This blogger got into 'green' beauty for an extremely personal reason.

Liz Mimran was a teenager when she started losing her hair.

This is, obviously, not a common problem for someone so young to have.

"I tried every possible hair care line and supplement on the market [to stop the hair loss], but to no avail," writes Liz in an email. "Worse, some products only aggravated the problem and irritated my scalp."


Since this was before all-natural products had become a staple of the mainstream beauty market, Liz decided to research homeopathic and holistic remedies to see if they'd make a difference.

Liking what she read, she began to dip her toe into the world of "green" hair care. She started using products that contained less, if any, synthetics, as well as homemade concoctions.

Liz Mimran. Photo courtesy of Liz Mimran.

And slowly but surely, her hair got healthier.

"A couple of months later, my hair loss diminished tremendously and my hair felt less greasy and fragile," Liz writes. "It did not happen overnight, but it worked."

That was it for Liz: She was now a green beauty product convert.

Two years later, she start blogging about her experiences to help others.

Her blog, Smells Like a Green Spirit, is a fun, down-to-earth guide for anyone interested in trying the sustainable beauty lifestyle.

Coucou, c’est moi 👋🏻. Thank you all for your sweet messages regarding my previous post. It means everything💚 This year my enthusiasm for highlighters reached its pinnacle and I do plan on doing a huge highlighter round up like the one I did with the eyeshadows. On my face, I am wearing the @w3llpeople biocorrect concealer. The coverage is just excellent. On my cheeks, @lavera_naturkosmetik natural mousse blush in soft cherry. Lavera has mastered the art of creating a whipped texture that stays on. Last but not least, @rmsbeauty luminizer in Champagne rosé. Rms is spoiling us with all these highlighters. Champagne Rosé has a pink iridescence to it that looks super cool on the skin. Also pretty as a lip topper. Happy Monday lovely people!

A post shared by Liz (green/eco writer 🌿) (@lizthegreenspirit) on

"I try my best to help people navigate the world of organic and natural beauty and avoid some of the mistakes that I made when I first started my green journey," Liz says.

For example, just because a brand claims its product is "100% natural" or "organic" doesn't mean it is.

Sometimes brands greenwash, which means they claim to be eco-friendly through advertising and marketing but don't actually implement practices that minimize environmental impact.

Since Liz began exploring actual green, sustainable products when they weren't facets of cosmetic stores or beauty magazines, it was more of a challenge for her to find things that were the real deal.

Today, she gets notes from readers having the opposite problem — there are so many green products on the market that they simply don't know where to start.

So Liz gives the following advice: "Read the labels, take your time, and listen to your body. Certain ingredients are natural but that doesn't mean that your skin will react positively to it."

Liz is far from the only millennial to pledge herself to sustainable beauty. It's a movement that's become firmly embedded in the younger generations.

In fact, according to Fast Company, 90% of millennials say they'll buy from a brand if they believe its social and environmental practices are legit.

And they have good reason to feel this way. According to the EPA, 30% of the trash in landfills is packaging. Beauty products are a $500 billion industry, so its packaging contributes significantly to that percentage. The more beauty brands commit to making their packaging more sustainable, the less they'll compromise our planet.

Due to climate change and a whole host of other environmental issues, millennials are living in an endangered world. As such, it's often appealing to them to purchase products that don't make things worse.

While Liz wholeheartedly believes investing in green beauty is about saving the planet, she also thinks it's important to focus on what we're are putting into and onto our bodies.

"I believe that the internet and access to [tons] of information has contributed to raising awareness of the significance of living in a more mindful way," Liz writes.

This attention toward personal well-being goes hand-in-hand with sustainability, which is why consumers like Liz look for products that highlight it when purchasing and recommending products.  

But it's not just about what they're made of — it's how they're packaged too.

Save water. It makes rainbows. For this year's #worldwaterday, @stopthewater launched their third project aiming to provide clean water access to regions in need. This year, they are committed to bring clean water in the south of Madagascar with their #waterkiosk project. 2/3 of the population lacks access to clean water. I've been using this Lemon Honey soap for a few years now and hands feel nourished and clean after each use. It's an amazing product by a outstanding brand. Their special rainbow edition (500 mL) retails for 21.90 Eur. 10% of the proceeds of each soap goes directly to the #waterkiosk initiative. Available on @stopthewater website. . #goodwaterprojects #stopthewaterwhileusingme #savewateritmakesrainbows

A post shared by Liz (green/eco writer 🌿) (@lizthegreenspirit) on

Eco-friendly packaging is just as much a part of what makes a product sustainable as what's inside. Thankfully, Liz is noticing beauty brands making efforts there too.

