It’s easy to get used to a great beauty routine. It becomes a staple of each day; a time to exercise some much-needed and deserved self care. However, while you know how much your beauty products can do for you, it’s important to also consider how your approach to the routine can also have a positive impact on the world
We’re not saying that the way you approach your beauty care has the potential to solve world hunger. However, even small adjustments to the way you go about your daily life can contribute to the health and wellbeing of our planet. When it comes to your choices of beauty products, you have the opportunity to have a positive effect on environmental, ethical, and social sustainability. It’s also worth noting that there isn’t just a grave responsibility to make choices that consider the environment; adopting eco-friendly activities into your life can also have a positive influence on your mental health.
However, it’s not always easy to know where to begin in this area of your life. We’re going to guide you through a few of the main areas that you should be placing your focus. What should you be on the lookout for when buying products? Where can you make changes that have a meaningful and lasting impact?
Consider Product Impact
One of the ways you can immediately start making your beauty routine more sustainable is by exploring the impact of your chosen products. Each of your cosmetics goes through a production process, during which they can cause significant damage to the environment.
As a result, you should be reviewing the following elements:
The combination of chemicals and components used in your products can have a significant effect on the world around you. While certain ingredients used by cosmetics manufacturers are banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are still some toxic items used in the manufacturing process that fall outside of these requirements, such as carcinogens and some forms of formaldehyde. Avoiding these products is not just important for your wellbeing. When you dispose of cosmetics that have toxic ingredients, they can damage the environment, pollute soil and water, and even be inadvertently consumed by animals. The internet is your friend here; research the common ingredients used in your products and what damage they can cause.
Even when the ingredients of your beauty products adhere to sustainability guidelines, that doesn’t mean the entire product is green. One of the most common ways in which beauty products negatively impact the environment is through packaging. Some brands are starting to make a difference here — L’Oreal and Unilever are both parts of an industrial commitment to make 100% of their packaging reusable, refillable, or compostable by 2025. However, not all companies have this same approach, and you have to take responsibility for selecting products that take a green approach to packaging. Look for products that come with minimal unnecessary boxes and bags, and for symbols that indicate your ability to recycle or, preferably, compost the products.
Review Your Brand Support
Making your beauty routine sustainable isn’t just dependent on what you do with the products but also the activities of the companies you purchase from. You’re likely not undertaking morally, environmentally, or socially questionable activities yourself. However, by buying from brands that do behave badly, you are enabling those practices to continue. This is why you need to commit to educating yourself and your friends on which brands you should or should not be supporting.
The first step here is undertaking some basic research. Looking at the company website is a good initial step to understanding how eco-friendly they are. Most brands will have information that outlines their values — look for a commitment to sustainable practices and materials. Transparency about their testing, manufacturing, and employment standards is also a good sign; it gives you a reason to trust that they are not hiding any illicit actions.
However, alongside your basic research, it’s just as important to adopt a practice of vigilance. Be wary of companies that are simply using eco-friendly buzzwords as part of their marketing. There’s a culture of greenwashing across all industries — this is where businesses present themselves as sustainable brands to garner credibility, but behind the scenes, they continue to exercise actions that are contrary to their green claims. Don’t just take their claims at face value; look a little deeper. Review trustworthy news sources about their activities. Look into whether they are obtaining their raw ingredients from sustainable sources. Use workplace review sites to gain an understanding of how they treat their workers.
Minimize Your Consumption
You need to exercise some discipline to keep your consumption levels at a minimum. Take an economic approach to budgeting your product usage — don’t be wasteful with excessive application of items, and only make new purchases when you are running low on an item. Where possible, invest in single products that have multiple uses, rather than a collection of individual items. Consider carefully how purchasing an exciting new range by your favorite brand is likely to have upon the quality of your beauty routine. Yes, it’s fine to get yourself nice things; but make certain you consider your environmental impact before you do so.
It’s an important step to hunt down new brands that reflect your environmental and ethical ideals. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you should immediately replace all your products. By doing this you create an unnecessary amount of wastage that then has to be disposed of. Use your current products while reviewing your alternative options. This gives you time to really commit to sufficient research and discussions with friends that you need to set yourself off on a positive path toward your sustainability goals.
Your beauty routine is not just a tool for your wellbeing, it is also a key to your environmental, social, and ethical impact on the world. While being mindful about the materials used in manufacturing, and your levels of consumption are important, you must also take care to be vigilant about your relationship with brands. Take the time to review issues and research solutions.