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An Interview with Sarah Buscho of Earth Tu Face

Forget about farm-to-table, natural skin care brand Earth Tu Face brings all the fantastic benefits of raw, organic, and food-grade ingredients straight to your skin, and with minimal waste to boot! While Earth Tu Face was mostly built from its founders’ kitchen table, it is quietly making waves in the beauty industry. Proving that not only can amazing skincare products be created without any harmful synthetic materials, but that these products can be created without harming the environment. 

We sit down with Sarah Buscho of Earth Tu Face and talk about her passion for the environment and how sustainability is the most important part driving factor to her brand. You won’t find any toxins, plastics, GMOs, fillers, palm oil, or preservatives in any Earth Tu Face product. Further driving home their powerful philosophy of “Never putting anything on your skin, that you wouldn’t put in your mouth”. Because for Sarah Buscho, skincare should always put health first — that of the user, and also of the planet we live in. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your backgrounds? What inspired you to start Earth Tu Face?
The business officially started in 2010. Having a business wasn't something I planned to do. I  was making products for my own use, while working in health care as an herbalist. People I knew  began using the products I was making, and word spread to a few little boutiques in the area. The community became interested, which showed me that there was an obvious need for the line. I wanted to deliver natural products, 100% biodegradable and food grade products that created glowing results, and are safe for everyone, even children. (I intentionally chose ingredients with low allergy risks) On top of all that, the ingredients also needed to be sustainable for the earth over a long trajectory. Everything is palm oil free and we don’t use any kind of ‘sexy plant of the moment,' that would decimate a population. Packaging also had to be as minimal waste as possible so that the entire life cycle of the product: from the hands that touch each ingredient, to its use on our bodies, to the elimination back into the earth, and eventually the packaging reuse and reabsorption — all had to be intentional. 

Another obvious need stemmed from personal experience. When I was born, I could only wear a 100% cotton as any other material would give me eczema all over my body. I never found skincare products in department stores or drugstores that I could use without a reaction. So I used simple, very pure, organic food formulations on my face, which I made from my kitchen. The more education I got in holistic health and medicine the better the formulas became. I wanted the products to come from a place of putting health first: health of the people using the products, and health of the planet creating and supporting the line. Nature is the constant inspiration  because in healthy eco-systems there is no waste. Every by-product is used in another way to benefit the system, to me that is a win-win or benefit-benefit solution and THAT is the goal.
All of Earth Tu Face’s products are purely plant based, 100% natural, and food grade! How do you extend your products shelf-life to last a long time? 
Part of our production process is to use the highest quality food grade ingredients and organic cold-pressed oils available. This ensures not only product purity, but a shelf stable product that will last longer naturally, without any of the ingredients being broken down. Another thing we do is use beneficial ingredients that help preserve the products, real non-synthetic and GMO free vitamin E, raw honey, and essential oils, which naturally make the product healthier and give a longer shelf-life.

How important is sustainability to the ethos of Earth Tu Face? 
Sustainability is our most important value. It is a love of the earth and all of it's creatures that drives the passion behind the brand. It is why we created the biodegradable paper tube for our best selling skin stick (no more plastic in our oceans!)and why we formulated each product.
One of your key philosophies is to “Never put on your skin what you wouldn’t put in your mouth” — and so Earth Tu Face doesn’t use any alcohol, synthetic dyes, fillers, GMOs, palm oil, preservatives, toxins, or any kind of synthetic ingredients.
Earth Tu Face Palmarosa + Aloe Face WashEarth Tu Face Rose + Aloe Toning MistEarth Tu Face Lavender + With Hazel Cosmos TonerEarth Tu Face Calendula + Carrot Exfoliant MaskEarth Tu Face x Jenni Kayne Tea Tree + Rosewood Lip BalmEarth Tu Face Cosos Everywhere SalveEarth Tu Face Vanilla Peppermint Lip Balm in Shell

What do you think is hindering other skincare brands from adopting the same sustainable approach?
It is definitely more challenging and costly to make products this way. It is much more convenient to use inexpensive additives to keep things shelf stable, make a consistency that customers are used to, and to go with the grain so to speak in the product making world.   

Could you tell us more about your Change-Makers campaign? 
We’ve aligned our all-star products with stellar organisations to ensure a brighter, more beautiful future. To honor women and mothers, five percent of the sale of each Body Butter will be donated to Planned Parenthood. To honor all humankind, five percent of the sale of each universal Face Serum will be donated to the ACLU. And to further our total devotion to the planet, five percent of each sale of our zero-waste Skin Stick will be donated to the Center for Biological Diversity. We are honoured to support those stepping forward with love.
Today, sustainability is more important than ever, with brands becoming more and more concerned about their carbon footprint. What role does the beauty industry play in the effort to minimise our environmental impact as a species? 
All industries play a vital role in minimising our environmental impact, because we live in a closed system —  whatever we create eventually ends up in our waterways, soil, air, etc. We have a lot to do on this planet to keep it habitable for future generations. From that standpoint, packaging and ingredients are crucial to consider as well as making sure we use ingredients that won't be depleted (or don't cause damage when cultivating). We need all hands on deck to implement new ways of creating goods that meet our needs and nourish our home at the same time. 
As consumers, how can we make a difference in protecting the future of our planet? 
Consumers have the biggest responsibility, because they make the ultimate decision about what products are on the market based on their support. Products that nurture the future of our planet are more costly. This is true in slow fashion with clothing, food, and cosmetics. It puts a burden on consumers to have higher standards and often to buy less but purchase quality.

Interview by Hannah Tan-Gillies