True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • Can You Do More To Clean Up Your Skincare Routine?
    Climate change is a massive concern for everyone, so what better time to clean up your beauty regime than now?

    You may think that by recycling glass bottles and composting food waste you’re more than doing your bit for the environment, but did you know that your skincare routine could be causing just as much damage to the world as what does (or more importantly, does not) go in your trash?

    Thankfully, a little beauty diligence goes a long way to helping make your world a better place. And great news: the following tips make it easy for you to switch to smarter ingredients and eco-savvy skincare habits.

    Let's do this.

    1. Steer Clear Of Parabens

    Parabens are preservatives that prevent harmful stuff growing in your beauty products – think bacteria, fungi, mold and the like. Granted, this may sound like the kind of ingredient you should totally get on board with, but the problem with parabens is they have way too many faults up their sleeves for their preservative powers to be worth it.

    Often found in beauty products containing a significant amount of water (eg. shampoo, conditioner, cleanser and moisturizer), parabens can be very irritating to the skin, but more worryingly they’ve been linked to serious health concerns including thyroid issues, hormone-related cancers, reproductive disruptions and obesity. So, there’s the first red light, right there.

    Parabens are also nasty little beasts when it comes to the environment. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), parabens have been detected in surface waters, fish and sediments. Even the lowest levels of butylparaben – one of the most commonly used parabens in cosmetics – can cause significant harm and even kill coral.

    The good news is many beauty companies have switched out parabens for cleaner alternatives, but they’re still out there so keep your eyes peeled for any ingredient containing the word paraben in its name. BTW, we’re a totally paraben-free company and use much cleaner preservatives like sodium benzoate and ethylhexylglycerin in our skincare products. You can thank us later.

    2. Recycle As Much As Possible

    Before you throw your empty boxes, bottles, tubs and tubes in the trash, take a minute to check whether or not they're recyclable. There are many different symbols to look for which indicate a product's recycling capabilities and we know they can be confusing, but a couple of minutes is all it takes to ensure your empties end up in the right place.

    Glass is always an awesome, eco-friendly option and all of our serums are packaged in glass bottles that are full recyclable. Not sure about your other beauty products? Then head to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the lowdown on plastics, cardboard and more.TruSkin range of serums

    3. Reduce Your Beauty Miles

    You might love your K-Beauty skincare creams more than life itself, but has it ever crossed your mind how many thousands of miles those products might have travelled in order to beautify your skin? The answer is many. In fact, it’s just over 6,500 miles from Korea to the US, which equates to a helluva lot of fuel consumption and consequent air pollution.

    To help reduce your carbon footprint and lessen the impact of your skincare choices on the environment, stick with home-grown beauty products. Not to blow our own trumpets (again!) but all TruSkin products are formulated and bottled in the US. Group hug.

    4. Ditch Those Cotton Rounds

    While we’re on the subject of beauty miles, it’s not just those lotions and potions you need to evaluate. Chances are, your trusty cotton rounds have also taken a pretty long trip to reach your vanity. Not ideal. Also, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), it takes around 20,000 liters of water to produce just over 2lbs of cotton. Add all this to the fact that cotton rounds are not compostable and that cotton farming is responsible for around 24 percent of insecticides worldwide and suddenly that innocent looking fluffy stuff starts to look like one hot mess for the environment.

    So, what’s the answer to this little conundrum? First up, use spray toners like our Daily Facial Rose Water Toner or Daily Facial Toner because these don’t require the use of cotton rounds (clever, right?). You could also invest in some eco-friendly, reusable makeup remover pads that can be thrown in the laundry after each use. Amazon has plenty of options to choose from or you could try Ecoroots Organic Reusable Facial Rounds.

    5. Be A Cruelty-Free, Beauty Vegan

    If you care about animals as much as you care about the world (and in fact, don’t they kind of come as a package, anyway?), you have to avoid products that contain animal by-products and ingredients, or have been tested on animals. No question.

