Is RUBBISH beauty’s new hero ingredient?

It’s not easy being an environmentally conscious cosmetics consumer. For real peace of mind, no products should touch your skin unless they are biodegradable, recycled and recyclable, waterless, petrochemical free, refillable, reusable, non-toxic, organic, fair trade, cruelty free. . .

Relief! Do you see what I mean?

Now there’s one more beauty box to check to keep the planet from burning up: ‘upcycled’ ingredients or cosmetic formulas made with, well, waste.

Basically, it squeezes every last bit of vitality out of a plant before it’s composted — turning it into your skincare routine.

“It has to be done in a sustainable way, without creating extra waste or pollution in the production process,” says Emma Thornton, whose True Skincare range includes products made with natural glycol derived from bagasse – sugarcane waste.

Now there’s one more beauty box to check to keep the planet from burning up: ‘upcycled’ ingredients or cosmetic formulas made with, well, waste. stock image

Sustainable skin brand Adaptology extracts a natural preservative from bagasse, and the fiber pulp is also used to produce packaging material and make squalene, a skin-loving lipid formerly extracted from sharks (find it in the Gallinée Prebiotic Face Oil, £35, due out later this month ).

Elsewhere, the seeds of fruits discarded in the production of juices, jams and wine are tapped into nourishing and anti-aging facial oils.

Fruit stones, nut shells, flower stems and wood bark are other favorites from upcycling, ground into powders and pressed for their water and oils.

With Zero Waste Week starting next Monday, choosing upcycled cosmetics is an all-gain, no-pain way to contribute to a more sustainable economy — but do the products work? We put them to the test. . .

REN Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream (£42, renskincare.com)

REN Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream (£42, renskincare.com)

REN Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream (£42, renskincare.com)

RECYCLED FLORAL EYE LIGHTEN

REN Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream (£42, renskincare.com)

Judgement:

This light gel-cream comes with impressive stats — 87 percent of users said their dark circles were less visible in seven days — thanks in large part to the upcycled hero ingredient elderberry flower extract.

It is obtained through a ‘bio-refinement’ process that takes place immediately after perfumers extract the fragrance molecules from the grains of the sustainably grown flowers.

The compound is a strong antioxidant, which protects the delicate eye skin from external attacks so that it can heal and regenerate itself.

JUDGMENT: Beautifully refreshing, my eyes looked noticeably brighter after using it. 4/5

The Body Shop Carrot Cream Nature-Rich Daily Moisturizer (£14, thebodyshop.com

The Body Shop Carrot Cream Nature-Rich Daily Moisturizer (£14, thebodyshop.com

The Body Shop Carrot Cream Nature-Rich Daily Moisturizer (£14, thebodyshop.com

MOISTURIZER MADE FROM REJECTED VEG

Judgement:

The Body Shop Carrot Cream Nature-Rich Daily Moisturizer (£14, thebodyshop.com)

This universal face cream uses carrots that are considered too ugly to sell as food. Thousands of them come from a British family farm. Rich in antioxidants, the carrots provide a radiant hydrator that protects against the elements.

And it’s not just carrots that the Body Shop is saving from the scrap heap: The brand’s Bath Blends range, £8, uses misshapen bananas and pears, as well as mango and strawberry seed oils left over from the jam industry, some poor rejected fruits yields a new purpose in life.

JUDGMENT: The face cream made my skin feel much less tight and with a light glow.3/5

USED ​​COFFEE EXFOLIATOR

UpCircle Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint (£14.99, upcirclebeauty.com)

UpCircle Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint (£14.99, upcirclebeauty.com)

UpCircle Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint (£14.99, upcirclebeauty.com)

UpCircle Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint (£14.99, upcirclebeauty.com)

Judgement:

This beauty upcycling specialist has so far freed 350 tons of used coffee grounds from London cafes to be turned into invigorating, exfoliating and moisturizing body scrubs, which also contain coconut oil and eucalyptus.

Oil extracted from the same coffee grounds goes into the brand’s clarifying Organic Face Serum, £14.99.

JUDGMENT: An instant boost for tired skin. 4/5

PERFUME STORED FROM THE BIN

Etat Libre d’Orange Les Fleurs du Déchet – I Am Trash (£125, lesteurs.com)

Judgement:

The name of this product translates as ‘the flowers of waste’, but this has a lovely delicate apple-floral scent.

It is extracted from upcycled waste from the fragrance industry, using a ‘pulp olfaction’ process to re-distill what would otherwise have been thrown away.

JUDGMENT: With hints of jasmine and patchouli, who knew garbage could smell so good? 5/5

Etat Libre d'Orange Les Fleurs du Déchet I Am Trash (£125, lesteurs.com)

Etat Libre d'Orange Les Fleurs du Déchet I Am Trash (£125, lesteurs.com)

Lush Repeat Orange Football Balm (£9 for 50g, lush.com)

Lush Repeat Orange Football Balm (£9 for 50g, lush.com)

Left: Etat Libre d’Orange Les Fleurs du Déchet – I Am Trash (£125, lesteurs.com) Right: Lush Repeat Orange Foot Balm (£9 for 50g, lush.com)

ORANGE PEEL SOCCER BALM

Judgement:

Lush Repeat Orange Football Balm (£9 for 50g, lush.com)

This rich, bright orange wax contains a blend of nourishing oils, marigold anti-fungal oil and orange peel wax, a by-product of the juice industry.

Orange essential oil and botanical lipids are extracted from the peels that would otherwise have been thrown away. Together they form a wax to nourish the skin and protect it from environmental damage.

JUDGMENT: The zingy citrus scent will definitely give you a boost. 3/5

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