Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ethical Consuming

So I'm going to Nuremberg. Nurenberg?


That is, in Germany.

There's an organic trade fair there, BioFach between 19-22 February, and I've been asked to help represent Palestinian fair trade and organic company Canaan Fair Trade there. Yay! They have the best olive oil in the world (I swear), and they also do really important work in a region where more than 60 years of conflict and more than 40 years of Israeli occupation have devastated the economy and isolated farmers and families from the rest of the world.

Example: since the start in 2004, Canaan Fair Trade has planted well over 26 000 olive trees in a region where many farmers have seen the Israeli wall cut off their land, and their olive orchards confiscated and/or destroyed by Israeli occupation forces.

And Canaan does all this according to international fair trade standards (in fact, they recenty had 8 cooperatives certified by Fair Trade labeling Organization International!), which guarantees fair prices and wages, and fair working conditions. All of this is possible because there are ethical consumers out there who care enough about the people who produce their food and their makeup to make sure that they can lead a decent life and earn a living on their trade.

Speaking of which (makeup and ethical consuming, that is), I recently came across a new company that makes the best organic, all natural, cruelty-free, certified entirely vegan skincare. That is to say, there are no preservatives, no mineral oils, no parabens, artificial perfume, lanolin, or any other kind of crap in them, which is a god-send for people who have sensitive skin (like me) and who are vegetarian (like me). And of course, it's not tested on animals, but that goes without saying.

The company is based in London and is called MuLondon--go and check out their website on Wait, I'll share some pictures:

Gorgeous, huh? They ship everywhere, which is a good thing for everybody who's not planning on going to London in the near future just to buy organic skincare.

Oh, and let me add one thing: if you have been told (like I have) that you're supposed to use oil-free products for your face, then I can tell you that that's simply not true. They should be mineral-oil free, but vegetable oils and butters are good for your skin. Very nourishing, mousturizing and they leave your skin super soft. But the key is to only use very little (or you'll walk around with a shiny face), and put the creme on right after you wash your face, without patting it dry first. This way, the product doesn't just sit on the surface of your skin, but your skin can "drink up" the creme.

If you're prone to oily skin (which I am), it's even more important to use oil in your products. Because the more you try to dry out your skin to get rid of the shine, the more your skin is going to think it needs to produce more oil (or sebum). But adding oil from the outside (in small quantities, with good-quality products) will eventually teach your skin that it doesn't have to produce all this extra oil, because it gets the moisture it needs anyway, and it will actually stop producing so much oil on its own.

And one note on washing your face: don't use products with soap in them. This will not only dry out your skin, but can also potentially damage its natural protective abilities (okay, so I don't know all the right terms for this, but my dad works with dermatological drug development, so he's explained this to me), especially if you have sensitive skin. It's better to either use a product without soap, or just use olive oil. Yes, I swear. It gets all the makeup off. Just use cotton pads to wipe it off.

And this concludes Ruby's Special Skin Care Class. haha.

More on Canaan Fair Trade from Germany.

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