An Interview with Echo Natural Beauty
As a business that contributes to a movement that embraces the health of both the environment and humanity, EcoVibe sees the importance in supporting other businesses that share our mission to make our planet a safer, healthier place. We've recently made friends with another good-doing business in the Portland area, called ECHO Natural Beauty, a "green" beauty and wellness shop. This shop offers a wide array of health-conscious cosmetics and beauty products, as well as services such as massage, facials, and sugaring. We've conducted an interview below with ECHO's store owner, Jami Sherman, to spread the word about the importance of natural beauty products.
What makes the cosmetics you carry safer / healthier to use than traditional beauty products?
I have been in the skin care business since 2002. I was working as an esthetician for a little while before I had my “Aha!” moment; I learned that 60% of what you put on your skin will get absorbed into your body. I was already choosing an organic, whole foods rich diet and decided I wanted the same quality in the products I was using on my skin. After researching ingredients more I learned there are many toxic ingredients in personal care products and that the cosmetics industry is loosely regulated. Our products at ECHO have high quality organic oils and plant-based ingredients that feed and nourish the skin instead of synthetic and potentially harmful ingredients. Our products are always free of parabens, phthalates and harmful sulfates. Many of our products also contain food grade ingredients - so pure you could eat them! Once you experience the healing benefits and effectiveness of our skin care and makeup, I promise you will want to make the switch to 100% clean products.
What makes your products “green” or environmentally friendly?
For starters all of ECHO’s products are natural and cruelty-free. The brands that we carry also make an effort to either use glass packaging or recyclable packaging to reduce waste going into landfills. At ECHO, we sell a refillable hand / body wash and an aromatic mist in glass packaging.
Why create a “green” beauty/wellness shop?
As an esthetician, I was noticing that all of these small independent skin care brands were emerging and a “natural beauty revolution” was emerging but I could not find these amazing, effective, eco-friendly brands like May Lindstrom, Dr. Alkaitis, RMS and Laurel in Portland. Portland was the perfect city to offer green beauty and no one was carrying these lines. I wanted these products and I knew others did too and to be able to offer a selection of effective, plant-based products combined with a facial with amazing massage would be the ultimate
What inspires you to help nurture the planet?
I love being out in nature and believe it is so healing!! I live and work in the Pearl and some days I just need to get out of the city and escape to the beach or forest park! I am inspired to keep Oregon green and give back to the beauty all around us.
What are some small steps the average person can take in their daily life to help improve the environment?
This year I have personally focused on eliminating single use paper cups! I do love my coffee though so I always bring my ecoffee cup to work with me and gave all my staff a cup (https://ecoffeecup.eco) to further encourage no paper cups. We also use glass cups for water and tea at the shop and we don’t use paper napkins or plates for events. This year I also gave up paper towels in the kitchen at home. I believe the key is to take small steps like these and eventually they will add up and make a big difference. We are so excited to be working with Chloé Lepeltier with Zero Waste PDX (www.zerowastepdx.com) to consult with us how we can be more sustainable at ECHO.
Why do you think it’s important for people to use natural beauty products, rather than traditional beauty products?
It is better for your health and our environment. Toxic chemicals have been discovered in newborn babies and parabens have been found in our water and in our fish from the chemicals in our beauty products being washed down the drain. It is so important to minimize our planets exposure and our own bodies exposure to these toxic chemicals.
What are some common ingredients in traditional makeup that you would classify as unhealthy/harmful? Why do you think people should avoid these ingredients? Why do you think these ingredients are so common in cosmetics/skincare products?
My quick answer is to avoid parabens, artificial color and fragrance, phthalates and sodium laurel sulfate. Some of these ingredients are known to be endocrine disruptors that have been linked to birth defects, cancer, infertility, skin sensitivities and may disrupt the immune system. Companies have chosen to use these ingredients because they are inexpensive compared to organic ingredients, create a nice feel, suds up, and create a “nice” smell.
What makes your services such as sugaring, facials and massages unique?
I always knew I wanted to do facials with amazing advanced massage techniques. We incorporate a great deal of massage into our facials which sets us apart from many others. We are also working very hard to expand our knowledge on advanced massage techniques such as gua sha and cupping! There is a new era of holistic estheticians emerging and we are excited to be on this journey! We also encourage our clients to treat their skincare routine like a self care ritual, it is so important to take time for yourself at the end of every day. We have the best staff of estheticians and makeup artists who live, breathe, and eat holistic health, wellness, and beauty.
What products would you recommend to someone who has a busy lifestyle, cares about the environment, and finds personal health and wellness important?
I think it is important to start with the basics - a good cleanser, exfoliant, moisturizer, ecoffee cup, and a diet rich in fruit and veggies. I also am a big fan of toners too if you want to add a nice extra refreshing step to you skincare routine! We work with our clients lifestyle and their skin’s needs to put together a skin care regime that will fit their life.
What extra steps can the average person take to improve their wellness/beauty routine? Are there any lifestyle choices or beauty products you would recommend that you use in your daily routine?
Nutrition is really important. We always encourage an anti inflammatory diet. Foods high in sugar, dairy and gluten can cause inflammation in the body which can lead to issues with the skin. I also love making myself green juices with ingredients like kale, spinach, parsley, spirulina and lemon to get a big dose of antioxidants in.
I personally love using Laurel’s Sun Damage Repair Serum and the Dr. Alkaitis Purifying Facial Cleanser on a daily basis. The Sun Damage Repair Serum is a wonderful facial oil that also offers sun protection from plants and the Dr. Alkaitis Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that contains enzymes that lightly exfoliate the skin.
In what ways do you envision your shop growing and evolving in the future?
ECHO has been open for three and a half years. We have such an amazing community of clients who value sustainability and want to choose safer products for themselves and their families. We want to continue to grow and educate our community by partnering with wellness and sustainability leaders in fields like nutrition, stress management, self-care, sustainability and fashion. I love Portland, but I always dream about opening another location in Palm Springs or Hawaii :)
Are there any Echo Natural Beauty events that your team is looking forward to in the near future?
Yes! As well as our upcoming partnerships with EcoVibe we also have an event on the books with Stefani Padilla; a local green hairstylist and the product curator of La Tierra Sagrada. We also hope to set up an event with one our favorite local tea shops, T Project.
Come check out our collaborative events with ECHO Natural Beauty! On Saturday, August 18th at 12 pm to 4 pm, EcoVibe Apparel will be doing a pop-up shop at Echo Natural Beauty from 12 pm to 4 pm on NW Everett St. The following Saturday, August 25th, ECHO Natural Beauty will have a pop-up shop at our store on NE Alberta St. For more information on our events with ECHO Natural Beauty, follow us both on Instagram @ecovibeapparel and @echonaturalbeauty