How you can incorporate more environmentally friendly beauty products in your daily routine
by quinn wilson
When shopping the shelves at beauty stores like Ulta and Sephora, the sparkles and the name brands are the first to catch my eye. But what doesn’t register is how much plastic and waste is generated by these products. Packaging of beauty products accounts for 146 million tons of plastic each year. Additionally, some beauty products use microplastics, which are tiny beads of plastic 5 mm or less in diameter. When washed down drains, these microplastics can end up in rivers, lakes, and oceans and can enter the marine food chain harming fish and other wildlife.
There are some products that you can choose over others that can help decrease the impact of plastic waste caused by the beauty industry. However, be wary of greenwashing, in which companies falsely advertise how environmentally friendly their products really are. To get you started here is a list of my favorite sustainable beauty brands.
35% of Lush products are sold “naked” without any packaging at all. For its other packaging Lush uses 100% post consumer plastic and partners with the Ocean Legacy Foundation to use plastic recovered from oceans. Learn more about Lush’s packaging here. Lush’s products are always vegan and made of natural, good-for-you ingredients.
2. ELATE BEAUTY
Elate is cruelty-free, ethical, and sustainable. Currently 75% of Elate’s packaging is waste-free, being either recyclable, plantable, or reusable. Under each product description, the proper disposable process for the packaging is explained. For example, for their mascara tubes, there is a plastic tube encased in a bamboo shell; the bamboo can be crushed and composted while the plastic tube can be cleaned and recycled.
3. RIVER ORGANICS
River Organics is a vegan, cruelty-free, and nearly zero-waste brand based in North Carolina. The packaging they use is made from eco-friendly paper, and their label is made from biodegradable sugar cane. The products are made of natural plant oils including Moringa, Apricot Kernel and Camellia seed oils.
4. LALIN ET LA SIRÉN
Lalin et La Sirèn, based in Brooklyn, New York, is a natural and sustainable black-owned beauty brand. They are inspired by their Afro-Carribean roots when creating small batches of petroleum and paraben free products. Some of their best-sellers include their plastic free deodorant and body butters.
EcoTools has the first collection of biodegradable makeup sponges. Their slogan “More Beauty, Less Waste” highlights their dedication to reducing waste in the beauty industry. They also have a line of interchangeable brush heads with one handle. Sustainable beauty doesn’t stop at natural ingredients, but also eco-friendly tools.
When it comes to sustainable and ethical beauty, it’s important to remind yourself that it’s about progress, not perfection. So the next time you’re shopping at Sephora, consider the impact the packaging and ingredients have on the environment and shop more consciously. Thanks for reading, hope you come back next week!