/Skin care products that are fair trade and how to shop for them

Skin care products that are fair trade and how to shop for them

What is fair trade?

At the most basic level, fair trade describes commerce in which producing, selling and buying products supports and improves the quality of life of the workers creating the products, as well as the environment. “Fair trade prioritizes people and the planet over profit,” summarizes Reyes.

Chances are you’ve spied a fair trade label on a bunch of bananas, a bag of coffee, maybe even flowers. In the late 1990s, Fair Trade USA began certifying products based on criteria like fair wages for farmers and workers and eco-friendly protections. In the U.S., there’s also the Fair Trade America certification. Internationally, you’ll find fair trade certifications from groups like Fair for Life and Fair Food Program. While the criteria of each fair trade certification varies, certification itself typically requires companies allow a third party to audit their business practices. Once a company’s products are deemed eligible, auditors will asses its supply chain, for example, to determine the working conditions on farms or otherwise.

“I respect the fair trade certification process,” says Mia Davis, the director of environmental and social responsibility for online marketplace Credo, which curates natural, organic and clean beauty products. “It’s important to have a third party watchdog to make sure claims are real.”

How to shop for fair trade skin care products

“Most items that are eligible for fair trade certification are food ingredients, so while there are some used in beauty — coconut oils, sugar in scrubs or vanilla for flavoring — there are not a lot of ingredients that are even eligible to be certified in our space,” Davis explained regarding beauty and skin care products.

Reyes recommends shoppers check whether products are certified by organizations like the aforementioned Fair Trade USA before buying them online, or look for the relevant labels on products in stores.

Fair trade skin care products to shop

To help get you started, here are some standout fair trade skin care products to consider.

1. Badger Balm Organic Rose Balancing Mist

Badger Balm is one of the leaders in the fair trade space, both Reyes and Davis say. This facial mist is ideal for taking a minute of self-care while hydrating your skin.

2. Badger Mineral Lip Tints

The brand also makes lip balms in various flavors from cool mint to creamy cocoa and others that will help soothe chapped lips and protect them from the elements.

3. CocoKind Facial Cleanser Oil

The cocokind brand is one of the easier-to-find fair trade brands. Their facial cleanser oil combines coconut, avocado, tea tree, and lavender oils. It’s tough enough to remove makeup at the end of the day but gentle enough to use as a cleanser in the morning.

4. Honestly pHresh Deodorant

Natural deodorant brand Honestly pHresh makes fair trade-certified deodorants with prebiotics available with different ingredients such as sugar mint, shea and more.

5. Ecolips Organic Lipscrub

The sugar in Ecolips lip scrub is used to help exfoliate while the coconut oil, olive oil and jojoba moisturize and help protect lips from becoming dry.

Eco Lips is also B Corp certified, a marker Reyes suggests when you can’t find a fair trade label. “B Corp is becoming more and more the top certifier because it addresses not just supplier working conditions and environmental regulations but also those factors in the brand/parent organization country,“ Reyes said.

Reyes encourages customers to do their research and hold brands accountable. “We are very fortunate to live in a world where we can communicate with brands. We should take the opportunity to not only reward them with praise but also converse with them to do better,” Reyes says.

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