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Sustainable Skincare: Meet Our Upcycled Ingredients

Sustainable Skincare: Meet Our Upcycled Ingredients

Sustainability and being kind to the planet has always been important to me. When I started Graydon Skincare, I knew sourcing ingredients that were not only good for your skin but also good for the planet would be a worthwhile challenge. The idea of great skin days coming from great, sustainable ingredients excited me. 

Over the years, as we’ve developed and launched our line of superfood products, I came to learn about the idea of “upcycled ingredients''. Essentially, upcycled skincare ingredients are made of the by-products of other production processes, or are ingredients that are rescued from being wasted or discarded.

For example, many consider the flesh of a fruit to be the best part, but there are still so many ways we can intentionally use the leaves, seeds, stems, and skin. Taking those by-products and making something new is upcycling!

I’m very proud to say that we have a few upcycled ingredients in our skincare products, including our blueberry seed oil, raspberry seed oil, oat oil, and mahogany bark extract. I love that we can provide an opportunity for every part of an ingredient to be used and do our part to make a small dent in the roughly 1.3 billion tons of food waste created globally each year since most of our ingredients are by-products of the food industry. 

Here’s how each of our upcycled ingredients are harvested and why we chose them as the perfect additions to our skincare formulas.

Blueberry Seed Oil

Blueberries aren't just tasty treats; their seeds are packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, making their oil a powerhouse skincare ingredient!

The antioxidants in blueberry oil protect your skin against free radicals, which are the pesky problem-makers that can cause hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. A lot of free radicals form because of the skin’s exposure to UV light. You might not be surprised to find, then, that blueberries can protect the skin against both UV and blue light! (Though that doesn't mean you should stop using your SPF). Plus the fatty acids in the oil, known as Vitamin F, moisturize the skin.

Our particular blueberry seed oil is proven to shield the skin from the damaging effects of blue light.

Our blueberry seed oil is a by-product of the juicing industry, which means the blueberries in the juice at your nearby grocery store could very well be the same ones we used in our latest product batch! Once juiced, the seeds are extracted from the remaining pulp (which would otherwise be thrown away) and pressed to extract the oil. That means this ingredient is 100% upcycled!

Curious which products have blueberry seed oil? You can find it in our oil-based serum, Jade Moon. This velvety serum harnesses the power of the blueberry to protect your skin barrier–making this serum great for overall skin health and protection for a wide variety of skin types. 

You can also find blueberry seed oil in our Berry Rich Face + Eye Cream. Our thick, ultra-hydrating face + eye cream is a fan favourite amongst those with dry skin who want extra protection and radiance.

P.S. Did you know it takes 800,000 blueberries to create 1kg of blueberry seed oil?

Raspberry Seed Oil

Want to boost your skin barrier with essential fatty acids while also hydrating and soothing your skin? Want to smooth the appearance of fine lines with collagen-boosting vitamin A and the antioxidant power of vitamin E? Looking to minimize acne breakouts? That’s right, raspberry seed oil can do all of this! Who knew such a little berry had so much skin-enhancing potential?

As for this upcycled oil’s ability to brighten the skin, raspberry seed oil is rich in ellagic acid, which helps even your skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Our raspberry seed oil comes from the same place as our blueberry seed oil as it’s also a by-product of juicing. And just like blueberries, it takes a huge amount of raspberries to make the seed oil–100,000 for every kg of oil!

Plus, the raspberry seed oil we use boasts 20% more vitamin E and 120% more antioxidant capacity than standard raspberry seed oil.

Upcycled is better! Our raspberry seed oil has more vitamin E and antioxidant capacity than standard raspberry seed oil.

Just like our upcycled blueberry seed oil, raspberry seed oil is part of what makes Jade Moon so great. We also use this ingredient in Face Glow, a tinted, moisturizing skin primer that illuminates the skin.

Oat Oil

Oat oil is an ultra-nourishing, occlusive ingredient that keeps moisture locked into the skin, making it an amazing oil for dry skin. For those with sensitive skin, oat oil is well-loved for its ability to soothe because of its anti-inflammatory properties–in fact, those with flaky scalps love it as well! Oat oil is also antimicrobial and antifungal. This helps with itch-inducing skin issues like eczema because the oil helps kill off bad bacteria and calm the skin. 

Oat oil is a dream ingredient for anyone who is concerned with dry and irritated skin.

