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When it comes to clean beauty, Aveda has always been ahead of the curve. Ever since this trailblazing company was formed in 1978, Aveda has been dedicated to tapping into the power of plants and flowers and eliminating useless chemicals. During the month of August, The Shops at Columbus Circle will be celebrating these concepts as part of 360 Wellness, a series of free events dedicated to helping you look and feel your best. We met up with Sara Noerper-Boujoulian, Team Leader at Aveda, to get her tips for truly embracing clean beauty.

What does clean beauty mean to Aveda?

It’s about the elimination of unnecessary ingredients that are damaging to the environment, humans, and animals. There are plant-based alternatives that have existed for centuries that we’re learning to harness — and we’re seeing the benefits. They’re gentler and safer for people. They’re better for the environment. They’re better for helping protect biodiversity and cultural diversity.

What about eliminating chemicals?

Aveda really set the standard and was the first professional haircare company to use pure plant and flower-based ingredients and to only use plant-based aromas, as opposed to synthetic aromas. We were also the first company not to use sodium laurel sulfate or SLS, which is bad. It’s a harsh surfactant that’s in toilet bowl cleaner. Nowadays when you look at synthetic aromas, that’s where people hide all the bad stuff. It’s no wonder that everybody’s got allergies because we’ve been overwhelming our systems for so long.

How does clean beauty relate to social responsibility?

We are committed to social responsibility and caring for the world we live in. For instance, Aveda stopped using argan oil because it was being over-harvested and destroying the ecosystem of the women who live in the collective that produces it. We believe in cruelty-free, non-animal-based ingredients, and our main manufacturing plant in Minnesota is a wildlife refuge. We are making a move to go completely vegan, even though we do use a little bit of beeswax and honey. We actually source from an apiary that we built on our facility, which is tended by students who get school credit for helping take care of the bees. We also partner with organizations that promote organic farming. For Invati, our line for hair thinning, we work with Nisarga, an India-based organization that makes high-potency Ayurvedic herbs and helps convert small farms into organic farms.

Are there any other stand-out products that you would suggest right now?

Everything at Aveda is made with super high integrity ingredients. One of our newest products is Sap Moss shampoo and conditioner, which uses the power of Icelandic moss and sap from tree extracts. It helps retain moisture and target the areas that get dry in summer. I also love our no-wash products, like Rinseless Refresh for dry- or curly-haired guests who need moisture but want to get rid of the grime of the day and are not candidates for dry shampoo. It’s talc-free and because it’s non-aerosolized, it’s super friendly for the environment.

What else can people do to help the planet?

Many people take a shower every day. We created our no-wash products because it’s more environmental not to wash your hair every day. They’re designed to help eliminate the need for over-showering. And sometimes it’s just simple things like looking at our food choices. The more organic food that we buy, the more of a demand for organic farming there will be. Aveda’s quiet mission is to not only impact the world around us but to also impact more and more people, as well as more and more companies. That’s the goal for the clean beauty movement: that everybody strives to be natural and clean.

To learn more about August “Clean Beauty” month at The Shops at Columbus Circle and the second annual 360 Wellness series, Visit theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com for details.

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