Birkenstock (yes, that Birkenstock) has launched a skincare line centered around cork oak extract, the same material used in the insoles of their famous slides. First launched in Europe last year, Birkenstock Natural Skincare may seem like an odd venture, but in reality, makes total sense for the brand.
Besides padding orthopedic footbeds, cork oak extract—and more specifically suberin, a molecule in the cork—works as a hero skincare ingredient to improve elasticity, boost moisture, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Complexion enthusiasts will also be pleased with the range—the full collection features a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, exfoliator, eye cream, and more—all tapping suberin. And of course, there are lots of other efficacious botanical extracts in there too, including but not limited to: arctic moss, aloe vera, argan oil, avocado, baobab, calendula, cranberry, ginkgo, green coffee, moringa, ginger, jojoba, macadamia, mint, elderberry, grape and hyaluron.
But the best part about Birkenstock’s new line? It’s sustainable. Cork oak trees grow naturally in the Western hemisphere—primarily Portugal—and the materials used for both clogs and lotions are found in the outer layer, or the bark, of the tree. If you’re using the cork oak extract for skincare, it’s best to harvest when the tree is around 43 years old; after that, 150 more years of harvesting, at nine year intervals, is considered best practices. Which is to say…no trees were killed in the making of your skincare. The packaging is also made of recyclable material and refill cartridges are available once product runs out. To top things off, the line is paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
“For 240 years, Birkenstock has been providing wellness solutions to their loyal customers,” Birkenstock President and General Manager Louise Caldwell told ELLE.com. “Newly discovered skin-nourishing cork extracts have led Birkenstock to develop a line of natural skin care that extends the benefits of cork from head to toe.”
Shop our top picks from Birkenstock’s skincare line below.