ARENTS who homeschool must feel very confident of their choice these days, surely this global event will add to their number even after schools reopen. Their pioneering spirit is
interesting, if we do trash this planet to the extent that we need to move to Mars, then necessity will surely have more parents following Elon Musk’s example of “teaching to the problem rather than the tools”, a practical principle of his Ad Astra school’s curriculum. A personal challenge — or “pain point,” in industry-speak — is often behind the creation of a new beauty brand. A child with eczema and a student’s damaging experience with lash extensions both inspired successful start-ups in recent years.
It is no coincidence that most of these home-sprung brands are clean and sustainable. It is easier to control production and adopt packaging innovations when a business is small and private. An international survey conducted by US think tank Wunderman Thompson Intelligence in 2018 found that 83% of customers favour a natural, sustainably-packaged product over wasteful competition. That doesn’t have to mean compromising on care.
Boasting high concentrations of luxurious ingredients like avocado oil, Manuka honey, kiwi seed, jojoba oil, and chia seed, Antipodes products is natural beauty with serious anti-ageing chops. Founder Elizabeth Barbalich began the Kiwi-based brand while searching for ways to maximise hydration for her dry skin. Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream, €40 at boots.ie, is her latest gem. This rich cream stimulates your natural production of type 1 collagen by as much as 82%. Type 1 collagen helps to plump the skin and keep it firm. The vegan formula comes in a recyclable jar and biodegradable cardboard box.
Clean acne products are often disappointing, their formulas can be reliant on drying astringents like witchhazel or high in mint extracts -eg camphor, menthol, peppermint) that create an impression of deep cleansing that is really just cold. Evolve Rainforest Blemish Rescue Serum, €28 at arnotts.ie, is sophisticated yet natural, with organic salicylic acid and plant-based anti- inflammatories that both prevent spots and aid repair. Evolve’s skincare is handmade in a wind-powered studio in Hertfordshire. Their PET bottles are made of 75% recycled plastic and are recyclable. The products are vegan and made with natural and organic ingredients from fair trade and sustainable sources.
Eco Tan founder Sonya Driver began experimenting with natural ingredients after her sister survived skin cancer and wanted a safe way to tan. The Australian brand’s Eco Tan Winter Skin, €28.95 at ecotanbysonyadriver.eu, is a sensitive-skin body cream and gradual tan in one. The formula is rich in cacao, aloe vera, and grape seed. It is pregnancy and eczema-safe, creating a natural-looking golden bronze without irritation. Ideal for very fair skin, the formula is certified vegan, organic, and toxin-free. The packaging is recyclable.
Odylique by Essential Care is one of my favourite brands. Margaret Weeds began developing eczema and allergy-safe skincare over 30 years ago to treat her family’s issues. Odylique’s products are certified organic, sustainably-packaged and rich in locally-sourced antioxidants. They are handmade in Suffolk by a family-run team. Odylique Natural Sunscreen SPF30,€17.37 at odylique.co.uk, is baby-safe, a comforting mix of organic shea butter, chamomile, and sunflower oil, as well as UV protective karanja and zinc. The antioxidants tackle free radicals and existent UV damage while natural filters protect you from the sun.
I won’t knock Big Beauty, not while so many household names are devoting entire factories to hand-sanitiser production, but it is difficult for makeup lovers to keep their choices completely “clean” and sustainable. If you are more of a concealer-and-go kind of lady you might try RMS Beauty. Everything but the brand’s mascara can be finger-applied. Founder Rose-Marie Swift is an LA makeup artist who took product development into her own hands after decades of exposure to the chemicals and heavy metals in her products made her seriously ill. She created RMS and the website beautytruth.com, which promotes wellness in personal care, after researching her way through recovery. RMS makeup is made with organic, raw ingredients and sustainably packaged. Ms Swift prioritises natural radiance over trends with her shade choices. I especially like her Eye Polish in Utopia, €30, a golden beige that makes a beautiful base colour.