    According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), animal products are the key cause of climate change due to the amount of water, land and energy animals require to be farmed, killed, processed and transported. If you'd like to steer clear of animal by-products and ingredients, here's a list of those to avoid, courtesy of People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

    Meanwhile, around half a million animals suffer and die each year through cosmetic testing according to Humane Society International (HSI).

    Frankly, we think this is unacceptable which is why we’re proud to be Leaping Bunny approved – and that includes every single one of our skincare products. The Leaping Bunny logo (below) is the only internationally recognized symbol which guarantees that no animal tests were carried out in the development of any product displaying it.

    Leaping Bunny

    6. Give Oxybenzone & Octinoxate A Wide Berth

    When it comes to ingredients that affect both your health and the environment, oxybenzone and octinoxate are double trouble.

    Oxybenzone and octinoxate are organic compounds that absorb light very effectively. This makes them two of the most common UV filters used in chemical sunscreens. They’ve been used and approved by the FDA since the early ‘80s, but after a bill to ban their sale and distribution in Hawai’i was passed in 2018, the world became blatantly aware of their potential damage to marine life and in particular, coral reefs.

    “Oxybenzone and octinoxate cause mortality in developing coral, increase coral bleaching that indicates extreme stress… and cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms,” cites the bill. Yikes.

    Furthermore, oxybenzone is just as nasty to your health as it is to marine life. For one thing, it’s the most common skin irritant in suncare, but even more scary is that it may seriously disrupt hormone production, potentially causing all manner of problems like thyroid issues, certain cancers and reproductive harm. The fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that oxybenzone can be detected in the urine of almost all the population makes this a very worrying prospect indeed.

    The good news is the FDA are continually working towards confirming (or rejecting) the safety of oxybenzone, octinoxate and 10 other chemical sunscreen ingredients. In the meantime, stick with products containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These are the only two active sunscreen ingredients currently deemed safe and effective.

    7. Reduce Your Shower Time

    Climate changes like soaring temperatures and rising sea levels play havoc with the world’s water supplies, so do your bit to conserve water and you’ll be helping to protect the future of your planet – just like that.

    Fun fact: the average shower uses around two gallons of water per minute. This means an eight minute shower (the average duration for an American adult) uses a solid 16 gallons per day, or 480 gallons per month. Now, let’s say you were to cut your shower time by one minute – just one minute, that’s all we ask. This would save 60 gallons of water every month, which is a significant amount of water for one person to save, if you ask us. Set the timer on your phone to seven minutes next time you take a shower and see if it's manageable. We bet it totally is.

    Come on people, your world needs you.







    Can You Do More To Clean Up Your Skincare Routine?
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  • 5 Things You Need To Know About Vegan Skincare
    As we celebrate World Vegan Day on November 1, we thought you might like to know a bit more about what makes a beauty product truly vegan. 

    Skincare and cosmetics can be a confusing game sometimes. The words ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ often get thrown around without any true meaning, and phrases like ‘against animal testing’ can be super misleading. But if you live a vegan life (and record numbers of you are making that switch) we know you’ve got no time for such BS. That's why we’re here to take the guesswork out of the equation.

    Here’s what you need to know about going vegan with your beauty routine. And good news: it’s actually much simpler than you might think.

    1. What Does ‘Vegan Beauty’ Really Mean?

    Unlike other misleading terms used in cosmetics labelling, vegan beauty is relatively straight forward. It simply means that the formulation does not contain any kind of animal by-product or ingredient. Do you eat and live a vegan lifestyle? Then it makes sense to also avoid animal products in your beauty regime.

