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3 of the best: Ethical beauty products

By Sinead Cranna on 5th May 2019

Watching a documentary about our meat consumption, I was struck by something the narrator said – we ‘cast a vote every time we purchase something’. It’s true. It may not feel like it, but the power lies with the consumer. We can change things by putting our money behind ethical and sustainable brands. The beauty industry has been somewhat late to the game in this era of consciousness. Beauty insiders have left these chats of morality and sustainability to the food and clothing industries, but no more. It’s become impossible to ignore the ugly side of beauty. Products which are tested on animals, or include harmful ingredients, or are manufactured in a polluting way are increasingly being derided. Instead, consumers have wised up and want products which aren’t polluting or cruel. Products which are kind to the environment, animals, and their skin. Here’s our pick of the top three ethical beauty products for conscientious consumers. 

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser, £61

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A cleanser that is tough on makeup and pollutants but soft on skin is a win in my book. Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser removes makeup, counteracts pollutant exposure, and exfoliates with natural skin-friendly ingredients. Most of the ingredients that go into this range have been grown on Tata’s farm, but don’t think for a minute that because they’re not synthetic they don’t pack a punch. Naturally exfoliating fruit enzymes help to slough dead skin cells and refine the skin’s texture while ingredients like broccoli extract reinvigorate tired skin. Despite being a bioactive 100% natural skincare product, the Purifying Cleanser feels indulgent and luxurious, proving that organic doesn’t mean ineffective.  

Clean Reserve Solar Bloom Eau de Parfum, £82

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Bergamot and orange blossom combine to create a fresh and summery scent with plenty of heady floral notes. Surprisingly this perfume manages to be vegan and paraben, gluten, and sulphate free whilst maintaining a great smell and delicate formula. All the ingredients in this range are responsibly sourced, plus the manufacturing process is powered by solar energy, and the packaging is made from recycled materials. As if this wasn’t enough, there’s a philanthropic side to the brand too. Clean Reserve has chosen to use the tropical grass Vetiver in its products. The grass has several special properties, like its strong and fast-growing roots, high tolerance to droughts, and ability to guard against soil erosion. Clean Reserve has joined forces with a company that sustainably sources the grass from Haiti. It’s a system that means education and health care programs for farmers and their families are supported. The brand also goes one step further to fund a program that provides safe drinking water to the community. 

Living Sea Therapy Body Butter, £30

Brands like Living Sea Therapy are making it so easy to shop sustainably. Everything about this brand is gorgeous, not least this body butter which is ultra-soothing and hydrating. The star ingredient is the Cornish seaweed which is packed full of amino acids and antioxidants, plus it’s sustainably harvested from Cornish seabed forests. A few varieties of seaweed are used to address different skincare needs. Bladderwrack reduces signs of ageing thanks to its abundance of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. As well as improving skin elasticity and hydration, this seaweed could minimize redness and inflammation. Kombu, or Kelp as it’s more often known, is nutrient and mineral-rich while wild Sea Spaghtetti is perfect for boosting skin moisture. The ingredient list is happily free from any parabens, silicones, microbeads, synthetic fragrances or colours, and mineral oils. It gets better. Living Sea Therapy has partnered with the Blue Marine Foundation to try and combat the eradication of marine habitats, so they’re donating a portion of their profits to the charity.