In recent years, the push to “go green” across various industries, has grown, as more consumers zero in on sustainable processes and products.
This trend is also evident in the cosmetics industry, where a preference for natural and organic ingredients over the toxicity of conventionally manufactured cosmetics is becoming mainstream. In fact, Statista projects a steady climb in the global market value for natural and organic cosmetics and personal care products, reaching £30 billion by 2022. Eco-friendly products are more than just a passing trend; they are quickly becoming the norm for beauty and personal care products worldwide.
But what constitutes an eco-friendly product? As the shift to more sustainable beauty continues, there is also some confusion with determining whether some cosmetics are truly “green.”
To figure out if you’re making responsible choices with your beauty products, here are some ways to tell if they’re eco-friendly.
Today, a “green” product typically refers to one that is organic or healthy. Consumers have also grown to expect such products to use environmentally-friendly formulations, manufacturing processes, and packaging and logistics methods. A good marker for an eco-friendly beauty product is one that uses renewable raw materials from natural ingredients from plant and healthy bacteria sources, as opposed to non-renewable petrochemical materials.
What Makes an Eco-Friendly Product?
When purchasing a beauty product, be on the lookout for these qualities to determine just how sustainable it is beyond the “eco-friendly” tag!
1. Look at the Ingredients List
Ingredients don’t lie, and they can tell you plenty about where a product is from and how it was sourced. Beauty products that use natural ingredients are excellent choices, but consumers should also note where these ingredients were grown to assess the environmental and social impact of farming them.
Look for companies that detail the communities they work with to get the natural ingredients used in your products. Ethical organisations will usually be transparent about how the community benefits from their collaborative efforts, and they should have the proper accreditation, especially when sourcing from developing countries.
2. Assess the Packaging
Packaging can say a lot about a brand, but it also generates plenty of unnecessary waste discarded upon receiving the product. And these days, it’s not enough to make claims like “green” or “all-natural” labels on packaging.
Truly conscious beauty brands explore options for environmentally-friendly packaging and are transparent about the materials they use. For instance, the CEO of sustainable skincare brand Lana PH, Rizza Lana-Sebastian, makes it a point to use kraft boxes and recycled shredded paper to package her products. Refills are also available to help reduce plastic waste.
When in doubt, remember the three Rs for a beauty brand’s packaging: reduce the amount of packaging used and offer reusable and recyclable materials.
3. Check for Sustainable Certifications
Go beyond labels and research how reputable third-party organisations judge companies, often provided as certificates on their website or the label itself. Ethical.net lists several types of certifications to keep an eye on, such as those for cruelty-free and organic beauty products.
It’s also worth doing more research on the company that produces your beauty products, so take time to check the mother company of the brand you’re buying from and learn more about their sustainability practices.
Don’t just rely on their PR pages – a quick Google search should reveal more about the company’s eco-friendly initiatives.
4. Ensure Products are Cruelty-Free
The eco-friendly movement also includes the welfare of animals, who are still being subjected to chemical testing for beauty products. The ingredients used in most cosmetics today have already been deemed safe by regulatory bodies, and with the movement to produce more eco-friendly products, there is even less of a reason to continue testing on animals.
CEO of world-renowned brand The Body Shop, David Boynton, continues to lead the cruelty-free campaign this brand has upheld for over 30 years. Given that animal testing also harms the environment directly with the harsh chemicals it uses, choosing cruelty-free beauty products an effective eco-friendly option.
Understanding what makes an eco-friendly beauty product and making the conscious choice to use them is just one way to make a positive, sustainable impact.
By making these little changes in your lifestyle, you can create a better world for tomorrow — one eco-friendly lipstick at a time!
Being an eco-friendly citizen can be done in many ways, with other tips detailed in our list of 2021’s Sustainable Trends That Everyone Can Follow, post.
Article specially written for Kind Bag, by Alice Woods