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In recent years, the plant-based lifestyle has become a major trend. In diet, skincare, body products - you name it - people want to be as natural and as plant-based as possible.
On one hand, it makes perfect sense. Loads of research has come out about the problems associated with preservatives, stabilizers, and toxic chemicals that consumers often find in “traditional” skincare products, and there are now tonsof options out there that allow you to avoid these dubious ingredients. Plus, many animal ingredient sources require animal harm to be sourced (like squalane, which is often sourced from shark liver - yikes!) and nobody has time for that.
But the real “why” behind plant-based skincare, in particular, is often a big question mark, and it’s often hard to differentiate between high-quality products and snake oil (no pun intended).
Here’s what you should know.
Conventional beauty products can be quite problematic, as they can contain a slew of fragrances, toxic chemicals, preservatives, and stabilizers that can cause harm to the skin and the environment. This includes:
These harsh chemicals can also damage your skin’s natural barrier and throw your microflora out of balance. In the big picture, this can have a major negative impact on your skin’s appearance and lead to things like out of balance sebum production, acne, redness, and irritation.
Finally, ingredients in conventional beauty products are often sourced from environmentally dangerous or cruel places. Squalane, for example, is frequently sourced from sharks, while collagen is often derived from the cartilage or skins of cattle and fish. And when many ingredients -- like microbeads or oxybenzone -- go backinto the environment, they can kill fish or cause irreparable damage to coral reefs.
Plant-based skincare, on the other hand, can provide real benefits to the skin withoutthese controversial drawbacks.
Before we dive into the details, though, it’s important to clarify what we’re talking about here. There are many “good skincare” terms (often used interchangeably) that are important to understand:
It’s also important to understand that, while such terms can provide some clarity, they’re not fool-proof, and they don’t guarantee that you’re dealing with a great brand or wonderful products. Why not?
Well, many similar terms -- like natural, organic, or hypoallergenic-- are not well regulated or even acknowledged by the FDA in the United States (they only require that a company is not directly “misleading,” so it’s kind of the wild west when it comes to these terms.
That said, there is currently a push toward transparency, regulation, and clearer labeling with legislation like The Personal Care Products Safety Act, and you can look for verifications like an official USDA Organic seal (which guarantees that a product is at least 95% organic) or a Leaping Bunny stamp, which certifies that no animals were harmed in the making of a product.
With all that said, though, there are many benefits that you can experience when you use truly plant-based, cruelty-free, responsibly-sourced products. Specifically, plant-based products usually:
With all that in mind, some of our favorite plant-based active ingredients to accompany Eight Saints superstars include:
Try them all -- and figure out which ones work best for yourskin -- with our Eight Saints Discovery Kit.