A Glimpse Into the World of Upcycled Beauty

A Glimpse Into the World of Upcycled Beauty featured image
This article first appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

From eco-friendly packaging to smarter ways to reduce waste, the skin-care world is never slow to help, and now, the world of repurposed ingredients (aka upcycling) is the latest save-the-planet concept.

Oil Pull

Described as being “powered by an olive farm’s waste,” New York–based Circumference teamed up with modern pantry essentials brand Brightland earlier this year as part of their WasteNot Sourcing Initiative, which takes cues from nature’s own self-renewing design. The result: Luxurious, bioactive skin care that’s not only sustainably sourced, but highly intentional.

Caffeine Fix

Anna Brightman, cofounder of UpCircle Beauty, is such a fan of upcycling that she built an entire line around it—to the tune of transforming 250 tons of coffee grounds into body care. “We intercept ingredients before they are thrown away and give them new life,” she says. “And the process doesn’t impede on freshness or efficacy.”

Native Source

Basing much of the range on five upcycled ingredients that target waste in the lumber, sugar cane and wine industries, Three Ships Beauty (it was cofounded by a chemical engineer) lives by the philosophy that “some ingredients are too good to waste,” and prides itself on only green-lighting products scientifically proven to work.

20 percent of produce gets thrown away because of how it looks.

Fruit Loop

The candy-colored packaging may look fun, but when it comes to manufacturing and formulation, BYBI is all business (it doesn’t hurt that Simone Biles uses it, too). “We consider ourselves ‘planet-friendly’ skin care,” share cofounders Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic, who peg broccoli, orange flower and strawberry seed oil as three of the line’s top ingredients. “It’s kind of amazing what you can do with fruits and vegetables other people don’t want.”

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