Ten years ago, the term ‘eco-friendly beauty’ might have conjured up images of hemp cloths and homemade soap. Nowadays, it’s synonymous with high-end luxury.
Figures released last year showed that the global natural beauty market was on track to hit £17 billion by 2024. But with so much buzz around cleaner, greener beauty, the market easily becomes saturated with products which aren’t as eco-friendly as they claim.
Here’s what to look out for when you make your next sustainable beauty purchase, how to adopt a more eco-friendly beauty routine overall, and why we should all be wary of ‘greenwashing’.
Not all eco friendly beauty products are created equal
Ethical beauty has enjoyed a recent boost in popularity and although this is great news for vegan and cruelty-free brands, it’s also caused a rise in ‘greenwashing’. This is the process of making a product look or sound more eco-friendly than it really is.
As of 2020, there still aren’t many checks and regulations over organic or sustainability claims for beauty products. Because of this, you may need to decide which ethical values are most important to you before you begin shopping. This will stop you getting bogged down in the nuances surrounding sustainability and will make it easier to choose a product. Here are some things to look out for...
Your sustainable beauty product checklistIs the product vegan?
If you try to live a plant-based lifestyle, smothering your skin with products containing animal derivatives may feel counterproductive. Luckily, there are plenty of vegan products on the market and most will declare their vegan status upfront.
A cruelty-free product is manufactured or developed without any exploitation or cruelty toward animals. Check the product description for a cruelty-free status or look for the Leaping Bunny logo.Are the ingredients natural?
Products laced with chemical ingredients aren’t great for your skin and are even worse for the environment. Everything you wash down your drain ends up in our oceans and can seriously harm aquatic lifeforms and habitats.Are the ingredients sustainable or indigenous?
Irresponsibly sourced ingredients can cause deforestation and have other harmful environmental and humanitarian implications, so you’ll need to do your homework. The fewer ingredients, the easier the job!Is the packaging plastic-free or recyclable?
Did you know that not all plastics or plastic components are suitable for recycling? Try to opt for a product that comes in a container which can be recycled or reused. If you’re buying online, you may also need to ask about the packaging the item is sent in!
Other ways to bring ethical beauty into your daily routineAvoid overconsumption
Skincare hauls on Instagram and YouTube have taught us to covet the latest skincare releases, even if we already have several full bottles to use up. You can significantly limit your impact on the environment just by using the products you already have.Buy quality products which last
When you buy a product that lasts longer, such as potent oils and formulas, you send less packaging to landfill and minimise your carbon footprint. It’s better for your bank balance, too!Reuse the receptacles
You don’t have to throw away your empty pots and bottles — you could keep them for homemade beauty concoctions. Face masks, decadent coffee body scrubs, or your own bespoke facial oil blends can be decanted into sterilised containers. Give them as gifts or keep them for yourself, either way, put that old packaging to work.Browse our collection of eco-friendly beauty products and find out how you can help protect the planet while taking care of your body and wellbeing.