What does clean beauty mean to you? Is it the use of only organic and naturally-occurring ingredients, and the absence of synthetic ingredients? Is it in the sustainable packaging and transparent labelling? Is it the way the ingredients are sourced? Is it the way they’re formulated, by artisans rather than chemists? Or is it in the core environment-centric values of each clean-beauty company?
Founded by “herbal skincare doctor” Ava Zhan in 2005, Earthwise Beauty is an artisanal clean skincare brand, built on the foundations of freshness, purity, quality, and luxury. Each product is lovingly formulated using the highest quality of natural ingredients, hand-selected by Ava, and sustainably sourced from ethical suppliers, locally and globally.
At age 21, Ava was a sponge for information. She found joy in reading all about nutritional healing, herbal healing, homeopathy, and aromatherapy. After falling in love with aromatherapy - which had proven to be an expensive hobby for her - Ava realized there was a gap in the market, where conventional skincare and natural skincare intersected.
Conventional skincare was far too synthetic and “unclean”, with so many known toxins that didn’t enhance a product at all. Ingredients that were used purely for visual purposes - like whitening agents to give lotions their pure white appearance.
While natural skincare brands were few and far between, and had a shorter shelf life in comparison. Ava felt compelled to follow a path to making her own skincare line.
Around this time in New York, circa 2002, the organic movement was just taking hold. There was a lot of excitement building around the industry, and Ava was beginning her journey with experimentation of ingredients from local apothecaries and herbal stores. She began formulating her own products from her home, trialling and testing the efficacy of formulations. Her colleagues and friends became curious about her products, so Ava took the opportunity to hone her craft, and started taking orders.
In spring and summer of 2016, Ava began a study of flower essence therapy and enrolled in the Flower Essence Practitioner program. She is also studying the Alaskan Essences system of flower and gem essences. Ava is constantly updating and learning about ingredients and botanicals that are available. Her fascination and passion for natural ingredients keeps Earthwise Beauty at the forefront of her industry.
Earthwise Beauty’s core values are built upon the foundations of using active and effective natural ingredients, without harming the earth. They are committed to sustainability, from the ingredients that they source, to the causes they support, to the packaging they use, to the way they ship their products. Every step of the way is thoughtfully designed and curated so that Earthwise Beauty’s footprint is minimized as much as possible - which is why we have brought them on board with Fait avec Coeur,
Earthwise Beauty sources only the finest and most sustainable ingredients for their formulations. Ava understands that it can be less taxing on the environment to source locally, which they do as much as they can. They source many of their ingredients from their own backyard (their “mini-farm”), while also gathering wildcrafted materials from local fields, forests, and meadows, always being careful to harvest sustainably and leave enough flowers and herbs remaining to reseed the area.
However, for ingredients not available from local suppliers, or in the US, they choose to source their ingredients based on sustainable and ethical practices, quality control, and minimal impact on the environment. All suppliers are carefully vetted to ensure their high standards are always met.
Ava understands that no product or brand is perfect, however, at Earthwise Beauty, they are constantly working to improve protocols and practices, with the environment always top of mind.
Earthwise Beauty uses a lot of the same ingredients you may have heard of before, such as bakuchiol for it’s retinol-like qualities; jojoba oil for hydration and elasticity; and turmeric for anti-inflammatory benefits. However, Ava also sources very unique and efficacious herbs and botanicals from all around the world. Three notable ingredients are
- Murumuru butter, formulated in the Passion Eye Serum. Pressed from the seeds of a palm tree native to the Amazon region, it contains nourishing ingredients such as oleic, lauric, and myristic acids.
- Fruit oils sourced from Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador. Used in the Yasuni Face Balm, these oils contain particularly high and wide-ranging phytonutrient levels and enzymatic action, for exfoliation and resurfacing, without the irritation;
- Moringa pod oil, in the Ambrosia de Cerrado Liquid Moisturizer. This nutrient-rich powerhouse is an especially hydrating oil that also delivers an incredible range of vitamins, minerals, such as beta-carotenes, several B vitamins, selenium, and zinc.
You'll find many more exotic and effective ingredients in Earthwise Beauty's formulations.
Earthwise Beauty have thoughtfully designed all of their products to come in recyclable and reusable glass bottles and jars. The lids are made from recyclable plastic, and the outer cartons, from recyclable paper. They even house their sample sizes in glass over plastic, which is something brands don’t tend to do due to cost being higher.
Being an online brand, Earthwise Beauty has the luxury of being almost completely digital with their operations. When they do need to print, they use recycled paper, and non-toxic inks.
