Since 1994, May has served as Mental Health Awareness Month, a tradition started in the U.S. over 60 years ago by the Mental Health America organization. Of course, educating ourselves about mental health is important year-round, but this month gives both individuals and different companies across the marketplace a chance to help raise awareness and support for research and destigmatization of conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Many beauty brands have stepped up to the plate and taken Mental Health Awareness Month as an opportunity either to launch new initiatives in support of the cause or to re-promote mental health–supporting projects they're already involved with. If shopping ethically for beauty products is important to you, or if mental health awareness is important to you, these six skincare, fragrance, and wellness companies deserve your attention. Read on to discover six cool charitable beauty brands that give back to mental health charities.
1. Hope Fragrances
Audrey Gruss, the founder of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, launched a perfume and candle line last year that donates every penny of net profit to discovering new treatments and prevention methods for depression. The fragrance is in honor of Gruss's mother, Hope, who struggled with depression for many years, and features enchanting floral notes like jasmine, gardenia, and tuberose, which were some of Hope's favorite flowers.
2. Clove + Hallow
This indie makeup brand creates a line of incredibly pigmented and hydrating lipsticks that are PETA-certified, cruelty-free, and vegan. Better yet, any time you purchase a Lip Creme in the shade Psych, the brand will donate 15% of the proceeds to the Georgia chapter of Mental Health of America, where the funds will be used for advocacy, outreach, and education about mental illness.
"Our mission is to help all women feel good about what they put on their skin so they can radiate confidence from within because we know when you feel good on the inside, you will glow," reads this probiotic-based skincare brand's website. In that spirit, buy any skincare product or kit from its extensive line, and know that 1% of sales will go to mental health charities for women, like Bring Change to Mind. "Why women?" the brand asks. "Although there are several mental health challenges that affect both women and men, women are disproportionally affected by anxiety, depression, eating disorders and bipolarity. … [But] fewer than 50% ever seek care largely due to stigma."
In 2014, this chicly packaged skincare and perfume brand launched an initiative called Hope & Grace aimed at raising $10 million to combat mental illness. Since then, the project has directed 1% of all product sales to mental health charities, focusing particularly on issues that affect women, like postpartum depression and trauma associated with domestic abuse. To date, Hope & Grace has donated $4.3 million to the cause, so you can feel really good about where your money is going next time you purchase one of the brand's refreshing fragrances or beloved makeup wipes.
5. Dr. Brandt
Renowned celebrity dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD, took his own life in 2015, and in the wake of this event, his friends and colleagues launched the Dr. Brandt Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about and destigmatizing mental illness, as well as providing support for those who have been affected by suicide. The brand also launched a $38 limited-edition #sayiloveyou skincare set, which includes a variety of its best sellers, a tote bag, and a temporary heart tattoo. A portion of the kit's proceeds is donated to the Dr. Brandt Foundation.
6. Candle Warmers Etc
Candle Warmers Etc. is a candle and aromatherapy company that not only offers calming, de-stressing products but is also fiercely dedicated to advocating for mental health research and awareness through its involvement with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). The company raises thousands of dollars through annual NAMI walks and donates a percentage of its retail sales to the organization every year during Mental Health Awareness Month.
Want to read more about the connection between beauty and mental health? Don't miss our story about how makeup is helping thousands of women cope with anxiety.