Monday, August 18, 2008

Nude Skincare: Offering the Best of Both Worlds

It's all well and good to be eco-conscious and into organics, but when it comes to skincare it's usually been a choice between natural products that are wholesome and healthy, or cutting-edge chemical concoctions that actually WORK. Peace, love and granola is an admirable sentiment, but when you're fighting the signs of the times (fine line, wrinkles, age spots) you need something with a bit more oomph than jojoba oil. At least that's what the clientele of Bryan Meehan, former owner of Fresh & Wild (the U.K. equivalent of WholeFoods), was telling him. His health-conscious customers were stocking up on organic produce, but going elsewhere to buy skincare laden with the types of chemicals they assiduously avoided in their diet.

Which inspired Meehan to come up with nude, a line of skincare that is effective, eco-friendly and comprised of supremely luxurious ingredients.

The first priority for nude was that the products be EFFECTIVE. Meehan's intent is to compete with the cosmeceutical doctor brands--but while many clinical skincare lines are loaded with retinols and acids, nude's anti-aging philosophy is about AVOIDING irritation. The line uses a combination of pro-biotic ingredients and a neutral pH to protect the skin's natural microflora balance (good bacteria!) and acid mantle, in addition to pre-biotics to keep skin hydrated naturally. nude works on the principle that the breakdown of the acid mantle and irritation is a primary cause of aging, so the ingredients work to feed and nourish the skin.

Philosophy is one thing--but nude has clinical studies to back up their claims. Try getting THAT from a bottle of jojoba oil!

Exquisite ingredients are also an important part of the line. The facial scrub contains fine beads of rose quartz, the replenishing night oil boasts a blend of omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 and antioxidants raspberry, cranberry, avellana and kukui and the age defense moisturizer blends bioactive milk peptides, antioxidant buriti oil and argan extract along with hyaluronic acid. The products are filled with bioactives, peptides, phytoactives, potent botanicals and organic ingredients. What you won't find in any of Nude's products: parabens, sulphates, PEGs, propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, phthalates, mineral oil, silicones, GM and potential carcinogens.

The last piece of the puzzle is the line's overwhelming commitment to being as eco-friendly as possible. From sourcing beautiful organic, fair trade and community traded ingredients whenever possible or when organic alternatives are not available choosing the safest, healthiest options possible to working to make all nude packaging from post consumer recycled or biodegradable materials. Currently nude uses Type 5 polypropylene packaging which is completely recyclable (and if you can't find a local PP5 recycler, nude provides contact information online) and 40% of the collection is made of 50% post industrial recycled plastic. In addition, the company itself is carbon neutral as it takes steps to reduce and offset its carbon emissions annually.

nude doesn't claim to be perfect, but they have put an amazing amount of effort into making responsible decisions to reduce materials, pollution and waste. Not content to rest on some already considerable laurels, Meehan is continuing to work towards perfection with plans to add a sunscreen to his thoroughbred stable of products (next May) as well as working towards 100% recycled materials (within a year) and 100% organic ingredients (within five years). And as of this month, nude launched its formidable line in 60 Sephoras across the U.S.

So watch out Dr. Brandt, Dr. Perricone and Dr. Wexler! You may think you've found the fountain of youth in your testtubes, but high-performance skincare has stripped off the labcoat and gotten nude.

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