Have you ever thought about how your beauty routine affects the Earth? A ridiculous number of beauty products out there are packaged in plastics, which have a lifespan of 450-1,000 years and emit harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere at a startling rate. Not okay.
While some products do have low waste packaging, there’s still more to consider when it comes to sustainability and beauty products, including the chemicals found in the products themselves. Far too many ingredients in makeup and skincare products may increase your carbon footprint without you even realizing it. Some of them are just plain toxic, while others are natural but contribute to deforestation and the destruction of important natural habitats.
It may sound complicated, but greening your beauty routine doesn't have to be hard! Join us and opt to be just a little kinder to the Earth with your beauty routine and you'll see how rewarding and simple it can be.
Here are five tips to help you have an effective skincare routine that doesn’t harm the environment:
1. Plastic free is the way to be: Seeking out brands that use biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable packaging instead of single-use plastics is an easy way to start making your skincare routine more eco-friendly. At Shea Brand we use recycled aluminum for our shea butter tins and recycled glass for our tincture, spray bottles, and rollers. We do still use some plastics in our packaging materials, but only when we cannot find an affordable or effective alternative. Plastic free is the goal, but minimal plastic is the current reality, and that's OK because every bit counts! We highly recommend our stockist Credo Beauty because they rigorously vet all of their brands, making the process of finding the companies that are taking the steps to be environmentally friendly much less daunting.
2. Ingredients to avoid in skincare: Even when you seek out environmentally friendly packaging, always remember to read the ingredients. Here are the environmentally unfriendly ingredients we try and stay away from when we purchase any beauty products:
BONUS! By eliminating these ingredients from the products you purchase, you’ll not only help preserve the environment but may see that the switch improves your skin as well!
3. Keep it close to home: Since manufacturing internationally and shipping products around the world results in a high carbon footprint and leaves room for unethical practices, it's best to choose skincare products that are locally made. If you live in the US, opt for US or Canadian made. If you live in Europe, try shopping European-manufactured brands. Even better, look for a company that produces as close to your town as possible so you can reduce the carbon footprint of your purchase even further. Companies making their products locally often tend to be smaller brands, and we love that this means you get to have a closer connection to the brand and learn more about their practices directly from the source!
4. Reduce, reuse, recycle: Finding sustainable beauty products can be difficult, and it's OK if you can't tick all of the boxes in one go. No matter what products you're using, try to use them up completely to avoid wasting ingredients and energy. Look for multipurpose products and avoid one-time use items like makeup wipes to eliminate waste and get more bang for your buck. Real towels, reusable cotton rounds, and paper products made from recycled materials are all better alternatives to the throw-away, plastic versions. And when you're finished with your beauty products, you can reuse the bottles, tins, and boxes to organize small items in your home instead of throwing them away.
5. Always ask questions: When purchasing new products, you should always ask questions of the brand you are buying from! Being more curious and engaged with what you are buying leads to more knowledge about ingredients, packaging, and more. It also means that you are thinking twice before buying something, which helps you cut down on unnecessary purchases (hello, savings!) that may become waste later on. Brands should always be able to tell you where things are made, how they are made, and what ingredients they are made from. If they can't answer these questions, then it's a major red flag!
By taking a few extra steps and being aware of how your health and beauty products impact our Earth can result in a healthier, more friendly environment to live in. Here’s to a brighter, cleaner future!