This Beauty Exec Created a Skin-Care Brand That Does Good for People 'and' the Planet

Humanist Beauty is paving the way for a sustainable and inclusive beauty industry without compromising quality.

Photo: Humanist Beauty

For more than 20 years, marketing pro Jennifer Norman spent her time climbing up the ladder at top-tier beauty brands, including L'Oréal, Neutrogena, Stila, Derma E, and a handful of others. But no matter where she worked — from Fortune 500 companies to indie beauty brands — Norman says she always noticed the same error: Manufacturers would rush the products to market, even if they were missing a desired ingredient, just to beat out the competitors, and the marketing would be tainted with greenwashing in order to sell more products to conscious consumers, she explains. "It started to weigh heavily on my psyche and my soul because ultimately, I was finding that there was a toxicity happening in the marketing messaging as well as the corporate culture," says Norman. "It wasn't leading to overall wellness. It wasn't necessarily leading to eco-sustainability."

So in 2019, Norman left her position as a marketing VP to forge her own path, launching The Human Beauty Movement, a purpose-driven consumer product and lifestyle company that's founded on three pillars: a mind-body-soul approach to wellness, environmental and social sustainability, and radical inclusivity, she says. Under The Human Beauty Movement, Norman also launched Humanist Beauty, a skin-care brand that's the first physical manifestation of her values, as she calls it. "I really believe if I am honorable to those three tenets that I will be able to make the world a better place," says Norman.

Humanist Beauty's premier product embodies those principles to a T. The Herban Wisdom Facial Oil features antioxidant-richjojoba seed oil, moisturizingsqualane, anti-inflammatory rosehip oil, 500 milligrams of soothing full-spectrum CBD, and dozens of other nourishing botanical ingredients. The formula is vegan, Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free, and EWG VERIFIED, meaning it doesn't contain any ingredients deemed by the Environmental Working Group as having health, eco-toxicity, or contamination concerns and provides full ingredient transparency. "I kind of consider it to be a little bit of zen in a bottle," says Norman. "It's really an homage to ancient wisdom and to the healing nature of plants and plant medicine and all these things that nature can provide the skin in order to help us to be protected and have balance and glow."

With those lightweight, hydrating ingredientsand an herb-heavy, spa-like scent, Norman says the facial oil is meant to be a part of a self-care ritual. "Kind of like [during] those meditative moments when you just kind of want to sit and really think about that self-love, maybe set an intention for the day or evening, put on your oil, let it sink in, and know that things are going to be better the next day," she says.

Norman is also putting her money where her mouth is when it comes to her sustainability mission. Last year, The Human Beauty Movement became a Certified B Corporation, meaning it meets rigorous standards for social and environmental performance, public transparency, and more. The entire business — not just its shipping operations — is also carbon-neutral; all of the greenhouse gas emissions Humanist Beauty creates until the products arrive in the consumers' hands are offset through the funding of reforestation projects, says Norman. (Peep these other eco-friendly beauty products available on Amazon.)

Herban Wisdom Facial Oil 30 ml
Humanist Beauty

The facial oil's ingredients are either organic, Fair Trade, or wild-harvested, and the packaging is completely recyclable, adds Norman. Still, only half of Americans have built-in access to curbside recycling and just 21 percent have access to drop-off services, according to The Recycling Project. That's why Norman established a partnership with TerraCycle — a recycling and upcycling company — to make sure the empty oil bottle and cardboard box are actually recycled. Customers can fill out a form on the Humanist Beauty website to receive a prepaid shipping label, load all their beauty empties — whether from a Humanist Beauty order or not — into a box, and send it off to be broken down by TerraCycle, which will turn them into outdoor furniture, plastic shipping pallets, storage containers, playground surface covers, and more. "It kind of is a true zero-waste program," says Norman. "It goes an extra step to be more mindful."

Norman also went the extra mile to ensure Humanist Beauty was accessible to as many humans as possible. When first creating her brand, Norman says she asked herself, "what else can I do in order to make sure that other people who have maybe been overlooked or marginalized when it comes to beauty have an opportunity to use the product or to have a more convenient usage experience with it?'" The answer: A Grade 2 Unified English Braille ID band that snaps onto the Herban Wisdom Facial Oil bottle and tells visually impaired folks what product they're holding. The 3D-printed ID band does run $10, but it can snap on both the half-size and full-size bottles and, since it's made of compostable corn, won't spend hundreds of years sitting in a landfill when you're done with it. As Humanist Beauty's line grows, Norman says she plans to continue creating unique Braille ID bands for each new product and hopes the rest of the beauty industry will take note and offer something similar. "It's not like I patented any of this," she explains. "The goal is to spread love and see what others can also do to invite inclusivity into their brands." (

But to Norman, the mission of both the Humanist Beauty brand and The Human Beauty Movement parent company isn't just to lead the charge toward a more inclusive, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible beauty industry. It's also about fostering and spreading self-love through products that make customers feel their absolute best, she says. "I think a lot of times when we think about beauty, it's like, 'What can I do to impress somebody else? What can I look like? How can I build this sense of ego?' — you're not really doing it for your own self-love," she explains. "But if we first and foremost recognize that the most important thing is for us to love ourselves, then we'll have more to be able to love other people."

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