Beauty doesn’t have to cost the earth and it doesn't have to damage it either. Leena Al Abass, owner of The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge, the UAE’s first eco-friendly beauty salon, gives us her eco-conscious beauty tips.
How do you ensure the store is environmentally friendly?
We have a green policy in place, which ensures we follow eco-friendly practices such as recycling our waste, using energy-saving lighting, reducing our water/energy consumption, using biodegradable towels, using and selling toxic-free organic products, working with other ethical and sustainable companies and supporting green initiatives in the UAE.
Beauty-wise, how can people help the environment?
The best and safest beauty treatments are the ones that use natural ingredients found in every kitchen. Also, when shopping, use reusable bags and say no to plastic bags.
Asides from being better for the environment, what benefits do green products have for individuals?
Skin is the biggest organ in the body and anything we apply on it is absorbed into our bloodstream, so it makes sense to always use toxic-free or organic products to reduce our exposure to harsh or harmful ingredients.
When shopping for beauty products, what should people remember?
Always try to be a conscious consumer; support brands that respect the environment and don’t test on animals; read ingredients and avoid any products that contain harsh chemicals, check labels and look for recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
Choosing environmentally friendly products is a great way to look after your skin: after all, the chemicals used in some less-salubrious products can do more harm than good. It’s also a way of letting brands know that harming animals, using unsustainable products or non-recyclable packaging just isn’t going to cut it anymore. We’ve found five great products from a variety of environmentally conscious brands to help you on the way to voting with your face.
1 All-in-one day and night cream by human + kind
Stay hydrated 24/7 with this moisturiser, which has a light, non-greasy formula and texture. It adheres to human + kind’s ‘all natural’ philosophy, and is free from parabens and harmful chemicals.
Dhs130. Available at Milk & Honey, Meadows Town Centre, Emirates Hills (04 435 6363).
2 Pro-Collagen Eye Treatment by Elemis
This new serum targets fine lines and wrinkles using a combination of plant actives and amino acids. All Elemis products totally avoid using genetically modified crops, animal-derived collagen, synthetic perfumes and colouring, mineral oil, alcohol and silicones.
Dhs323. Available at Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 350 5333).
3 Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser by Pevonia Botanica
All Pevonia Botanica products promise to avoid animal testing, parabens, alcohol and harmful chemicals, and come in fully recyclable, biodegradable or reusable packaging. So not only can you buy guilt-free, they’re also perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.
Dhs164. Available at Natural Elements Spa, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud (04 702 2550).
4 Hydrasea polarised water serum for the face by Phytomer
This moisturiser boosts skin hydration after application and long-term after just two weeks’ use. Phytomer uses 100 percent marine-based ingredients, and protects the environment by filtering gardens, cultivating seaweed and growing rare seaweeds and vegetal coral in the lab.
Dhs225. Available online at www.salonskincare.co.uk.
5 Aloe Vera Cleansing Milk by Herbline Essentials
This cleansing milk has a light texture, allowing deep penetration of the skin for a super-effective clean. All products from Herbline Essentials are created using natural, organic ingredients originating from the Himalayas, and are parabens, paraffin and cruelty-free, so get shopping with a clear conscious!
Dhs89. Available online at www.zanedo.com.
Time Out Tries
Treatment: Raw Cacao Anti-Ageing Facial
Ambiance: The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge is quaint, comfortable and relaxing with a strong smell of incense and calming background music.
Process: After being offered some water, we were given a detailed explanation of what the treatment would involve. A combination of raw cacao, honey, green tea, avocado and oatmeal had been blended together to provide a vitamin-boosting, anti-oxidant, exfoliating mask that would be applied to our skin. Rose water was used to cleanse our face and we enjoyed a delightful arm, neck and shoulder massage while the air was filled with the scent of essential oils. Cucumbers were placed over our eyes before the mask was applied.
Results: Our skin felt lovely and soft and we left feeling satisfied, entirely relaxed and happy that we’d had an eco-friendly treatment. We also thought it was good value for money, especially as the treatment included a mini-massage.
Dhs320, The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge, Al Wasl Road. www.organicglowuae.com (04 380 4666).