Humanist Beauty really stays true to the goal of its movement with this face oil. Empathy for both people and the planet is manifested in the transparency on efforts to ensure the safety and quality of ingredients, the diversity and inclusivity emphasized (such as a gender neutral symbol on the site you don’t often see on beauty brand websites), and the care to make the product as harmless for the environment as it it for your skin. A sense of community and common goal of holistic wellness is fostered on their website with blog posts and founder Jennifer Norman’s own personal story that makes the product’s origin even more meaningful. While the price is on the higher end for beauty products, the range does fall within the typical range for many quality face oils, and face oils do tend to last awhile, so you get your money’s worth in terms of both quality and sustainability .
As someone who’s often read the back of products to learn about the ingredients but ultimately felt less informed than before, I was surprised at the feeling of clarity I experienced after reading about Humanist Beauty’s face oil ingredients. Especially when it comes to skincare, you want to be informed about what you’re putting on your skin, and this product acknowledges that, explaining each ingredient in an ingredient glossary on their website. And as I read through them, instead of skimming over questionable long-worded chemicals, I noted numerous natural sounding oils and extracts, which in fact they are— 100% naturally derived, organic and vegan, with a Leaping Bunny cruelty free certification (meaning no animal testing). A separate page on the site also explains the use of CBD in the product— especially helpful for those, like me, who were slightly curious as to whether since it comes from cannabis it could get you “high” (as the FAQ helpfully informed me the answer is no). The formula testing process also stays true to the human-centered beauty movement by taking extra care to ensure the quality and safety of the ingredients which go through three rounds of testing, from the initial receiving of raw materials to the final formula. The ingredients are also all rated between 1-2 on EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) database, which rates ingredients based on toxicity and 1-2 means low hazard.
Another aspect that stands out from mainstream skin care brands is the packaging—the easy ability to find out what the packing is actually made of and the efforts made to make it as sustainable as possible. If you’ve ever had to pull out excessive packaging just to reach that one small bottle of product you ordered at the bottom of the package, you’ll appreciate the time-saving—and earth-saving—packaging of this face oil. The product comes in a round tube carton to protect it from damage without the need for excess filler and the packaging and postcards are 100% recyclable. The only plastic you’ll find is one plastic tamper proof water seal for full size/half size packages. As for the bottle itself, it’s made of glass and the glass and all other parts are recyclable by most municipal recycling programs.
Humanist Beauty stays connected to its community-mindful mission by selecting local vendors and sustainable suppliers. The cartons come from a local SoCal woman-owned company and the postcards are printed locally and vetted for FSC certified paper and green printing practices. Also the CBD is grown on US farms using organic practices and pesticide-free cultivation. The bottles are the only material internationally sourced, coming from a manufacturer in China vetted for fair labor practices and eco-mindfulness. In terms of the supply chain, waste reduction is put into practice by accepting imperfect packages that don’t infringe on quality like screen print typos. Rather than waste 1000s of pounds of packaging like many other companies do, customers are simply informed of the typo and waste is prevented, admirably saving “the earth, not our egos” as noted on the website.
Through contributions to carbonfund.org, 100% of the company’s carbon emissions are offset. This effort exemplifies the company’s value for sustainability, however a more long term solution of internally eliminating carbon emissions would more fully support the company’s eco-conscious mission. The executive office is notably powered by solar energy and is committed to recycling paper, plastic, aluminum, glass and e-waste—an impressive achievement, though I was left wondering if efforts are being made to do the same in the other offices and facilities. Humanist Beauty is the kind of company that keeps future improvements in mind though, which they make clear through their acknowledgement that while the products aren’t “perfect” they are made with the “best practices available today and will evolve to better practices tomorrow.”
Jennifer Norman founded Humanist Beauty with the belief that “sustainability is about long term socio-eco prosperity,” and skin care should be inclusive and reflect the intrinsic value of respect to foster true holistic wellness. That means you’ll see both male and female models modeling the product and various skin tones as well. I’ll admit I was particularly surprised when I clicked through the product photos and saw a male model holding up the face oil, since I’m so used to beauty campaigns and skin care store aisles full of typically female models advertising products. These images truly support the inclusivity aspect of the product by showing that skin care really is—and should be advertised— for everybody.
Specific worker conditions such as on the CBD farms and other facilities are not heavily discussed, however the company is notably a B-corporation which speaks to the treatment of workers— B-corp is the highest standard of social and environmental impact, assessing impact on various stakeholders, including workers, community, customers, and the environment. Humanist Beauty passed the needed score of 80 with an overall score of 85.8. Community impact has already been achieved before the launch, donating to causes like Black Lives Matter, Gates Philanthropy Partner, and projects supporting those affected by COVID-19. Transparency is also key to the company, with an ingredient glossary as mentioned above explaining the meaning behind what goes into the face oil, and the formula test results are also shared.