The Beauty Industry vs Sustainability
We recently did a poll on our instagram page and something that a lot of you wanted to hear more about was sustainable/conscious beauty brands! So, as a voice of the people today’s post is all about what exactly conscious beauty means and some products that we recently read about that help in the battle against plastics and pollution, whilst making up look and feel good!
Beauty is a huge industry and was estimated to be worth approximately $532 billion dollars in 2017 and is showing no signs of slowing down, as it is estimated by a market research firm (Zion Market Research) to be valued at up to $863 billion dollars by 2024. Whilst, sustainability seems to be successfully penetrating the fashion industry, with awareness around the negative social and environmental impact if the fast fashion industry growing and celebrity powerhouses like Megan Markle and Stella McCartney taking a strong stance in support of brands that have strong planetary commitments, the beauty industry has been slightly less scrutinised in the sustainability spotlight.
One of the things that makes conscious beauty hard, is that when it comes to skincare or best products we have such specific needs and preferences. For example, I’m currently in the process of clearly up my skin and so a lot of products I currently buy are retinol or niacinamide focussed. So, when you take skin concerns into consideration along side with finding a product that is suitable for your skin type or shade, sustainability can slowly slide down the list of priorities.
One of my biggest waste outputs is definitely cotton rounds that I use for my toner. Looking in my bedroom bin, it’s filled with them! Especially as I normally use two to really ensure that I really got everything off my face and it’s fully cleansed. I actually challenged myself to stop buying facial wipes because it was completely getting out of hand how many I would use and how much they enabled me to skip out on my nightly routines. So, what’s a good alternative? Reuseable rounds of course. You can make the most of face towels that you already use which can be popped in the wash after you’ve used them, or head to brands like As Nature Intended to get a ditsy cloth. The Ditsy Cloth is hypoallergenic so good for sensitive skin and can be easily popped in the wash or hand washed.
Ingredients that are a big no-no include things like Palm oil.
Palm oil is commonly used in SO MANY beauty products, it is estimated that approximately 70% of cosmetic and skincare products contact palm oil and you’re probably wondering why this is so bad… well it’s related to the production of palm oil. The growing demand that acres of land of being cleared in order to make way for palm oil plantations. This destroys habitats, reduces species biodiversity in the area (palm oil is reponsible for the loss of up to 100,000 critically endangered Bornean orangutans) and by burning down areas of rainforest masses of CO2 are released into the air.
Other baddies include micro-plastics and silicones due to their inability to biodegrade. This has resulted in plastic levels in the ocean rising, which is affecting wildlife. You can read more about this in our previous post ‘We’ve Declared It… The War On Plastics’.
Some brands to get you started in your palm oil free journey include:
Founded by Preyanka Clark Prakash and her husband Medwin Culmer in 2016, Bloomtown aims to crease a body and skincare company that offers consumers ethical and cruelty-free alternatives. After witnessing first-hand the damaging effects of palm oil, Preyanka and Medwin decided that they couldn’t sit back and do nothing. ‘“My husband and I witnessed first-hand the loss of virgin forest that is home to endangered orangutans, tigers and so much of the world’s biodiversity,” Preyanka says. “The problem with palm is that it’s being planted in such an ecologically sensitive region of the world, which also happens to be rife with cheap labour, corruption and lack of oversight.’
NEEK Skin Organics
Australian made, vegan and cruelty-free, NEEK Skin Organics founder Angelique believes that ‘what your skin needs is simple, so simple that it can be found in nature without harming bees, sheep or bunnies’. Stocking a range of vegan lipsticks and skincare, NEEK wants you to enjoy guilt-free beauty products that look after your skin and the planet.
Similarly, online platforms have focussed on being a one-stop-shop for your conscious beauty needs, stocking typically vegan, natural and/or organic products all in one place making it even easier for you to make the transition. Some of our favourites include:
Founded by mother and daughter duo, Jen and Mia, they set out to provide consumers with beauty products that provide all the makeup and skincare fixes you need whilst caring for our coral reefs. with a proportion on their profits donated to the Living Reefs Foundation, Jen and Mia strive to create beauty platform that stocks products from brands that share the same values. Read more about them in our SOMADINA meets interview here! Shop their products here.
This one is a favourite of mine. I’m obsessed with skin care, especially because I never feel my skin is quite clear enough so it’s an uphill struggle finding the right products. Welcome DermStore, with dermatologist approved natural products that provide a bit more of an extra kick, you can easily discover new brands across skincare, haircare and bath and body that cover your skin needs! Click here to check them out.
Citrine Natural Beauty Bar
Conscious beauty has a bad rep for not being very glamourous, well Citrine Natural Beauty Bar is here to change that. Hosting a range of luxiourous products by brands like Tata Harper, Jane Iredale and Kjaer Weis - Citrine gives you a taste of pampered goodness whilst being safe for you skin and planet. Shop their products here.
The Danger Of Packaging…
How many times have you ordered something online and it comes in a big, old card box sometimes with bubble wrap all for a tiny bottle of serum? It’s happened to me on multiple occasions and whilst you can put your mind at ease to a degree but flattening your card boxes and shoving them into your recycling bin, wouldn’t it be better to avoid this altogether?
It is estimated that product packing makes up approximately 45% of landfill waste in 2017 according to an InStyle report. The problem with many cosmetics is that are often packaged in containers that are tough to clean and consist of miseducating materials, which make recycling harder. With costly process tags attached to waste separation processes and quick fix options like incineration and landfill being readily available, such ‘difficulty to recycle’ products are not economically attractive.
However, beauty companies are still pursuing a sustainability agenda in the form of take back schemes. For example cosmetic manufactures, like Kiehl’s and Lush, accept anything from eye-cream containers to empty tubs of cream in exchange for rewards are free products. Whilst this may not solve the issue completely, it does provide an avenue through which consumers can engage with sustainability programmes and understand the value behind such give back schemes.