Before becoming a model known for bringing environmental awareness and sustainability to the fashion world, Summer Rayne Oakes studied the effects of toxic sludge at Cornell.
That’s not a bad background for investigating beauty-product labels, which Oakes came to do for her book, Style, Naturally, a gorgeously illustrated guide to sustainable fashion and beauty choices. For the research, she tested many of the cleanest (and most effective) beauty products available.
We asked Oakes, who’s also now a contributing editor to the about-to-launch ABOVE Magazine, to share those she loved enough to add to her beauty bag.
1. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist ($33) This is by far one of my favorite products, and I’m reminded of it every time I fly, since I take it with me whenever I travel. A little spritz of the soothing mist immediately wakes up my skin and eyes after long, dry flights. It also brings back fond memories for me: I used to make rosewater from a recipe I found in an old Rodale Herb Book when I was a young girl. But admittedly it was never as nice as Jurlique’s version.
2. Duchess Marden Damascena Face Crème ($60) I met the founder of Duchess Marden, Marla, while researching great products for my book. I absolutely fell in love with her whole line, but I specifically enjoy the Face Crème. As my friend has said, “It’s as if angelic ingénues have descended from the heavens and planted rose-petaled kisses upon your cheeks.”
3. H2O+ Sea Pure Finishing Body Silk ($23) This is a luxuriously sensual body oil naturally-derived from a number of rich plant oils, such as jojoba, sunflower and orange peel. I particularly love how light it feels over the skin. I shot on the beach for ABOVE Magazine in the cold months of November, and the makeup artist from that shoot introduced me to this product. It not only gave my skin a healthy sheen, but it most importantly helped protect the skin from the cold air and water.
4. Collective Wellbeing Dry Skin Relief Body Butter ($15) My legs sometimes get drier than the rest of my body, so I’ve always needed a great lotion, and I particularly don’t care for greasy finishes, which you often get with some shea butter products. The texture and consistency of this lotion is ideal—by far the best my legs have ever felt.
5. Crystal Pomegranate Deodorant ($5) Deodorant is a less glamorous, quotidian personal-care product, but it’s an important one to mention because so many of the deodorants out there contain chemicals that can contribute to skin irritations and cancers. Crystal is the first brand that I have found works well with my body. It doesn’t really serve as an antiperspirant per se, and I might have to apply it twice a day if I work out, but I opt for this on a more-than-regular basis. —Lisa Elaine Held