Instagram’s Favorite Olive Oil Is Now Available In Cleanser Form

To say that olive oil is multipurpose is an understatement (and, quite frankly, an insult). Dip your bread in it, drizzle your salad with it, sauté your vegetables in it, marinate your steak in it, bake with it; the sky (or the bottom of the bottle) is the limit. The same benefits that make olive oil an essential component of the long-heralded Mediterranean diet — potent antioxidants, nutrient-rich polyphenols, and healthy fats aplenty — also make it a no-brainer as a skin-care ingredient.
But in skin care, just like in cooking, the quality of your olive oil matters. That $3 gallon from Trader Joe's is perfect for toasting your grilled cheese, but in order to really taste the oil in all its glory or reap its rewards on your skin, you'll want to opt for something with a little more care put into it. Something that isn't overly processed, rife with fillers, or dubiously sourced — something like Brightland, the California-based brand whose chic minimalist bottles you've likely spotted in your favorite food influencer's Instagram feed.
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Now, Brightland's carefully-selected, custom-blended ethos is moving from kitchen to medicine cabinet through a collaboration with sustainability-first skin-care label Circumference (which, for what it's worth, also looks great on Instagram). The Daily Regenerative Gel Cleanser, out today, is a gentle daily face wash powered by organic olive-leaf extract sourced directly from excess byproduct harvested by Brightland's family-run farm partner in California. The cleanser can be purchased alone for $48 or in the $65 Root To Leaf set, which also includes a 3.4 fl oz bottle of Brightland Alive 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the same fall 2020 harvest.

The partnership is the result of Circumference's Waste-Not Sourcing Initiative, a truly ground-breaking mission in an industry awash with ill-defined terms like eco-friendly and biodegradable: The beauty brand teams up with like-minded companies in other fields to repurpose ingredients that would otherwise be discarded as waste. Founders (and husband-and-wife duo) Jina Kim and Chris Young were inspired by a section in the book Radical Matter: Revolutionary Materials and Design for a Sustainable Future that challenges the idea of waste as an end point, instead seeing it as an opportunity to start something new.

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"The thesis for Circumference revolves around a vision to create circularity," says Young, the brand's COO and Head of Sustainability. "The traditional model for how skin-care products were produced made it rather impossible to achieve that. With that came the need to develop and implement new and innovative sustainable practices to get us as close as possible." Through the Waste-Not Sourcing Initiative, he says, "Cross-industry collaborative partnerships provide us with an opportunity to have greater impact outside of just the beauty space."
This particular collaboration — Circumference's second, after the October 2020 launch of the Active Restorative Moisturizing Cream, which features leftover grape leaves and vines (also found in the new cleanser) from sustainable Long Island winery Bedell Cellars — was a natural fit, both in formula and interpersonally. "Olive leaf extract is an incredibly special ingredient, packed with rich bioactive compounds that help reduce inflammation and redness and antioxidants that help protect your skin from exposure to harmful free radicals, and has been celebrated for centuries," says Kim, the brand's CEO. "We’ve been big fans of Brightland’s olive oils for some time now, so when we started to explore sourcing olive leaves, we immediately contacted Aishwarya Iyer, the founder and CEO. We actually had a number of mutual friends and it turns out she was a fan of our brand as well, so it made for a really exciting conversation."
The path to sustainability in beauty isn't particularly well-trodden, nor is it even entirely clear. But with brands like Circumference dreaming big, we get one step closer to breaking down the seeming inevitabilities of the industry and its traditional materials and manufacturing processes — discarding the idea that there is only one way to do things, and seeing those uncertainties as a chance to create something new.
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