Gone are the days when people would shop for anything without researching and knowing about the product. Today a major shift has been seen in customers’ attitudes and this is a positive change. Especially after COP26 , people are learning more about sustainability and slowing and gradually trying to adapt to a sustainable way of living in their life. They are making more environmentally conscious choices than ever before. With these new and improved lifestyles, people are taking a step forward to protect the environment and that is how sustainable products and sustainable beauty came to light.
Sustainable beauty products are now taking over the makeup aisles. The products are not just eco-friendly and natural but also manufactured keeping in mind how these products would impact the environment. Brands have tried to cut down as much negative impact on the environment as possible and tried to create sustainable products.
But more than anything, we first need to understand the term ‘sustainable’. Are the products actually sustainable or they are just using another marketing tactic from the brands to lure us into buying their products? We need to find out everything about sustainable beauty to support it and that is why we are here to help you give a full insight about sustainable beauty and products and what to look for when a brand claims itself to be ‘sustainable.’
What Is Sustainable Beauty?
Sustainability in beauty is a very broad term. It isn’t confined to social, environmental and economical aspects during the production of these products but sustainability in beauty also covers the processes during the post-production to ensure positive environmental impact. A product is created in three phases-
1. Pre-production Phase.
2. Production Phase.
3. Post-production Phase.
A sustainable and ethically produced product ensure sustainable measures are taken in all three phases of manufacturing.
A] Pre-Production Phase
For phase one, it is ensured that all the ingredients used in the formula of the products are sustainably and ethically sourced.
B] Production Phase
Then in the production phase, it is the key responsibility of the brand that the manufacturing process falls in line with the sustainable criteria.
C] Post-Production Phase
Lastly, in the phase of post-production, a brand ensures that the packaging of the products is biodegradable and has zero waste to live up to the term ‘sustainable’.
It is an intensive process and many brands are slowly and gradually adopting the sustainable production of their products. It is difficult but as long as an effort is made, we appreciate it.
What To Look For In Sustainable Beauty Brands?
A brand may claim it is sustainable but it becomes our prior responsibility to check the label and do our full research to find out as much information as we could about the claim made. A brand claiming sustainability may not be sustainable in other ways. For example- a sustainable brand might not be cruelty-free or they might not be vegan. That is why quick research is very important and we will tell you the quickest way to do it.
We are going in reverse order in the phases of production but actually, the packaging of the product is the first thing we come across. The product itself comes later. When you see a package, you should be able to judge how sustainable it is.
Is the packaging plastic-free? Biodegradable? Reusable? These questions should be coming to your mind when you see the packaging of a product. If you think that the packaging ticks all the environmentally friendly choices then you should consider buying it.
We highly recommend buying products that are made up of resources that are biodegradable in nature. Glass containers over plastics is a better choice. Reusable tubes and refills of cosmetic products are some of the sustainable choices in terms of packaging.
2. Ingredient List
The next and the most important part is the ingredient list. As we have mentioned the formula of the sustainable product should have products that are sourced sustainably. Has the ingredient added been extracted naturally or not? However, some ingredients are not naturally occurring in cosmetics and are sourced artificially. We will definitely see some chemicals in our cosmetic products, there is no such thing as chemical-free because every form of matter has a chemical composition. When we see any artificially sourced ingredients we should check and analyse how that ingredient is sourced, is it harmful to us or nature, if there are any byproducts of it that could contaminate nature. If so avoid purchasing that.
3. Vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic
Always check out for these terms when buying your cosmetics. Your product may be cruelty-free and doesn’t test on animals but the ingredients from it could have been sourced unethically from animals. Thus, you need to be absolutely sure and check when you read a certain term on a product because brands these days try everything to sell their products.
4. Palm oil free
A product may claim to be natural with palm oil in it. We may buy that product because palm oil is natural but the way palm oil is sourced is incredibly damaging to the environment. There is a huge debate about the presence of palm oil in cosmetics and beauty products. Though many people support palm oils and reject the claim which states that palm oil causes environmental damages. However, contrary to their beliefs, in order to produce palm oil afforestation is done at a very large scale. This is not an environmentally-friendly choice.
Also, palm oil-free products could potentially use animal products as a substitute so a thorough checking should be done.
5. Know About the brand
Know a little about the brand you are buying your product from. If a brand is slowly adopting itself towards sustainability and doing its bit, you should be supporting it. Even if it is a small brand, support it. You should learn about the waste management techniques, ingredient sourcing, formulation process and the manufacturing process of the brands a little.
Our Final Thoughts
Everyone should have a right over beauty. It’s our choice. However, in this process, we should not be forgetting about making sustainable choices. We might not be able to see it now but by making sustainable choices we are doing good to ourselves. Our planet is under a major threat and we should be making all the efforts from the very moment in order to protect and preserve it. Even a baby step counts and we should do our bit.
You can bring change with your small habits. These small habits bring big changes. So, we highly encourage you to purchase sustainable beauty products.