Women's Health Glow - Bamboo Beauty

Long revered as a symbol of longevity, strength, tenacity, and flexibility, bamboo is now a prime resource for sustainable beauty.

Bamboo is a prolific, super-eco-sustainable, and über-versatile plant. It’s grown as a source for clothing fibers, building materials, medicine, and skincare ingredients. This dynamo resource is at home in a wide array of climates, growing on every continent of the planet (except the poles).

Technically bamboo is a giant grass, and one of the fastest growing plants on the planet—many varieties grow inches per day. Bamboo is considered one of the most renewable plant resources because it rapidly self-propagates, meaning that after the plant is cut, its root system sends out new shoots to replenish growth without being replanted. Plus, it can be harvested at full maturity in three to five years (compared to 10 to 20 years for softwoods and 30 to 60 years for hardwoods), and it can produce 35 percent more oxygen than trees. To further enhance its eco-friendly profile, bamboo can also improve soil quality, shore up erosion, and sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And because it grows like a veritable weed, bamboo requires little irrigation and no fertilizer or pesticide use. Here, exceptional bamboo ingredients to keep you (and the planet) beautiful:

Bamboo Powder

Rich in essential minerals and silica, finely milled bamboo powder is a prime beauty ingredient for exfoliating skincare products and powdered cosmetics. Bamboo particles are smooth and less callous than many exfoliants derived from salt, nuts, or grains, making it an especially kind ally to sensitive skin. Try Larénim Bamboo Skin Polish ($26, larenim.com); it smells great and will leave your skin soft and luminous. Bamboo powder that is ultra-finely milled provides a nutrient-rich base for powdered cosmetics. Called bamboo silk by some companies, this highly sustainable ingredient renews, re-mineralizes, and conditions skin, all while evening out skin tone. Try Physicians Formula Bamboo Wear Bamboo Silk Face Powder ($10, drugstore.com); this powder helps tone skin to give a natural, luminous finish.

Bamboo Sap

Sap derived from bamboo stalks is a deeply hydrating ingredient that is said to strengthen and smooth skin while aiding skin cell regeneration. Traditionally valued for its medicinal properties to heal skin, bamboo sap is rich in minerals and amino acids and acts as a humectant to draw moisture into the deeper layers of skin and help maintain hydration where it’s needed most. Try Amore Pacific Rejuvenating Serum ($100, sephora.com); it will help rejuvenate skin without the use of bad guys like sulfates and parabens. The mineral-rich, moisturizing, and strengthening properties of bamboo sap can also benefit hair....

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