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Beyond Skin Deep

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The green beauty movement is growing as consumers seek products that are eco-friendly and safe for use.

As customers look for products that are both effective and eco-friendly, there has in recent years been a significant shift towards more sustainable procedures and products in the beauty industry. Many companies in the business have responded by employing Earth-friendly strategies that help them reduce their carbon footprint and advance sustainability.

What is sustainable beauty? It refers to products that contain ingredients that don’t harm our own health or that of the planet. The companies producing these items are also conscientious about using recycled or biodegradable packaging.

PACKAGING SOLUTIONS

Beauty businesses are spending money on packaging made of recycled or biodegradable materials. This promotes a sustainable approach to packaging and lowers the quantity of plastic trash produced by the sector. At Clarins, 63% of the materials used — from glass to paper and cardboard — are recyclable. Some companies also offer incentives to customers to recycle containers. One brand that has adopted this concept since 2008 is L’Occitane. The company has saved more than 170 tons of plastic a year by doing so.

CLEAN PRACTICES

Consumers are becoming more conscious of not only what is good for Earth but also for their body. This applies not just to what they take into their body but also to what they put on it. Noting this, conscious beauty brands are making it a point to use plant-based ingredients rather than synthetic ones. Notable brands doing this include Burt’s Bees, Herbivore Botanicals, 100% Pure, and Bybi Beauty. Besides these niche brands, even big names such as Givenchy are including natural ingredients in their products. The items in the French luxury company’s new skincare line, Skin Resource — which consists of the Bi-Phase Makeup Remover Eyes and Lips, Cleansing Micellar Water, and Liquid Cleansing Balm — contain two active plant-based ingredients: vegetal moss and everlasting flower extract.

Photo: 100% Pure Facebook page

Beauty companies are also placing greater emphasis on ethical sourcing of ingredients, ensuring  they are obtained in a responsible and sustainable manner. This includes procuring from fair-trade farmers and using environmentally friendly harvesting practices. Big brands that do this include Clarins and The Body Shop.

GOING ORGANIC

While clean beauty doesn’t necessarily refer to organic products, many brands these days are making an effort to avoid synthetic colours and fragrances, as well as ingredients that have pesticides or are genetically modified. Since there are no harsh chemicals in these products, there is significantly less waste and toxins going down the drain and back into the environment. Organic farms also help to protect wildlife and biodiversity.

A brand that produces organic, cruelty-free foundations is 100% Pure. The foundations contain organic aloe juice, a superstar ingredient for soothing and hydrating skin. Another is Australia-based Inika Organic, which prides itself on being over 70% organic, with multiple certifications to back up their claims. If you’re looking for products not just for your skin but also your hair, check out Andrea’s Organic Market. The planet-friendly brand from the United States has shampoo bars, leave-in conditioners, masks and serums — all handmade in their Indiana, USA, workshop and packaged in beautiful glass containers that can be repurposed — to keep your mane in tip-top condition.

Sustainable beauty is all about considering ethics as well as aesthetics and designing products that have as little impact as possible on the environment. Getting choosy about the products we use is an important part of sustainable living. In the end, switching to ones that use clean ingredients and minimal packaging is better for our bodies and the planet.

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