Nature is almighty. Because it has given us sustenance for energy and we can also use it to nourish our skin. In order to maintain this, reciprocity is essential. While farmers are able to replant crops and trees to ensure an endless supply of food, we as consumers can do our part by supporting brands and organisations who are eco-conscious. This will have an impact on protecting the health of ours and the planet's.
So, what should we look out for when choosing skincare products to ensure an all-win result? Keep your eyes peeled on the fine print for these crucial signs.
The Power Of Non-Toxic Elements
You can never go wrong going au natural. But if the products are formulated with ingredients such as phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, aluminium compounds, fragrances, oxybenzone and propylene glycol, avoid at all cost. Greenwashing is common still, so do a check if the product is truly organic with certification by the Food and Drug Administration. And it shouldn’t be harmful in any doses.
How about active acids like hyaluronic, alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid which are having a moment now? Synthetic ingredients can be safe and more effective as they are derived especially for the product. In addition, these are applied in small amounts and get absorbed by the skin easily.
Packaging That Is Recyclable Or Reusable
The lifespan of a beauty product ends when its contents are used, rendering the packaging useless. Have you ever thought that the latter has a second life? Over at Innisfree and Kiehl’s, both brands have recycling programmes that accept used empty bottles in exchange for store credit and stamps respectively that are applicable for future purchases.
Alternatively, you can opt to house small succulents in suitably sized old skincare recycled glass jars. Aesop Mouthwash copper-toned bottles make serviceable and attractive vases.
Through plant science, Clarins started its journey towards responsible beauty in 1954. With all of its products made in France, quality control is overseen and reviewed by toxicological experts to fulfil demanding international cosmetic standards where it is distributed. The brand also goes beyond the minimum to include a blacklist of ingredients that it prohibits itself to use and is reviewed every quarter. Furthermore, Clarins offers packaging that is recyclable—63 percent are made of glass or cardstock—and since 2012, all glass packaging contains at least 25 percent recycled glass.
A recent green beauty Hydra-Essentiel series campaign highlights one of Clarins’s many eco-initiatives. Through supporting humanitarian association, Jardins Du Monde, a fair-trade programme in Madagascar, both parties help isolated communities develop and create their own pharmacopeia based on indigenous plant life. The programme works with the population, pays them a fair wage, and teaches them how to use and harvest plants with medicinal benefits such as the Leaf of Life used in the Hydra-Essentiel products while respecting nature by not using pesticides or chemical substances.
Luxury skincare often focuses on the female demographic but Giorgio Armani has his sight set on men. Rolled out by Armani Beauty, the formulas for Armani Men’s three products—Face Wash, Toner and Moisturizer Face & Eyes—have up to 99 percent of their ingredients derived from nature and are highly biodegradable. Making use of purifying properties in jojoba pearls, baobab leaf and birchbark extract, this nature cocktail softens and dispels fatigue on skin.
The products’ white outer packaging uses less material than a traditional cosmetics box and is made of materials certified and controlled by the Forest Stewardship Council. In addition, there are no unnecessary plastic foil or paper inserts. Minimalism is the way to go.
Doers Of London
Equipped with a green workflow mindset, Doers of London aims to deliver premium performance and quality ingredients without sacrificing the environment. The London-based label respects the sustainable ecosystem by using all naturally derived ingredients, testing without using animals, and a fully vegan approach. Thus, they are rewarded with approval by the Vegan Society and certified cruelty-free.
Doers of London’s natural-led ethos allow no harmful synthetics like parabens, chemicals or fragrances. Instead, they stand by the powerful benefits of natural ingredients.
On the packaging aspect, Aesop is a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant, which promotes packaging sustainability. Focusing on minimal negative environmental impact, the Australian beauty brand is shifting the majority of its products' plastic bottles from virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), comprising a minimum 97 percent recycled material sourced from post-consumer curbside recycled content.
Refills are encouraged too. Its products offer a screw-cap in place of pump for customers to replenish formulations. The screw-cap option represents a 12g reduction in plastic per unit.