A lot of questionable pitches from brands get thrown your way when you're a beauty editor. These daily emails ask us to write about: products that claim to shrink pores, any and every method to rid your face of wrinkles, and don't even get me started on the recent uptick in new vaginal treatments. Needless to say, I've almost become desensitized to companies that say they are "changing the way we look at beauty." It's a cynical outlook, but somebody's gotta have it. Recently, I attended the Elev8 conference in New York City. At the event, which took place at an art gallery in Chelsea, founders of conscious-beauty brands gathered to show off their products and explain their green principles. Buzzwords like "100% natural," "vegan-friendly," and "cruelty-free" were tossed around during every face-to-face encounter, the smell of essential oils wafted in the air, and cute packaging was aplenty — it was basically a Free People catalog come to life. The usual Earth Day-friendly suspects were present, like Little Barn Apothecary, Mullein & Sparrow, and Earth tu Face (all personal favorites), but there was one that caught and held my attention: Scandinavian brand Nuori. The company's ethos centers around freshness (it believes that 100% purity leads to 100% efficacy, to be exact), and its unique method works like this: A new batch of products is blended every 12 weeks (or three months) — and no product stays on the shelf for more than 12 weeks at a time. When they say fresh, they mean it. The line consists of both skin-care and body products, and each bottle is marked with two dates: a start-using-by and an expiration date. This clean-beauty approach is to ensure the natural ingredients infused in the items are at their prime, founder Jasmi Bonnén explains.
"When I was researching the chemical stability of cosmetics, I found numerous studies documenting that commonly used active ingredients — such as vitamins — start losing their beneficial properties in just a matter of a few months due to oxidization," she tells us. "Another downside of long shelf lives is the use of synthetic preservatives and other additives, which are required to preserve and stabilize the formulas over time."
The brand's dedication to efficacy spills over to the packaging. Aside from being a minimalist's dream, the cleansers, body balms, and eye creams all come with airless pumps, which help to prevent molecule oxidization, Bonnén says. The hand cream has a dual airless pump and a multi-layered tube made of plastic and recycled aluminum. The standout vitamin C serum allows you to mix the formula at home (with the press of a button), so the ingredients aren't activated until you need them to start working and the formula stays fresh. The product I've been using (and recently started to swear by) is the Foaming Cleanser. First of all, it foams (which always makes for a fun time). I've used similar formulas in the past, but rather than being watery and light, this version is luxuriously milky and creamy. Apply it to dry skin, rub away, and rinse. I've used it in both makeup-removing and regular ol' dirt-removing instances, and the combination of pomegranate enzymes and radish-root and oat-kernel extracts works wonders in both. My face feels moisturized afterward, rather than dry and tight — a person with combination skin's worst nightmare. But the aspect of the product — and brand — that helps me sleep better at night is that it thinks in months, not years, which makes it work so much better. As Bonnén explains, many of the products we use sit on our vanities or in our bathroom cabinets for way longer than necessary. I just Kondo-d my beauty haul, and, while doing so, realized that I had no idea how long all this stuff had been chillin' in my storage. Nuori's approach is a foolproof way to not only keep track of that, but to make sure you're getting the most out of your products. It's a simple concept, but it makes a world of sense. I leave you with these words from Bonnén as my parting gift: "Fresh skin care makes sense to me the same way fresh food does — it’s more nourishing and has less additives." Mull that over, beautiful people. Nuori Vital Foaming Cleanser, $35, available at Shen Beauty.