What does sustainability mean in beauty?
It can be difficult to navigate your way through clean and sustainable beauty when there are so many brands making unsubstantiated claims. The definition of sustainable, can be as follows: ‘meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. I love this definition because sustainability is not only important for saving our environment, but also preserving the environment for future generations. It is also a responsibility, not a choice.
What are the best clean and sustainable beauty brands?
The beauty industry can be uneconomical, generating a ton of plastic waste from containers and packaging. It also puts a lot of strain on the environment by shipping water-based formulas across the globe, and depleting some of earth’s most precious resources. Did you know that most cosmetic formulations are at least 80% water? Awareness of these practices sheds some light onto the fact that being a ‘Natural’ or even ‘Clean’ beauty brand isn’t enough. Consumers should demand more.
There are, however, some beauty brands that have created their companies based on the values of sustainability. These brands choose to make a true difference within the industry and hence hold a very special place in my heart. In addition to having clean formulations, they are taking measures like being waterless, package-free, waste-free, toxin-free; sourcing ingredients responsibly and up-cycling materials to create better products for not only their consumers, but also the planet.
First we recognize Loli beauty. This beauty brand sets an amazing example for being environmentally conscious and by giving back to organizations that support their underlying values. They are on a mission to make a conscious change with water-less products that contain the purest, most potent, food-grade ingredients that are hand-selected and responsibly sourced. Their materials are reusable and packed with compostable labels, bags, and boxes. Loli formulas utilize ‘waste-free’ ingredients, up-cycled from organic goods and are also water-free, meaning there is no added H2O. They make a thoughtful and mindful effort for both the planet and their customers.
Single use products have a massive, negative effect on the environment and most likely end up in nature. Last Object has made it their mission to eliminate the use of single-use items by creating reusable alternatives that not only save you money, but save the planet. They produce reusable cotton swabs, cotton rounds, and tissues. It is their goal to save our planet and oceans from single-use items. Let’s be honest, you most likely use or have used at one point, cotton balls, swabs, or rounds because they are extremely convenient. For this very reason, they created the products that we love to use, but in a much more sustainable form. They are making the choice easier for consumers by providing a better option. Last Object alternatives are made to last, and have minimal environmental impact.
Odacité Shampoo Bar 552M - This product from Odacité is a water-saving dream. The argan + coconut, soap-free shampoo bar has all the benefits of a high-quality salon shampoo without the plastic pollution. Powered by argan and castor oil, this formula purifies and nourishes your hair while naturally boosting volume. Did you know that 552 million plastic shampoo bottles end up in landfills and nature every year in the US? Odacité named this shampoo bar ‘552M’ to raise awareness, and offer a natural and sustainable alternative that will not harm the planet. Bar soaps are so much better in terms of sustainability, and have 10 times less of an environmental impact than liquid soap. It’s not your traditional shampoo, but most definitely worth considering.
Our very own, Barrier Repair Serum is made sustainable with plastic-free packaging and formulated using locally sourced ingredients such as Jojoba oil to restore and strengthen the skin's surface, Rosehip oil that aids pigmentation, scarring, acne and wrinkles, and Hemp seed for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. This multi-functioning serum is 100% natural, water-less, clean, vegan, gluten-free, and most importantly, package-free. We decided against secondary packaging. Less materials, less waste.
Another brand that’s taking ‘Clean Beauty’ to the next level, is Blübiome (fermerly known as Blü Fern). They realized that natural ingredients are more compatible with human skin than their synthetic counterparts, but didn’t want to use too many natural resources. So they primarily utilize stem cell technology to harvest their ingredients, saving tonnes of water, and eliminating pesticide and fertilizer use.
I don't know of another product that you can get 1000 uses out of. Yes, that's how many uses you can get out of Tru Earth Bamboo Rounds.
I personally avoid cotton like the plague. Aside from the sustainability concern, cotton tends to have some of the highest amounts of pesticides. and that's why I never use it or recommend cleansers that require the use of cotton. However, that problem has been solved for those of you that are die-hard micellar water fans. Caring about the environment isn't the only reason you should be considering bamboo reusable rounds, but also caring about your skin and overall health.
Packaged in a mesh bag designed to house your bamboo reusable rounds, for machine-washing, or to keep tidily in your vanity drawer. They're absorbent, double sided and soft to the touch. Basically a no-brainer! Invest in these and you'll never have to feel guilty about throwing another cotton round in the waste basket!!!
Hopefully this provides insight into some great sustainable beauty alternatives, as well as terminology to look for when searching for clean products. ‘Natural’ isn’t enough. It’s just a start. Unfortunately, it is very common in the beauty industry that companies lie and market towards being clean so as not to miss out on sales. But we’re on a mission to guide consumers to the best choices possible. This list is clean, safe, and Beauty Doctrine approved.
Be safe. Be well. Be beautiful.