Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Today many people are recognizing the tremendous impact humans have on the planet. Everyday products can have harmful effects towards our planet. Stated in ¨The Minimalist Beauty Company Tackling The Industry’s Waste Problem¨ by Lucy Sherriff, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetics industry, contributing to loss of 18 million acres of forest annually. It takes anywhere up to 450 years and more for your average shampoo bottle, laundry detergent container, or any other plastic bottle to decompose.
Sustainable beauty means that your everyday self care products, such as soaps, shampoos, lotions, toothpastes, and many other products are safe for the people using these products as well as our environment.
There are 6 main factors when you are looking for a sustainable product
1. Is your product Cruelty Free?
It is important to look for whether your beauty product is cruelty free or not because when a product is cruelty free it is more often than not healthier. When companies don't test on animals they 're also ditching the bad chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes you may commonly find in skincare products. These chemicals have the chance to cause breakouts, allergies, and inflammation of the skin. Without testing on animals and to prevent the risk of harming the consumers with added chemicals, cruelty free brands opt out of these risky chemicals.
Cruelty Free Kitty has a large list of companies and whether they test on animals or not. They also have descriptions of each company. Check it out : https://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/
2. Is your product Vegan?
Vegan beauty products are produced without harming animals. They also don’t contain any animal ingredients, animal by-products or animal-derived products. The plant based ingredients can hold lots of vitamins.
3. Is your product Non-Toxic?
Stated by Scott Faber, women use an average of 12 personal care products a day that can contain around 168 different chemicals. Men use an average of 6 personal care products that can contain around 85 different chemicals. Ingredients such as Parabens, Phthalates, Fragrance, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), BHT, Retinyl palmitate and Retinol (aka, Vitamin A), Lead, and Formaldehyde all have negative effects on your health. Most of these ingredients have been linked to fertility issues and/or birth defects.in 1938 congress passed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Since then the cosmetic industry has improved greatly but there is still room for improvement.
4. Is your product Palm Oil Free?
Palm oil is a huge contributor to deforestation. Palm oil production has accounted for 57–69% of deforestation from 1972–2015, Palm oil workers have low and poor working conditions, It is estimated that a majority of the workers are undocumented immigrants.
5. Is your product Ethically Sourced?
To ensure your products are being sourced and gathered in a responsible and sustainable way, Choose Ethically sourced. Ethical sourcing protects that the workers are safe and treated fairly and the environmental and social impacts are taken into consideration during the sourcing process. It is estimated that 22,000 kids work in the dangerous conditions of mica mines in neighboring states of Jharkhand and Bihar. Mica gathered in India can leave thousands of kids either injured, paralyzed, or killed. Around 70% of mica gathered in India come from illegal mines. Most of the kids working in these mines want to be educated and poor in the future they are given the opportunity.
6. Does your product have Thoughtful Packaging?
Thoughtful packaging considers the risk that our beauty products packaging can have on our environment. Eco-friendly brands try to stay away from plastics altogether when manufacturing products. When purchasing bar soap looking for cardboard or paper raping or non at all is the best way to go. Refill shops are now gaining popularity. In these shops you can refill empty jars with liquid soap, laundry detergents and a variety of foods. When purchasing a razor it is encouraged to find one with no plastic and is not disposable such as the safety razor. Glass and aluminum containers are also wise choices for packaging since they are more recycled than plastic. Overall, do your best to avoid disposable products.
“8 Toxic Skincare Ingredients to Avoid: The Fox & She: Natural Beauty.” The Fox & She, 3 July 2020, thefoxandshe.com/skincare-ingredients-to-avoid/.
“'Beauty Is Pain': How the Environment Suffers From Cosmetic Waste.” Cirem Skincare, 24 June 2019, cirem.com/beauty-is-pain-how-the-environment-suffers-from-cosmetic-waste/.
Bilodeau, Michelle. “Pink Containers and Yellow Background.” How to Recycle Your Makeup Containers, 2020, www.flare.com/fashion-beauty/how-to-recycle-makeup-containers/.
Brenda, and Joy. “Sustainable and Ethical Beauty: What These Terms Actually Mean?” Sustainable Jungle, 11 Oct. 2020, www.sustainablejungle.com/sustainable-beauty/sustainableconsumer/.
“How Long Does It Take for Waste Materials to Decompose?, Chuck It Junk Removal.” Chuckitjunkremoval.com, 7 June 2016, chuckitjunkremoval.com/long-take-waste-materials-decompose.
Lebsack, Lexy. “The Makeup Industry's Darkest Secret Is Hiding In Your Makeup Bag.” Mica Mining Exposes Child Labor In The Makeup Industry, 4 May 2019, 7:58, www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/05/229746/mica-in-makeup-mining-child-labor-india-controversy.
McAvoy, Kaitlyn, and Name *. “Ethical Sourcing: Do Consumers and Companies Really Care?” Spend Matters, 12 Feb. 2016, spendmatters.com/2016/02/15/ethical-sourcing-do-consumers-and-companies-really-care/.
Paulsen, Lisa. The Health Risks of Chemicals in Personal Care Products and Their Fate in the Environment. 2015, https://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=chemhp
Salehaldin, Syameen. “What Is Sustainable Beauty? Here Are 13 Eco-Friendly Brands to Help You Achieve an All-Natural Glow.” Tatler Singapore, 16 Jan. 2020, sg.asiatatler.com/style/sustainable-clean-beauty-explained.
Sherriff, Lucy. “The Minimalist Beauty Company Tackling The Industry's Waste Problem.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 18 Sept. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/lucysherriff/2019/09/17/the-minimalist-beauty-company-tackling-the-industrys-waste-problem/.
“Six Reasons To Pick Cruelty Free Cosmetics Today.” Seriously FAB®, 23 Mar. 2018, seriouslyfab.com/blogs/news/six-reasons-to-pick-cruelty-free-cosmetics-today.
Sujana, Nanang. “Palm Oil Is among the World's Hottest Commodities. It's Also Devastating Rain Forests.” Exposing the Impacts of Palm Oil, One of the Most Corrupt and Damaging Industries on Earth, www.mensjournal.com/features/exposing-the-corrupt-and-damaging-impacts-of-the-palm-oil-industry/.
Yang, Renee. “Unethical Beauty Is Hard to Escape.” Medium, The Startup, 28 Aug. 2019, medium.com/swlh/unethical-beauty-is-hard-to-escape-3b4bf2ca71e4.