    2. But Hold On, Because Vegan Beauty Products Are Not Always Cruelty-Free

    One of the most common concerns about the beauty industry is animal testing. In China, animal testing is required by law, but we know that most of you agree it’s a horrific industry we must try to eradicate. Well, you may think that buying vegan skincare means you’re also buying cruelty-free – and this is exactly what it should mean – but sadly, this isn’t always the case. The truth is, unless it’s stated on the packaging, it’s possible a vegan product (or some of its ingredients) might have undergone animal testing at one point in its creation. We know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s the way it is.
    Thankfully, there’s an easy way to know what you’re letting yourselves in for. Simply look for the Leaping Bunny logo on your product label – the only internationally recognized symbol that guarantees no animal tests were used to formulate a product bearing its logo. We’re proud to say all TruSkin products are Leaping Bunny approved (*pats selves on backs).

    3. Vegan Skincare Is Not Necessarily Free Of Chemicals

    Again, you may be under the assumption that vegan products are completely natural and free of synthetic chemicals. Wrong. Yes, some vegan products use only plant-based formulations, but others are often combined with synthetically-produced ingredients. Of course, these ingredients won’t be derived from animal sources and the thing is, not all chemicals are bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. We source most of our ingredients from nature, but sometimes blend them with safe, synthetic substances such as carbomers to produce the best formulations, textures and results for your skin.

    4. What Are The Benefits Of Going Vegan With Your Beauty Routine?

    As well as the obvious benefits of being kinder to animals – especially if you go vegan and cruelty-free – a vegan beauty regime is much more caring for the world.
    According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), animal products are the key cause of environmental issues such as climate change and water depletion. Farmed animals must be fed substantial amounts of grain and water before being killed, processed, stored and transported. All of which accounts for a substantial amount of global water consumption, land use and greenhouse emissions.
    The production of plant-based ingredients, on the other hand, requires much less energy, land and water. Simple math.

    5. Common, Animal-Derived Ingredients To Look Out For

    OK, so what animal ingredients should you look out for in your beauty products? Well, that list is dang long so for a full run down, check out PETA’s comprehensive checklist. The most common ones to avoid, however, are carmine, collagen, gelatin, lanolin, squalene and stearic acid.
    Here are some of the facts:

    Carmine is a red pigment produced from crushing female cochineal beetles. According to PETA, 70,000 beetles are killed for just 1lb of carmine. It’s often used in cosmetics and shampoo.

    Collagen is a protein that’s produced naturally in the skin and hair. In skincare, it comes mostly from cows or fish, so look for plant-based collagen instead.

    Gelatin can be obtained from plants but is usually the result of boiling skin and bones from either cows or pigs. It sounds gross, but is often used as a thickening agent in skincare.

    Lanolin is almost always derived from sheep’s wool. It very softening and moisturizing so is commonly found in lip balm and hair products. Plant-based lanolin is worth looking out for, but it’s rare.

    Squalene is most often derived from shark liver oil, but good news: it’s becoming more and more rare as a skincare ingredient in the US. Instead, look for its plant-derived alternative, squalane (with an ‘a’ not an ‘e’) which is just as great for moisturizing dry skin.

    Stearic Acid is found in animal fats and often used in soaps, cleansers, creams and lotions to improve their texture and help moisturize your skin. Instead, look for vegan-alternatives such as those derived from palm oil, soy oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.
    Finally, let's talk a bit about bee by-products – the subject of much debate in the world of vegans. Bee by-products (including honey) are a complicated business which we’re not going to get into right now, but the truth is they’re never likely to be considered ‘officially’ vegan. Why do we mention them? Because all of our products are vegan-friendly apart from four that contain bee by-products: Retinol Serum, Retinol Moisturizer and Charcoal Face Wash which are formulated with propolis extract, and Eye Cream which contains beeswax.

    Propolis is an incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance that’s made from a combination of beeswax and tree sap. It has many healing and moisturizing benefits and is known to help reduce the unwanted bacteria that often leads to breakouts. Meanwhile, pure beeswax does all this while offering extra emollient qualities to help form a protective barrier over the skin to retain moisture and promote soft skin.

    According to The Vegan Society bee by-products are not strictly vegan-friendly, but many vegans eat honey and have no qualms using products containing beeswax and propolis. The debate continues...

    5 Things You Need To Know About Vegan Skincare
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