It might not seem like a bottle of foundation or a monthly hair-dying session could do any lasting damage to our environment, but it turns out that beauty, like most other industries, is affecting the natural world in a negative way.
This is because we have shifted away from all-natural products to chemically enhanced, packaged products that not only wreak havoc on our skin but also leave a carbon footprint that we all must take into account. A greener ritual doesn’t have to mean a huge overhaul; by simply buying environmentally conscious products and vegan alternatives you can be making your first steps towards a greener beauty routine.
How the beauty industry is contributing to climate change
In recent decades, the beauty industry has boomed. With more and more brands riding the wave of social media and coming forward with new offerings for a plethora of varied consumer markets, the beauty industry is enjoying its heyday. But like everything that sees a colossal rise in consumer demand, the environment bears the brunt.
Packaging is one of the highest selling points in beauty; the more elaborate and unique the packaging, the more likely someone will buy it. The result is hundreds of thousands of unrecyclable plastic bottles, plastic bags and boxes, most of which are made of a mixture of materials, being dumped in landfill.
The beauty industry is also a culprit in huge water usage, as most of the products require lots of water to be made. And then there’s the issue of carbon production. Products like hairsprays, fragrances and deodorants are big contributors to carbon dioxide emissions – and that’s before we get to the production emissions.
Finally, most of us will be aware of microplastics and the way in which they harm the health of our seas. They are mostly found in the form of exfoliating microbeads that are then washed down the shower drain, into the sea and then ingested by fish, and eventually humans.
What is the industry doing about it?
Many beauty brands are taking a stand and producing sustainable cosmetics and natural skincare. This means that the products are made from natural ingredients like argan and avocado oil, agricultural plants like soybeans and corn or even bacteria that have proven to have health benefits.
More and more products are going down the sustainable road, including the nail industry that now offers gel nail polish with vegan formulas. Conscious shopping is an easy way to start your sustainable beauty journey.
Some brands are also tackling the issue of waste and packaging. Increasingly, brands are using packaging made from recycled materials and biodegradable materials like paper and wood. Some also offer refill options, so don’t forget your container the next time you go shopping! Adopting a greener beauty routine couldn’t be easier these days.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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