Conscious Capitalism: Skin Care Edition
Here’s a truth harsher than the chemicals in your skin care products: Nothing should go on your skin that can’t also go in your mouth.
Skin is an organ. Protecting it matters always, just like we worry about the health of our livers and our hearts.
And this part, though simple, is incredibly important to internalize: What you put on your skin goes right into your bloodstream.
You know, the system that travels throughout your entire body, affecting every organ family.
Toxic chemicals (even in trace amounts, in which case skin care companies often won’t even list those ingredients on their product labels) can really mess the body up, from allergy instigation, inflammation, hormone production disruption, and worse.
We’ve talked extensively about the chemical takeover of American households and products because of the contact those products might come into with your skin.
Imagine applying those chemicals directly to your skin. You likely don’t even have to imagine it…
According to the Environmental Working Group, the average woman lathers herself in about 168 different chemicals daily, from around 12 different personal care products.
But sourcing products that are not only effective in performing their functions as well as leading brands, but safe, can be difficult.
How do you separate a company’s branding from its performance? How do you know which certifications to look for? How do you know they’re the real deal?
Clear and Glowing Transparency
It helps when the company in question over delivers, answering questions before you even think to ask them.
Annmarie Skin Care is one such company.
They’re so dedicated to sustainability in packaging and ingredients (right down to the label on the bottle), healthy product sourcing, and consumer feedback that they created ASC out of the empty space in the industry after traveling North and South America in an RV, trying and failing to find the perfect skin care line.
Kevin Gianni, the CEO and a co-founder, hasn’t stopped innovating their line since they originally founded the company in 2009 after discovering a skin care line restricted to spas. The line was developed from only unmuddled herbs and extracts as they’re found in nature (“wildcrafted.”)
Kevin and his wife Annmarie have laterally infused their philosophy throughout not only their product line, but in-house practices with their employees and revolving research, while striving to achieve as many clean-certifications as they can.
They’ve gotten two major ones, the sum total of which requires 17 standards to be constantly upheld: Made Safe and Leaping Bunny.
Made Safe runs every ingredient in a company’s product line through a database of thousands of known chemicals, even ones the FDA deems safe in small quantities, to ensure that qualifying companies don’t use any of them.
Leaping Bunny prevents its chosen companies from testing on animals during any part of the process.
From traveling to meet essential oil distillers in France, to sourcing helichyrsum from farmers in Croatia, distance poses no boundary for this team.
The company doesn’t ship with plastic, uses bottles of glass or aluminum, and sources its shipping boxes with boxes made in a wind-power plant.
But we haven’t even gotten to their ingredients.
Foraging the Natural World for Ingredients
The only time you’ll see ASC use organic ingredients that aren’t certified is when they’re wildcrafted, or they’ve scoped out the supply personally and the company is on its way to certification.
The company has also developed a three-step, proprietary process by which all of its products come to life.
Step one: meticulous selection. From the aloe used as the base, to the ethically-sourced raw honey, to the crushed pearl powder, to the murumuru butter in conditioning treatments, every ingredient is raw, pure, and chosen based on bioavailability.
Step two: infuse select herbs into organic skin-nutritive oils, like aloe vera, for no more than 30 days at heat lower than 100º Fahrenheit.
Step three: combining steps one and two to form its products using natural plant extracts, plant and seed oils high in antioxidants, nutrients, and naturally-occurring fragrances so that each item is prepared with intention, direction, care, and purpose.
Its lines are fully comprehensive; the company even notes on its website that some of its products may eliminate the need for its other products!
What use is foundation if your skin is already glowing?
Just like ASC’s all-natural products may dismantle your current skin care routine, ASC is the perfect place to begin upending your brand loyalty.
We always talk about voting with your dollar for a reason. Choosing sustainability over brand familiarity not only gives ASC more income to continue researching and developing, it takes money away from leading brands less concerned with the safety of your skin and more concerned with their bottom lines.
And if we don’t stop contributing to the successes of those existing companies, they’ll never change their practices. They’ll never overhaul their use of toxic chemicals and environmentally-destructive practices, like razing the Amazon for palm oil.
If we’re ever to change the way our skin and bodies feel, we have to start by changing where our dollars go.
Personally? I vote Annmarie Skin Care.
If you enjoyed these thoughts and think we’ve got something in common, I have a feeling you’re going to love the streaming service I launched last year — whole.tv. It’s my answer to the dilemma of conscious consumption, where you’ll find ALL of my documentaries and series, as well as more from renowned thought leaders like Nick Polizzi, Dr. David Perlmutter, Dr. Tom O’Bryan, and more. Try it for two weeks — on me.