste beauty, sourcing organic, food grade, earth friendly ingredients that are always packaged in glass. All ingredients are water free—she strongly believes powerful ingredients should not be diluted, which not only makes her products more potent, but saves a lot of water usage in the process (water is the most used ingredient in the beauty industry and simultaneously a growing commodity). All LOLI products are of course shipped in compostable bags and post consumer-recycled and recyclable materials.

3. Lesse

Lesse’s philosophy is “less is more.” This ethos translates into three essential products that make up your entire ritual: a serum, an exfoliating cleanser, and a mask. Simply put, it’s organic skincare refined to essentials, using powerful antioxidants for a healthy approach to skin—and they work like a charm. The brand recently launched their refining cleanser and it has quickly become a staple in my nighttime ritual with its gentle, yet effective exfoliating granules.

4. Habit Cosmetics

Born out of necessity for clean, cute and sustainably-packaged nail polish, Habit has always had sustainability at its forefront. From creation, to packaging to mailing, they commit to using the most sustainable options without compromising on beautiful, clean, high performance cosmetics. Their Ultimate Organic Multi Use colors are a true staple in my makeup looks because I love the soft, creamy textures and the colors are highly-pigmented and flattering on all skin tones. The cute zero-waste glass and aluminum packaging makes me think of a space age sculpture and every single time I wear my favorite shade, I get so many compliments and questions about the color. (For the record, it’s called Mod Squad.)

5. Kindred Black

Kindred Black saw a challenge in creating zero waste products and they decided to tackle it. Their ‘slow skincare’ is an apothecary line inspired by a slower way of living, packaged in fully plastic-free, hand-blown bottles and vials that are sealed with waxed corks. The beautiful bottles and hardworking products are the perfect proof that you can be zero waste and luxurious without sacrificing product efficiency or aesthetic. Their commitment to zero waste goes from conception to packaging: the hand-blown bottles come directly from a studio in Oaxaca, Mexico, where the artisans produce their own fuel with used vegetable oil from local restaurants, and the glass is created from recycled bottles. After being filled with colorful oils that are sourced around the world from the highest quality, most ethical and sustainable sources, they are closed with biodegradable cork and sealed for shipping with natural wax. And of course, everything is delivered to you in recycled boxes, with recycled tissue paper or recycled craft paper and water-activated paper tape. They are proud to be part of the 1% for the Planet Foundation (started by outerwear brand Patagonia’s founder) that commits companies to donating 1% of their yearly sales to environmental groups.