Have you ever realized how many skincare products you own? When walking down the skincare and beauty aisle, there are rows and rows of endless plastic bottles and packaging that will eventually end up in landfills. In an industry that produces 120 billion units of packaging every year, as consumers, it’s our job not to buy more than what we need, and as a company, we need to be aware of our resources and what we are producing.
Sustainability in Skincare is so important because it affects everyone. Sustainable skincare and beauty mean the overall product is safe for humans and the environment in the short and long term, from nontoxic ingredients to reusable packaging to the carbon footprint for distribution.
There is a rise in demand for companies to go greener and here are things to consider when making a purchase.
What is Sustainable Skincare?
All the buzzwords related to sustainability such as “green”, “biodegradable”, “compostable”, etc. are unregulated terms but ultimately funnel into meaning things that are safe for humans and the environment in the short and long term. These terms are also just a spectrum, we can’t be perfect at every stage so choosing to be eco-friendly at one thing versus another is a personal choice.
How Can Skincare be Sustainable?
Here are some simple factors to consider when choosing a sustainable brand to support.
- Packaging – Glass bottles are recyclable while most plastic is not. Plastic like PET (polyethylene), PETE (polyethylene terephthalate), and HDPE (high-density polyethylene) do claim to be recyclable. Is the packaging a one-time use? This is so important because everything you see in those aisles ends up in landfills.
- Ingredients – Where the ingredients come from, how long it takes to grow and harvest, how readily available the ingredient is, and how the ingredient is processed. Are the workers treated fairly? It’s important to do your research to know what you are supporting when you are purchasing.
- Giving Back – I believe with good intentions, the more you give the more you get. Giving back is what makes a brand stand out and likeable. Consumers like to know they are supporting a company that cares and that their money is going towards good things.
How Your Skincare Routine can be more Eco-Friendly
Remember, your dollar is your vote. The goal of most companies is to make money. Don’t fall for advertising selling you three more bottles of serums to add to your routine for younger-looking skin. Less is more, you don’t need a 12-step Korean skincare routine. At a minimum, cleanse, moisturize, and Sunscreen. Everything else is extra and will cost you more money and will have damaging effects on Earth in the long term.