Sustainable Beauty: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Sustainable Beauty: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

In our never-ending quest for the perfect skin, we often overlook the environmental impacts of our skincare routine. Sustainable skincare is about more than just using natural ingredients; it's about making choices that minimize our impact on the planet. From choosing eco-friendly packaging to ditching harmful ingredients, there are a number of ways to make your skincare routine more sustainable. In this post, we'll explore some of the best ways to make your skincare routine more sustainable. So whether you're looking to switch to all-natural products or just want to be more conscious about your beauty habits, read on for some helpful tips!


Use Refillable Skincare Products


The use of plastic for cosmetics packaging has become a major issue in recent years, with nearly 7.9 million plastic units being manufactured in the United States alone in 2018. This is an alarming number when you consider the fact that the majority of this plastic - around 85% - ends up in landfills where it can take hundreds of years to decompose. Furthermore, this waste is having a major environmental impact, contributing to pollution and ocean acidification as well as posing a huge threat to wildlife and marine life. As such, taking action to reduce beauty waste is becoming increasingly important. One way of doing this is by purchasing products packaged in glass bottles and refilling them instead of buying new products every time they are needed. This helps to eliminate the need for wasteful single-use plastics while also helping to keep cosmetic waste out of landfills. Plus, it can help to save money by eliminating the need for frequent repurchases. Although not all cosmetics come in refillable glass bottles or packages, we should try our best to actively seek out those that do so that we can tackle beauty waste head on and make a positive impact on our environment.


Pay Attention to Ingredients


Many skincare brands have great products with ingredients that are not so great for the environment.

Let's talk about Palm Oil. Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from palm fruit grown primarily in tropical regions. It is used in many skin care products as an emollient as well as in cosmetics like lipstick and foundation. While palm oil can be sustainably harvested from managed plantations, it is often produced through deforestation which has devastating consequences for wildlife habitats and climate change. When forests are clear cut for agricultural purposes such as growing palm trees for oil production, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Furthermore, when deforestation occurs, it destroys natural habitats for animals like chimpanzees, orangutans and elephants resulting in displacement of wildlife populations or death due to habitat loss. 

Silicone is another common ingredient used in many skin care products because it helps create a smooth texture. Unfortunately, silicone does not biodegrade over time and has been linked to increased levels of toxicity in water sources due to its ability to bioaccumulate within aquatic ecosystems. This means that even small concentrations can result in large amounts overtime which can damage aquatic ecosystems by disrupting food chains and killing off species at high concentrations. Silicone also poses risks to wildlife since it has been found to accumulate within their bodies over time leading to health issues such as reproductive problems or even death if exposed at high enough levels. 

Fortunately there are sustainable alternatives that can be used instead of unsustainable ingredients like palm oil or silicone. Plant-based oils like coconut oil or olive oil are widely available and can be grown sustainably with minimal environmental impact while still providing the emollient qualities required for most skin care products.

Additionally lab-created ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate which mimic naturally occurring molecules found in our bodies are safe alternatives that are eco-friendly since they do not require extraction from natural resources like plants or animals but still provide similar benefits without any harm done to the environment. 


Use as Little Water as Possible

As the threat of drought looms ever present in many parts of the United States, it is essential to take proactive steps to reduce water usage. It's as simple as filling the sink with an inch of water for washing and rinsing, or using a wet washcloth instead of running water to cleanse can help conserve precious resources. Conserving water not only helps limit emissions from heating, pumping and treatment of water, but it also reduces strain on local reservoirs, rivers and other bodies of water. By engaging in sustainable practices such as using less water for skin care, everyone can make a difference in protecting our planet’s resources.


Reusable is Usually Best

Finally, let's talk about single-use items and skin care. There are tons of single-use products in the cosmetics industry. From sheet-masks to cotton swabs and cotton rounds, these items can only be used once and are tossed in the trash. You can take your skin care routine a step further by incorporating sustainable items. From sheet masks to cotton swabs and rounds, these products typically only last for one use and are then thrown away. However, there are plenty of bamboo or reusable cotton alternatives available which will drastically reduce your amount of waste from everyday skincare. By switching to these alternatives you will be supporting more ethical production practices.


Choosing sustainable skincare may seem daunting at first but making the switch doesn’t have to be difficult! With so many plant-based options available these days along with lab-created alternatives there really isn’t an excuse not to make more conscious decisions towards sustainability when it comes to your daily routine .