Sustainability has become a hot topic due to a rise in environmental awareness, new global standards and consumer demand. As a result, companies are starting to incorporate sustainability into their business strategies, knowing that in order to be successful, they need to keep their finger on the pulse of public opinion.
Historically, the beauty industry isn’t known for being eco-friendly. Some companies use excessive, non-recyclable packaging while others are not transparent over their ethical practices and the ingredients they use.
Thanks to increased awareness, and with more consumers demanding sustainable beauty products, cosmetic manufacturers are now implementing sustainable business practices. There is also an appreciation of businesses that have been practising sustainability since their launch, such as Caudalie, Comfort Zone and The Organic Pharmacy.
On the consumer side, simple adjustments such as changing beauty products, choosing sustainable packaging and adjusting our lifestyles play a huge part in a sustainable environment.
Benefits of Sustainable Beauty
A beauty product is considered sustainable if its end-to-end process, from sourcing and manufacturing to packaging and selling, leaves little to no impact on the environment. Some sustainable practices include sourcing cruelty-free ingredients, using recycled packaging and fair treatment and compensation for employees.
For consumers, choosing to purchase sustainable beauty products outweighs the extra cost. Aside from helping the environment, natural ingredients produce more effective results. Sustainable beauty products depend on the natural healing properties found in animals and plants, so they are less likely to cause allergic reactions or skin irritation. For example, glycerine’s hygroscopic characteristics make it a more effective anti-ageing ingredient than palm oil.
Buying sustainable beauty products also contributes to long-term health. While petrochemicals deliver results, they have been traced to health issues such as acne, headaches and hormonal imbalance.
Developing a Sustainable Beauty Routine
Although beauty businesses are making an effort to switch to sustainable practices, they will not be effective if the consumers don’t develop a sustainable beauty routine.
When shopping for beauty products, do your research. Look at the label for the list of ingredients before adding the product to your physical or online cart. A logo of the Leaping Bunny and the Rainforest Alliance show that the product was not tested on the animals and the ingredients were sourced through sustainable means.
Also, make sure to check the packaging of the product. If possible, buy products with minimal or no packaging. Alternatively, find out if the packaging can be recycled or upcycled. You can also ask the store if they allow refills so you can replenish your current bottle instead of buying a new one.
Aside from purchasing sustainable beauty products, opt for eco-friendly beauty tools. For example, buy microfiber cloth instead of cotton pads to remove your makeup.
Simplify your beauty routine by purchasing multi-tasking products. For example, buy an exfoliator that acts as a face and lip scrub instead of purchasing separate scrubs. Buy a separate product only when your skin has specific needs. Use a product in small amounts instead of slathering it on your face.
Environmental concerns are prompting beauty consumers and businesses to transition to sustainable practices. Although these involve extra costs and research, the efforts go a long way into protecting and prolonging the life of the environment.