When it comes to beauty and body care, sustainable is a loaded word. The mere act of using products for our own beauty and health can be perceived by some as a form of unnecessary waste. However, sustainability doesn't mean not using anything. It means using it in a safe way that supports the planet's ability to regenerate. As we learn more about how human behaviour impacts the planet and develop better means of production, the definition of sustainable undergoes expansion.
Today, sustainable beauty means a lot of different things: organic ingredients that support the renewal of resources, low emission production, recycled and reusable packaging, cruelty-free creation, and very importantly— social equity and waste reduction. These days, the options are all out there. You can do your part by simply making more mindful choices for your beauty routine.
Use what you need
There may be one time every summer where you need a specific shade of plum purple lipstick. Yet if it isn't something you really need, consider using it up, and not buying it in the future. Not amassing large amounts of cosmetics and body care products is a first start to simplifying the routine.
Share your products
Stop using a different body soap from your living partners and explore products that make you all feel great. It not only cuts down on the budget, but it also declutters your bath. Find products that focus on minimalism in the daily routine. Choose products that clearly state what they do in simple terms and promise direct results. When you can share products with your living companions, whether they be roommates, romantic partners, or family, you contribute directly to reducing waste.
Naya Glow is a committed and vegan skincare brand. Their products have beautiful textures and are formulated with fewer proven ingredients at higher concentration. By harvesting ingredients endemic to the Amazon region, they support indigenous communities and small-scale farmers. The products are simply packaged, suitable for everyone, and applicable to many skin types.
Incorporate natural practices
Before the industrial era, beauty and body care was still a part of the human agenda. Ancient practises were naturally more sustainable, as they often made use of botanicals and even byproducts of other human consumption. For example, in the Ayurvedic tradition, used banana peels were used to soothe dry and irritated skin conditions. DIY facial masks made with ingredients found at home— like the yoghurt and honey mask— can be interlaced with store-bought masks, to reduce your impact on the environment. Pure coconut oil has benefits for skin, hair, and even skin conditions when used properly.
This brand is driven by an unshakable love of the earth and its gifts. Their 100% virgin coconut oil is a perfect base for sustainable DIY bodycare. The brand is committed to demonstrating the power of pure, rare ingredients, and partners ethically and responsibly with expert African producers and suppliers to bring those ingredients to the world.
Discover by-product beauty brands
By-product beauty is a concept in which the brand focuses on solving a sustainable problem first and creates a beauty product second. Upcycled natural or food waste is one way in which brands are helping the earth process waste in a way that benefits people, too. Used coffee grounds for soap, upcycled fruit stones for cleansing, and even upcycled maple wood for skincare are some of the innovations that now exist in the market. Look for brands that proudly talk about the science behind their product.
Pick eco-responsible packaging
Reduce your plastic consumption and reduce landfill waste by choosing biodegradable packaging, or no packaging at all! Search for soaps wrapped in paper or sold in bulk, moisturisers with refill options, and body and facial care that offer reusable bottles. An additional benefit of focusing on brands that focus on what’s inside than what’s outside is that you often get a better product, made more consciously, that brings a positive social impact.
HAOMA uses no preservatives or emulsifiers in its products, sources organically, and is completely vegan. The brand utilises Miron Violet Glass to package its products. MIRON Violetglass is a unique biophotonic glass packaging that protects products from the harmful effects of light and increases their shelf life. These bottles are also reusable!
Kokoa Eco Beauty offers simple packaging and reduces outer packaging to reduce unnecessary waste. 98% of Kokoa products are made from paper or glass, meaning they can be recycled and reused. All products have a 100% plastic-free option, and they have a recycling program for the reuse of glass bottles and jars.
Buy multi-use products
You can find salves that serve both lips and skin, balms that double as lipstick and face blush, all-purpose body oils, and hair plus body shower bars. There are also creams that work for removing makeup, cleansing, and moisturising all in one bottle. When the pandemic forced many of us to stay home or cut back on spending, even more wonderful innovations in multi-purpose products developed, such as multi-purpose antibacterial spritzers that both keep you clean and make you smell great.
AcARRE keeps it waste-free with one premium product that has multipurpose applications. It can be used for anti-ageing on the face or body, and for adding to the bath.
DoubleDown Cosmetics’ collections include numerous multi-applicable products. They have created sprays that work as toners, makeup setting spray, and skin hydration spritzers. Doubledown also created The Merum Complex™ (serum + moisturisers) that work for the body, the face, on sunburns, on acne-prone skin, under makeup, and as a night cream.
We have all been guilty of buying something, trying it, and then leaving it in the cupboard forever. Opt for samples before plunging into a product, or gift unused products to someone you know will love it. Unopened or used-only-once bottles fill our landfills each year, thrown away either brand new or long after they've exceeded their recommended usage period.
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