photography by PHUONG NGUYEN
Buying beauty and health products can feel frivolous and superficial at times—$150 creams, laser treatments, collagen ... it can all just feel like beauty for beauty’s sake. And some brands feel you, and are aware that yes, you need hand lotion, darn it, but hey, percentages of proceeds of that lotion could be going to an organization that does something for the greater good. And not only hand lotion, but lipstick and essential oils, and on.
We’ve gathered a list of (and will keep updating as we find more and as you leave comments) of our favorite brands that give back. Make your money go that extra mile.
100 percent of net proceeds (!)
Ten "nasty women" of varying backgrounds banded together after the election after feeling helpless to form Nasty Hands—a moisturizing hand cream that, as they say, will “keep you smooth and supple for all of the sign-carrying, glass-ceiling-shattering, and opinion-piece-penning you might do in a day.”
Co-founder Marta Plana Cros says the mission of NH is “to support educational rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, equal legal representation, and more in our current political climate. NastyHands supports Hetrick-Martin Institute (LGBTQ empowerment), NARAL Pro-Choice America (women's reproductive rights), and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which fights for human rights on a whole. Customers get to choose which charity they'd like to support at checkout and 100 percent of proceeds go toward that cause.”
In an effort to reappropriate the world into a form of empowerment, Bitchstix offers organic lip balms with proceeds going to support survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
The Lipstick Lobby
Making change, one pink lipstick at a time, The Lipstick Lobby wants to make a “social justice movement for change, progress and equality. Wearing this lipstick is a reminder that small actions can create big waves.” One hundred percent of net profits are donated to Planned Parenthood.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
Let avocado and sesame seed oil salvage hands, while Kiehl’s donates 100 percent of purchases to help fight HIV/AIDS.
Percentage of Proceeds
Literally built into the DNA of the company since its founding, each season has a new product dedicated and benefiting a different endangered animal in need. And not only that, the founders walk the walk, too, personally investigating the wellbeing of in-need animals like gorillas, tigers, and bees (and so many more).
Kahina Giving Beauty
A percentage of revenue goes back to a community of Berber women in Morocco, who do the hard work of extracting argan oil—the nourishing ingredient at the heart of the brand’s products. Kahina not only provides them with economic freedom, but also educational initiatives and everyday needs like eyeglasses.
The ethically made essential oil brand is all about healing. And that extends to their Amma (Mother) essential oil collection, which partners with Every Mother Counts to focus on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere in the world. And the Thunderbird Body collection places a percentage of proceeds to The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe - Dakota Access Pipeline Fund.
The Body Shop
The brand has quietly been fostering 30 years of community and sustained trade by sourcing quality ingredients and accessories from expert producers across the world. The Body Shop is also focused on reducing its environmental footprint, dramatically making efforts to reduce waste in their production process, along with a handful of other impressive initiatives (like anti-animal testing).
Every candle supports solar lamps to help people living outside of the electrical grid.
Violets are Blue
Specifically created to be without parabens and toxins for women going through chemotherapy (and for those that support them near or far), this line also donates a skincare kit to each woman as they begin their first chemotherapy treatment at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital.
Natural and organic omega-based skincare, Maya Chia gives back to the Maya people of Central and South American, where the products are harvested.
The moisturizing miracle oil, moringa, is harvested directly by over 2,500 small farming families throughout Ghana, providing wages and way of life.
Unique in that it’s an online retailer that allows you to buy the brands you love, while supporting the cause of your choice. “Now your product is feeding children, providing blankets for the homeless, supporting cancer research, etc.; your purchases create positive impact and change,” said founder Hil Davis.
9 Decor Companies Who Give Back!
The Must-Use Oil You've Never Heard Of
The Best Beauty Boutiques To Visit Around the World