"There's still a long way to go, but I have the impression that brands now understand that a product has to be eco-friendly from head to toe in order to 'earn' the sustainable/ethical label," Liz writes.

Since she's a known beauty blogger, she gets loads of products to review, so she's even more appreciative of repurposed or 100% recyclable packaging than the average buyer.  

Liz hopes her generation will continue to demand transparency from beauty brands as more and more go green — and not just for her skin's sake.

Holding companies to such high standards will not only keep us looking and feeling better, it'll help reinvigorate our planet. While they may be younger, millennials and generation Z understand that better than most because they're seeing firsthand the effects that decades of the alternative have made.

So, perhaps we shouldn't call green beauty a trend but rather a necessary shift.

After all, environmentalism as a whole isn't fashionable — it's the cornerstone of our future.

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan
True

Growing up in Indonesia, Farwiza Farhan always loved the ocean. It's why she decided to study marine biology. But the more she learned, the more she realized that it wasn't enough to work in the ocean. She needed to protect it.

"I see the ocean ecosystem collapsing due to overfishing and climate change," she says. "I felt powerless and didn't know what to do [so] I decided to pursue my master's in environmental management."

This choice led her to work in environmental protection, and it was fate that brought her back home to the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia — one of the last places on earth where species such as tigers, orangutans, elephants and Sumatran rhinoceros still live in the wild today. It's also home to over 300 species of birds, eight of which are endemic to the region.

"When I first flew over the Leuser Ecosystem, I saw an intact landscape, a contiguous block of lush, diverse vegetation stretched through hills and valleys. The Leuser is truly a majestic landscape — one of a kind."

She fell in love. "I had my first orangutan encounter in the Leuser Ecosystem," she remembers. "As the baby orangutan swung from the branches, seemingly playing and having fun, the mother was observing us. I was moved by the experience."

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

"Over the years," she continues, "the encounters with wildlife, with people, and with the ecosystem itself compounded. My curiosity and interest towards nature have turned into a deep desire to protect this biodiversity."

So, she began working for a government agency tasked to protect it. After the agency dismantled for political reasons in the country, Farhan decided to create the HAkA Foundation.

"The goals [of HAkA] are to protect, conserve and restore the Leuser Ecosystem while at the same time catalyzing and enabling just economic prosperity for the region," she says.

"Wild areas and wild places are rare these days," she continues. "We think gold and diamonds are rare and therefore valuable assets, but wild places and forests, like the Leuser Ecosystems, are the kind of natural assets that essentially provide us with life-sustaining services."

"The rivers that flow through the forest of the Leuser Ecosystem are not too dissimilar to the blood that flows through our veins. It might sound extreme, but tell me — can anyone live without water?"

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

So far, HAkA has done a lot of work to protect the region. The organization played a key role in strengthening laws that bring the palm oil companies that burn forests to justice. In fact, their involvement led to an unprecedented, first-of-its-kind court decision that fined one company close to $26 million.

In addition, HAkA helped thwart destructive infrastructure plans that would have damaged critical habitat for the Sumatran elephants and rhinos. They're working to prevent mining destruction by helping communities develop alternative livelihoods that don't damage the forests. They've also trained hundreds of police and government rangers to monitor deforestation, helping to establish the first women ranger teams in the region.

"We have supported multiple villages to create local regulation on river and land protection, effectively empowering communities to regain ownership over their environment."

She is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to the Ecosystem Impact Foundation. The small local foundation is working to protect some of the last remaining habitats of the critically endangered leatherback turtle that lives on the west coast of Sumatra.

"The funds will help the organization keep their ranger employed so they can continue protecting the islands, endangered birds and sea turtle habitats," she says.

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen. Do you know an inspiring woman like Farwiza? Nominate her today!

Photo by Vanessa Garcia from Pexels

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