Beauty Goes Green

All-natural beauty brand Kari Gran in Seattle wants to be your “little black dress” of skin care. Founded by longtime friends Kari Gran and Lisa Strain in 2011, the eco-luxe brand offers handmade products that promise to be free of parabens and other toxins and made with only organic, wild-harvested, and non-GMO ingredients. The Northwest company’s approach to natural beauty piqued our interest, so we caught up with the beauty brand.

Q: Tell us more about the brand.
A: Kari Gran was founded in 2011, after Kari (the namesake) herself battled for years with an autoimmune thyroid disorder that caused her to take a second look at the beauty products she put on her skin. What she found wasn’t pretty. Most beauty products on the market are full of parabens and toxins, which get into the bloodstream through topical application, and have been linked to very serious diseases and hormone disruption. Kari decided to adopt a natural approach instead, and after trying and failing to find a sexy, luxurious take on “green” beauty products, she set out to create her own. Kari Gran’s signature product line is its luxury oil-based skin care system. In addition, Kari Gran markets its own line of makeup, also made from all-natural ingredients without any fillers or toxins.

Q: Your company recently commissioned the “Green Beauty Barometer” survey on the shopping habits of American women. Can you share some findings?
A: The survey showed nearly 6 in 10 U.S. adult women read beauty product ingredient labels prior to purchase, while nearly 40 percent intend to increase their spending for all-natural beauty products. When asked to identify which ingredients they look for on beauty labels that would deter purchase, the most-watched-for ingredient was sulfates, which 3 in 10 women seek to avoid.

Q: When reading beauty labels, what should women be looking for?
A: We like to approach beauty labels the same way we do food labels. It’s time to think about “on your body” equal to “in your body.” Don’t believe it? Just think of how a nicotine patch works. (Also) you have to read the labels, and read them carefully.

One of my all-time favorite ingredients to use is organic avocado oil (a.k.a. persea gratissima). Oil from the mighty avocado works all kinds of wonders – moisturizes, soothes sunburns, boosts collagen production, and helps reduce age spots. It can also keep itching and skin inflammations at bay, while softening rough and cracked skin. On the other hand, here is my “loathe column”: parabens, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, and water.

Q: As we embark on 2016, what major beauty trends are on the horizon?
A: We are happy to report that wellness is big on the beauty horizon, and green beauty, in particular, has become much more mainstream. We’ve always taken the approach that there’s much more to beauty than meets the eye, and a holistic approach will serve you well. Lucky for us, it’s trending and we don’t see it being a flash in the pan – it’s here to stay. We do love the Pantone Color of the Year – Rose Quartz – which is our Tinted Lip Whip.

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