Clean, green beauty

How the beauty business can mitigate environmental degradation

Let’s face it, beauty products have been always been a part of daily life for many—from baby care, cosmetics, skin care, and toiletries—and have now grown into a billion-dollar industry. With the continuous advances in science and technology, it is only expected to grow even more in the years to come. But the business of beauty has a price that could affect everyone’s lives, and it is its impact on the environment. 

Several factors come into play when it comes to how the beauty industry affects the environment. These are some of them.

Packaging. With new beauty products appearing in online ads and store aisles, packaging needs to be attractive and stand out to create an impact on the customer. Product packaging, however, incurs a lot of damage to the environment. According to US waste and recycling company ZeroWaste, around 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetics industry.

Ingredients. Toxic ingredients not only harm the body but the environment as well. When some of these ingredients found in cosmetics and other products go to the seas and other bodies of water, marine life can get harmed, from coral reefs and algae to other forms of aquatic life.

Water and energy.  Water is widely used by beauty brands from creams to shower products. It is also another serious issue considering that water is essential to daily life and its overconsumption can deplete this resource. On the other hand, energy consumption via coal for electricity and petroleum for transportation also emits greenhouse gases that can trap the heat and cause global warming, harm plant life, and more.

The business of beauty has a price that could affect everyone’s lives, and it is its impact on the environment.

Thankfully, the beauty industry has been acting on these issues in the past years. An increasing number of beauty brands and companies are beginning to become more environmentally-conscious, promoting sustainability. Some have come together to encourage their government to create pro-environment policies. Others have taken pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, use renewable energy, ban animal testing, lower water consumption, eliminate mircoplastics, obtain purely recyclable packaging, and commit to sustainable and ethical sourcing.

GOOD FOR THE SKIN AND THE PLANET Green beauty are products sourced, produced, and packaged ethically and sustainably

For consumers, knowledge is a weapon that can be used to further reduce waste and protect the environment. Everyone can do their part. Here are some of the things you might want to choose.

Refrain from supporting single-use packaging. As much as possible, consumers should opt for reusable, refillable packaging and/or materials made with recycled materials.

Avoid environmentally-harmful ingredients. There are many, but more popular ones are pthalates, sulfates, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene).

Read the other side of the packaging. Consumers should check labels or logos that provide certification that a product is cruelty-free, vegan, etc. They should also research on unfamiliar ingredients and ask around. The more they know, the better choices they can make both for their health and the environment. 

Support brands that are eco-friendly. The more transparent a company’s efforts are, the better. Consumers should support brands that actively participate in recycling or other similar activities like reducing carbon emission or protecting marine life, using sustainable packaging, or using ingredients free from toxic chemicals.

The beauty industry has quite a long way to go, but at least the shift to sustainable beauty has begun. Consumers, on the other hand, must remember that real beauty does not only include them, but everything around them as well. That is why when choosing products, they should opt for those that can preserve nature’s beauty too.