Earth Day 2014: Low-Impact Sensibility for Your Natural Beauty Routine

earth day

Natural beauty products are better for our body. And on Earth Day 2014, we remember that they are better for our planet, too.

Earth Day, now in its 44th year, invites us to examine how our actions impact the planet. But it is just one day—so what about the other 364 days in the year?

April 22 1990 was the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, and my first. I had just moved to Minneapolis having accepted a position at Aveda a month prior. Little did I know it would be a move to a whole new way of life.

Before I started working for Aveda, green was simply a color to me. Once I joined the company I began to understand that green was so much more, thanks in no small part to its visionary founder, Horst Rechelbacher. His vision of sustainability and environmental responsibility changed everything. No longer did you have to sacrifice product performance for a cause. All of us on the inside were constantly being challenged to live up to the mission of the company, and what made Aveda so special and successful was that we did. Our enthusiasm was contagious.

It was through the success of Aveda that I realized that the choices we make with our purchases support the changes we want to see in the world. Just look at how many choices we now have for amazing product made in a responsible, earth friendly manner. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices, though (I know I do). Therefore, I called my friend and Aveda alum, Terry Gips, who is now President of the Alliance for Sustainability and asked: “What can I do for Earth Day, and will it really make a difference?”

The truth is, there is a lot each of us can do–even if it seems so simple, so insignificant. From supporting companies that are minimizing their impact on the environment, to making small changes that can save money and the earth at the same time. There really is so much that can be done. Terry’s advice is to educate yourself: “understand what is going on and prioritize.” Terry has written a wonderful piece called “Show Me the Money: 10 Simple Sustainability Steps People Can Take to Save Money and the Environment.

To that advice this Earth Day, why not educate yourself on some natural products for the body and home, and see if you can go a little greener? Swap one of your usual natural beauty products for a more sustainable product that makes you look better, with no guilt! Here are four companies noteworthy for both their commitment to the environment as well as making truly fantastic and effective products. They’re so green you’d think it was St Paddy’s Day all over again!



First up is Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Health and Beauty, founded by Horst Rechelbacher. IN is the evolution of Horst’s idea that “Everything we put in and on our bodies must be nutritious and safe.”

Intelligent Nutrients uses:

  • certified organic ingredients
  • 100% plant fragrances, never synthetic
  • Nothing toxic, plasticizing, metallic or scary 
(I love this!)
  • Combining plant wisdom with the latest in scientific technology

My family’s favorite IN product is the Pureluxe Shampoo and Conditioner. As with all of Horst’s products, the scent is what you fall for first. Lemongrass, ylang ylang and geranium combine for an uplifting and refreshing experience that leaves your hair hydrated, shiny and healthy, and I feel good about my daughter using it.



Earth Tu Face began with two herbalists, a garden, and a focus on creating a purely plant-based skin care. I recently discovered Earth Tu Face and appreciate its responsible plant based approach to beauty.

Earth Tu Face believes:

  • In truth and transparency in the personal care industry
  • Never putting on your skin what you would not put in your mouth
  • In minimal waste packaging
  • In avoiding synthetics & preservatives

The Earth Tu Face Voyage Travel Kit is a great introduction to its skin care. It includes: Face Wash, Face Serum and Body Butter.  The gentle formulas and earthy aromas make your skin feel as if you’ve been on a retreat (even if your never left your bathroom).



Robin Brown and Anna Cirronis started Erbaviva in 1996 as a line of organic skincare products for baby and mothers-to-be (their own newborn was their inspiration). The company has since (and thankfully!) grown to include products for the entire family. Erbaviva’s products are compassionately made by hand at the company’s own renewable energy powered facility in Southern California. With so many beautiful products to choose from it’s hard to decide which one I love the most!  The Relax body lotion is a perfect addition to a pre-bedtime ritual.  The light and nourishing cocoa seed butter combine with natural oils of lavender, rose and neroli to restore moisture and encourage relaxation.  Or check out the Refreshing Foot Balm, which is perfect for getting those winter feet flip-flop ready.



Launched just one year ago by artist and package designer Kristi Head, LITE+CYCLE candles are 100 percent earth-made with pure essential oils, vegetable waxes and a single cotton wick. No chemicals, pesticides, paraffin or synthetics. Made by hand in the USA. The vessel-less pillar candles integrate renewable biodegradable materials with natural-only ingredients.

The recently launched Urban Forrest candle was inspired by the juxtaposition of  a natural oasis in the center of the city. Notes of cedar, fennel, fir and a hint of coffee blend to create the perfect balance of Zen with the zip of caffeine.

My personal steps for Earth Day: indulge in all of the above! Plus, I just ordered a compost bin for my organic waste. Change starts one step at a time.

Find Fatima on Twitter @fatimaolive and on Pinterest

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top image: karin.krn