Our oat oil is sustainable in a variety of ways! First, we classify it as “upcycled” because it is a by-product of the food industry. Like our raspberry and blueberry oil, the main purpose these crops are being grown and harvested for is to produce food products! Instead of throwing away the oats that can’t be turned into food, our producer extracts oil from them that we can use in our formulas.

On top of our oat oil being upcycled, it is also harvested from a sustainable crop and the extraction process is environmentally friendly because it uses sustainably sourced ethanol (which is the solvent used in oat oil extraction).

You guessed it! This is another upcycled oil you can find in our oil-based serum, Jade Moon.

You can also find oat oil in our Matcha Mint Shampoo, where it helps soothe any scalp irritation and keeps strands silky and smooth!


Mahogany Bark Extract

Mahogany bark extract is our vegan collagen alternative. You might be wondering–if we’re offering vegan collagen, what makes regular collagen non-vegan!? Well, the most common source of the collagen that skincare companies include in their formulas are derived from animals, often cows, pigs, and even fish. Our collagen, instead of being extracted from the skin of various mammals and fish, comes from the liquid extract of bark.

As a vegan collagen option, mahogany bark extract stimulates collagen synthesis​, which decreases the appearance of lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores​, all while improving texture, skin elasticity, structural integrity and tone.

Our extract comes from the bark of African Mahogany or Khaya trees that grow in West Africa. These trees are actually protected in the area our supplier collects the bark from. As a result, the main way the bark is harvested is when the government approves some of the trees to be cut down for other purposes, such as urbanization efforts. The bark is also collected when it naturally falls off the tree.

Normally, many of those trees also get turned into mahogany wood for furniture-making, so harvesting the bark allows even more of the tree to be used!

Mahogany bark extract is one of the ingredients in our Supermoon Serum, where it helps diminish the appearance of pores and revitalizes the skin as a source of collagen. Supermoon Serum is chock-full of exciting vegan and bio alternatives to skincare favourites such as retinol and hyaluronic acid, so mahogany bark extract is in good company!

Learn More About Skincare Sustainability

If the statistic I shared earlier about the amount of food waste we human create scared you… it had the same impact on me! That’s a huge number and doesn't even begin to cover all the other kinds of waste we create, so I wanted to share more about how to add sustainability to your skincare routine.

First, I want to say this: we aren’t the only company using upcycled ingredients. There are plenty of great companies who use by-product ingredients rather than letting them go to waste. If you searched for “upcycled skincare ingredients”, or another popular phrase for the subject, “circular beauty”, you’ll find lots of other places talking about how important it is to sustainably source beauty ingredients.

Upcycled ingredients are good for your skin AND good for the planet.

Upcycled ingredients are important to me because it allows the goodness of plant-based ingredients to be fully used. Blueberries and raspberries are good not just for juice, jam, and smoothies. Oats aren’t just for breakfast, and trees are more than the furniture you might create with them. It is powerful to be able to use every part of an ingredient, not just one component with the rest being thrown away. Now, with the use of upcycled ingredients, farmers and manufacturers can reduce their carbon footprint by making oil for cosmetic use.

Other ways of incorporating sustainability into your beauty products are to look for biodegradable or recyclable packaging. If you find yourself using a lot of disposable or one-use products like makeup wipes or cotton rounds, consider switching to something that will give you multiple uses, like a face cloth or a 100% biodegradable bamboo sponge. Not only are you keeping single-use items from the landfill, but you’re also telling companies by choosing how you spend your dollars that you want sustainable options from them!

And the next time you go to shop for a new skincare, hair, or cosmetic item, you have the power to choose products and brands that value clean, green, sustainable beauty ❤️

Learn more about how we’re championing mindful beauty and see our sustainability initiatives here.


Plant-based ingredients + sustainability come together to create Phyto Green, a symbol of our pledge to transparency and environmental stewardship, ensuring that each product not only nourishes the body but also supports a greener, healthier future for all.

Look for the Phyto Green logo on our site as a sign that our products harness the power of eco-friendly biotechnology.


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Questions this article answers: What are upcycled ingredients? Sustainable skincare brand Sustainable ingredients Eco-friendly skincare What skincare ingredients are sustainable? What is upcycling in skincare? What makes certain beauty and skincare products sustainable or eco-friendly? How do brands make sustainable products? Raspberry seed oil skincare benefits Blueberry seed oil skincare benefits Oat oil skincare benefits Mahogany bark extract skincare benefits

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