The natural and organic beauty industry is growing rapidly. According to Insider’s Guide to Spas reporting, it is projected to reach $25 billion+ by 2025. Brands big and small are jumping on the bandwagon to become part of the clean beauty revolution.
Natural beauty is no longer just for spa goers, herbalists and those in the know. More consumers are becoming aware of harmful chemicals in beauty products and seek to become even more educated, choosing to make smart purchases. Gabriel De Santino, CEO and founder of Gabriel Cosmetics, Zuzu Luxe and Clean Kids Naturally, has been there since the early beginnings.
Gabriel’s stories of growing up in an environment where nature was a welcomed teacher brings back memories of my own similar childhood experience. We might have grown up on different continents but his advocacy for natural and healthy living strikes a chord with me. As a 90s natural beauty pioneer, Gabriel De Santino has started to think about clean skincare long before the natural beauty CEOs of today. Gabriel launched his career by becoming an aesthetician. This launching point has allowed him to see how much we needed to pay attention to ingredients in the beauty industry. He wanted healthy products for his clients. This prompted the idea to start a skincare line and a makeup line. Today, Gabriel continues to spread wellness advocacy and is on a mission to reach a younger audience.
Cultivated Gazette spoke spoke with Gabriel, getting you details on his life, his work and how to incorporate natural makeup in your holiday beauty routine.
Cultivated: I understand you grew up with a grandmother who practiced holistic health. Can you give me some examples of her wellness practices that inspired you the most?
Growing up, I observed my grandmother making homeopathic cosmetics from seaweed, kelp and herbs that I often helped her gather at her home by the ocean in Mexico. As a naturopath and herbalist, she was knowledgeable of the many healing and revitalizing properties of ocean plant life.
When I had a cut or rash we would collect seaweed and she would whip up a concoction to help soothe and heal. She had the most incredible skin, and made her own masks and “serums”.
Cultivated: You have a connection with water and natural living. In what important ways is this incorporated in your makeup lines?
Gabriel: I grew up near the ocean with my grandmother who taught me the healing properties the oceans provide. I use ingredients from the sea when possible, you will find sea fennel in most of my products. I live a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle and require all things in my life to have the same balance, this includes clean ingredients in our products and taking care of Mother Earth. Gabriel Cosmetics bridges the gap between the health/Eco conscious and the beauty conscious.
Cultivated: When a client is new to clean beauty, what should they look for (on labels) in order to ensure it is natural and chemical-free?
Gabriel: This is tough as there are no regulations, anyone can write natural or add a leaf and that does not mean they are actually clean. When starting out, I suggest looking at the list of ingredients and avoid products that contain parabens, sulfates, silicones, phthalates and synthetic fragrances.
Cultivated: Which products would you recommend for someone who has a busy schedule but still wants to look fresh and glamorous while attending this year’s holiday parties?
Gabriel: Zuzu Luxe eyeliner in “Snow” is my secret weapon. I line my waterline and look instantly refreshed! A red lip is always glamorous. I love Zuzu Luxe lipstick in “Starlet” and layer with lip gloss in “Caliente” if I want a high gloss finish.
Cultivated: What are some essentials to keep on hand while on-the-go or on vacation?
Gabriel: I always have cosmetic wipes with me, they are essential after the gym and ideal for traveling. I like to have concealer, mascara and a bronzer on hand for quick touch-ups.
Cultivated: In what ways do you practice self-care and wellness in your personal life?
Gabriel: I begin everyday with meditation, I love to work out with my trainer and end the day with yoga. I enjoy a nice glass of wine at home with music echoing throughout the house.
Image of Gabriel De Santino by Phyllis Simons