Why we should incorporate Sustainability in our Skincare Routine

Onesta Journal

Why we should incorporate Sustainability in our Skincare Routine

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We all know we should look after our skin. It is our largest organ after all and helps protect us from harmful elements and potential diseases. But with the sheer amount of beauty products available, how can we be sure we are taking the best care of our skin? Many products claim they will re-energise, smooth and brighten your skin but do we actually know what impact these products have on the environment or even on our health? How safe are the ingredients that we are daily putting onto our skin

Nearly 60% of what we put on our skin gets absorbed, which means it affects our bodies and health either negatively or positively. Some ingredients that are incorporated in skincare products can be harmful and cause health conditions such as eczema and allergies. Just a few toxic ingredients that have been found in skincare products include mineral oils that clog your pores causing acne, parabens which have been shown to suggest it disrupts hormones in your body, and polyethylene glycol which alters the skin’s natural moisture. These are just three out of hundreds of other toxic chemicals that may be found in your everyday skincare routine.

Is your daily skincare routine causing you more harm than good? If you’re concerned about what’s in your skincare, it’s worth looking for products with natural, organic ingredients for the best results, it is important to do your research and find a brand that suits your skin type as everyone’s skin is different. Finding healthy skincare means supporting brands that are making the effort to be transparent about what ingredients they use and where they source them from, as well as brands with a commitment to being environmentally friendly.

Not only is it important to look at the ingredients in each skincare product, it’s also important to consider its packaging. More and more brands use zero waste, recyclable or biodegradable packaging for their products. Single-use plastic isn’t easy to recycle and takes nearly 1000 years to break down, resulting in sea life devastation and pollution. The toxic chemicals that wash down the drain also end up in the oceans which damage the ecosystems and kill sea life. Sustainable skincare alleviates these issues as eco-friendly brands work to limit their environmental impact. Part of the way they do this is by considering the packaging they use so it can be recycled, reused or even composted. Customers are encouraged to use up their original products first before buying another one and making smart choices by weighing up need verses want. 

When it comes to your beauty and skincare routine, removing your makeup can become wasteful if you’re using disposable makeup wipes. Single-use makeup wipes are damaging to the environment and can be abrasive to your skin. The ingredients used in the wipes are often harmful and irritate the skin. When disposed of, they end up in landfill (or even the ocean if flushed down the toilet), contributing to pollution. Even if the makeup wipes are made from cotton and are considered biodegradable, they will not break down in landfill because the conditions are not suitable for biodegradation. Swapping out single-use wipes for a reusable makeup pad is a small change towards an eco-friendly skincare routine. Although a single-use makeup wipe can be the more convenient option when you are in a rush, many people do not realise how damaging these can be not only to the environment but to your skin. With the number of chemicals in them they can do more harm than good.

In an effort to meet the demands for bright, smooth, healthy-looking skin, many brands have turned their focus to ingredients that are more damaging to us and the environment. However, there are an increasing number of brands who are making skincare with natural ingredients that are beneficial to us and don’t cause harm to our planet. We know how hard it can be to find a truly sustainable brand, so we’ve put together our five top tips when shopping for sustainable, eco-friendly skincare:

  1. Research the brand – do they write about their commitment to the earth, people and animals on their website? Are they committed to ethical production? Do they use eco-friendly packaging? If the brand is transparent on their website then it shows how committed they are.

  2. Look at the first five ingredients of a product – are they natural? The first five ingredients make up the majority of your skincare product. A healthy skincare product will have recognizable and natural ingredients (you may need to do some research into these natural ingredients!).

  3. Avoid products / brands that use “fragrance” or “parfum” – this “ingredient” can be made up of lots of different harsh, synthetic chemicals. Look for products that are naturally scented with essential oils or unscented.

  4. Make your own! You may be feeling adventurous and up for a DIY project and there are lots of resources online to do this. It may take some testing and experimenting to find what’s right for you, but it can be a more cost-effective option. Just make sure you look for natural or organic ingredients!

  5. Dermatologically-tested – has the product been tested? (Make sure it’s not been tested on animals!)

Mainstream skincare products may appear to be luxurious and beneficial to your skin, but if we research the ingredients and look at their packaging, oftentimes it’s quite the opposite. Making small changes to your skincare routine is easy and does not cost as much as you think it might think. The average woman in the UK spends approximately £480 a year on beauty products that are often made with fillers and do not last long. Most natural, organic beauty products actually last longer (because you need less of it) so you don’t need to buy it as frequently. Simply knowing what to look for when purchasing new skincare products and researching some ingredients so you know what to avoid in the future is a small step that greatly benefits the health of your skin and even the environment.