Do You Know Where Your Skincare Has Been?
Walk into the grocery store and what do you find? Apples from Argentina...conventional carrots from California...organic onions from Oslo... I apologize for butchering those examples, but you get my drift. These days many people want to know where their food comes from. Whatever the reason - be it limiting carbon foot print, supporting local economies, or just keeping it FRESH - if you're interested in local food, you should probably begin taking note of local skincare and cosmetics as well.
Although the hunt for local skincare might be difficult at times (see below for some advice on the matter), it might also be worth the trouble. Here's why:
Just Plain Better. Imagine the difference in taste between a piece of fresh, ripe fruit and that of canned fruit thats been sitting on the grocery store shelf for a terrifyingly long time. Now think of your skincare. The more local the skincare, the less need for preservatives and weird chemicals to extend shelf life. Just like that nasty canned fruit, skincare with unknown chemicals will eventually make us look and feel grey. Check out natural skincare labels, and you'll find that many blends are "best when fresh".
Peace of Mind (Removes the Need for Certifications). How many certifications and labels have you seen on skincare products lately? Its insane. They make me crazy. One way to know for certain that your products have been crafted naturally, with high quality ingredients, is to get to know the people who make them. On a recent visit to Boulder, Colorado, I met many owners of local skincare brands. They were happy to tell me about the farms on which their botanics are grown. I even learned about the processes used to make the skincare, and I can guarantee there was no room for synthetic chemicals! This guarantee is much more valuable than any of the current certifications out there today.
Home Team Advantage. What harm is there in supporting local farmers and small businesses? Of course some ingredients need to be sourced from different parts of the world (most small natural lines will only use fair trade sources abroad), but if Wal-Mart can commit to selling produce that is sourced from farms no more than an overnight drive from stores, I certainly think we can begin making similar strides with our skincare. This brings me to my next point...
Sustainability. I'm talking less transportation of the products...less packaging...less marketing. Need I say more? If you're interested in having healthful skincare (or healthful for that matter) for years to come, try and keep the environment intact by small steps like keeping it fresh.
If you've gotten this far, chances are you're wondering how to get your hands on this local skincare in which I'm reveling. Well, you're in luck. Here are a few options.
- Markets. Green Markets, Flea Markets, Flower Markets...you know the ones...
- Whole Foods, etc. Ah yes, the nifty "local" signs can also be found in the Whole Body section of the stores. Its nice to know that the store is doing all that they can to get local brands in their stores.
- Do It Yourself. That's right. Find a skincare cookbook, as they're called, and begin mixing ingredients (oils, aloes, honeys, whatever your heart desires), until you find the best concoctions for you. Please let me know of your favorite local skincare retailers, markets or brands!