They order their business cards and some postcards from a company that sources its paper sustainably, uses plastic-free shipping packaging, and have recently announced that they are partnering with an external sustainability organization to investigate how to better prioritize sustainability through thoughtful initiatives. The remainder of their postcards and note cards come from an American paper company that has long been a pioneer in eco-friendly recycled paper manufacturing: They have been powered by fully renewable on-site hydroelectric generators since the 1920s, saving over one million barrels of fossil fuels to date, and even produce surplus energy for the local utility company. As part of Earthwise Beauty’s ongoing commitment to finding the most sustainable options available, they are also currently investigating a new brand of paper that uses 100% post-consumer fibers.
Earthwise Beauty has set up an ongoing quarterly donation program called ForTheWorld'sForests. The chosen foundations not only spread the word about man-caused damage to the planet earth, its climate, and its fauna and flora, but that have the know-how to effect real changes.
Due to there being a range of amazing organizations out there doing some incredible work, Earthwise Beauty redirects their donations every few quarters to spread their contributions across the various deserving charities. Currently they're supporting The Orangutan Project.
Earthwise Beauty sources only fair trade ingredients, from various suppliers around the world, but many of their ingredients come from South America, namely, the Ecuador Amazon. Oil drilling has become a cause for concern in this area of the world, but not enough awareness or support is being brought to this issue. Earthwise Beauty hopes to raise more awareness around this issue so that everyone is reminded to make purchasing and lifestyle choices with our planet in mind.
Earthwise Beauty have won a plethora of awards for their beautiful products. Some of the most recent awards include:
Runner-up in the Blue Beauty Awards in 2021 for Environmental Impact.
In the Beauty category for the Beauty Shortlist Awards, both Imhotep's Balsam Face Mask and their Rosa Whole-Fruit Rosehip Oil were selected to receive Editor's Choice Awards this year. In the Wellbeing Awards, they were also honored with an Editor's Choice Award for their Revered Berries Tea.
In 2020, the Australian Non-Toxic Awards, Earthwise Beauty’s Marshmallow Face Cleanser and Nap in the Meadow Face Serum won first place in the Cleanser/Exfoliator and Oily/Acne categories, respectively, while their Ferns and Moss Face Serum was awarded a silver medal in the Face Oil category.
The list goes on, however, this recognition makes it abundantly clear that Earthwise Beauty’s products and brand is superior.
When speaking with Ava, she mentioned two of her best selling products, but noted that there were many more that her customers absolutely love.
The Marshmallow Face Cleanser is one of their cult favorites. It contains castor oil - a known hydrator with anti-aging properties - and strong-brewed calendula flowers, marshmallow roots, and chamomile flowers, with unrefined cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil and golden jojoba seed oil. This unique, light foaming, milky cleanser keeps the skin feeling cleansed and hydrated.
Their Nap in the Meadow Face Serum is another popular product with Ava’s customers. It’s a lightweight aloe-based serum, with turmeric, yarrow oil, German blue chamomile, helichrysum, and lavender, for a soothing and hydrating blend, without that feeling of greasy residue.
Or how about their Ambrosia de Cerrado Liquid Moisturizer. It’s texture is a lightweight liquid oil, that deeply hydrates and nourishes, and has an overall brightening effect. Ava carefully-sources two of the key oils from Brazil. The pequi fruit oil, which is hand-extracted, and high in vitamin C, beta-carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), and vitamins B1 and B2. for anti-aging and antioxidant properties; and the buriti oil, high in beta-carotene, a natural antioxidant, as well as vitamins E and A. This makes it a natural emollient, and an extremely effective choice for improving the appearance of brown spots, scars, and sun damage. Together, these two oils can significantly improve the appearance of dull, pasty, or dry skin, and contribute to an overall radiant, healthy glow.
Perhaps one of the most unique products in Earthwise Beauty’s range is Farizad’s Veil Sun Reflector. This powder-based product is made from non-nano zinc oxide particles and powdered aloe. Zinc oxide can help clarify acne-prone skin, and has cooling, soothing, protective properties. While aloe powder works by moisturizing and minimizing the appearance of skin damage, while cooling and soothing inflamed skin. What’s really great about this sun reflector is that it can be added to your favorite moisturizer.
Due to their natural and organic ingredients, Ava suggests that all Earthwise Beauty products are kept refrigerated to prolong their shelf life and efficacy.
Clean and green beauty is a fairly new concept in the industry. Conventional brands have been the dominant force gracing our bathroom cupboards for decades, but a massive change has been in the air. Now new brands are showing up, with more sustainable and more ethical practices. But it’s Earthwise Beauty who has been here from the beginning. They are the veterans in this space, right at the top, leading the charge to a better world.
All of the brands Fait avec Coeur promote are cruelty-free, sustainably and ethically sourced and made, and are manufactured using low-waste or plastic-free packaging.
Written by Emma Masotti. Emma is an Australian now living in Austin, TX, and has been a trained esthetician for over 15 years. She is a sustainable skincare writer, educating and building awareness around proper skin health that doesn’t cost the earth.