We should be mindful about the environment. After all, we coexist with nature and rely on its resources for survival. With this in mind, beauty brands have been making efforts to create cleaner products that reduce negative environmental impact. From eliminating plastic microbeads exfoliants to using natural and organic ingredients, green beauty advocates the importance of being eco-conscious and staying sustainable.
Now, there's Blue beauty. How does it differ from the Green beauty movement?
What is Blue beauty?
Started by Jeannie Jarnot, founder of Beauty Heroes, this sustainable movement encapsulates not only being green but also protecting nature such as oceans from chemicals.
"Blue Beauty brands are making sure their products are safe for the environment—which includes being ocean safe as well as sustainably sourced, minimising carbon footprint etc.—but are also looking at ways their practices are contributing back to and having a net positive effect on the environment," Jarnot explained to Elle UK.
Blue Beauty focus beyond clean ingredients and incorporates sustainable packaging to be recyclable-friendly that'll reduce plastic wastage. Specifically, the remains of an emptied beauty product can damage both land and marine life.
Also, non-toxic ingredients safe for humans might harm the environment. Chemicals found in skincare products like sunscreens and shampoos can pollute water and damage corals. Thus, it's crucial to eliminate such substances in beauty products too.
Beauty brands not only have to source and develop green ingredients, but they also should champion initiatives that involve recycling or use sustainable materials for its product packaging.
Below are some brands onboard the Blue beauty movement and leading the change.
Having developed the world’s first and only patented eco-compatible sunscreen, the London-based brand equally supports both skin and marine life protection.
This specially researched gentle formula contains organic moisturisers including olive oil, beeswax and coconut extracts that nourish the skin. Also present are three of the most photostable filters to protect skin against both UVA and UVB radiation.
At the same time, this sunscreen, free from octinoxate and avobenzone, are coral reef and marine-friendly. Packaging-wise, it is contained in a recyclable PE material made from sustainable sugar cane.
Part of Aethic Sôvée's sales revenue goes into The Going Blue Foundation, which works on restoring ocean health with actions like www.corabon.com
Singapore Beauty-Tech startup BHUMAN (pronounced 'Be Human') seeks to disrupt and transform the industry by applying circular economy principles to design out waste from day one. Thus, BCLEAN is born.
As the brand's first product, this plant-based pH-balanced powder facial cleanser is packaged in handcrafted bamboo, which is the world’s fastest-growing plant and a highly renewable resource. Also, wallet-friendly refills are available in recyclable aluminium bottles.
"Our products are waterless, this will help shrink our environmental footprint and reduce our impact on climate change,” commented BHUMAN founder, Yeeli Lee. Usage is simple. Just mix the powder with water to lather, and then wash and rinse.
Not a keen user of single-use plastic, by Humankind sought to reduce global dependence on it by creating personal care products that are kind to both the body and the earth.
The carbon-neutral certified US company have a biased towards plant-based ingredients and is transparent behind their usage in the products' formulation.
Unnecessary waste is avoided as the brand's mouthwash tablets are packed in a compostable bag, refillable roll-up deodorant canisters, and easy direct application of its Shampoo and Conditioner bar.
Being born in a harbour town helps to Haeckels to understand the gifts of the sea to humans. Based in Margate, UK, the ocean-devoted brand raises awareness about natural products that are every bit as effective as chemical-derived alternatives.
Thus, seaweed plays a major role at Haeckels. Using its ocean-farming license to grow and harvest the plant, natural products like its signature Seaweed Bath and Algae Plump + B3, a lightweight alternative to trending Hyaluronic Acid, found fans easily.
Also not forgetting its roots, Haeckels rewards customers via its RUBBISH FOR PRODUCT programme. By posting their cleanup efforts and tagging both @haeckels and #HaeckelsBeachClean on Instagram, they will receive 40 percent off any full-price product and any Haeckels glass bottles can also be returned for recycling by mail to obtain a 15 percent discount.
Kevin Murphy and his famed eponymous Australian hair care company turn rubbish into functional goods with reclaimed Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP) and is the first beauty brand to do so.
Realising the staggering amount of plastic that packaging generates which results in ocean pollution, Murphy and his team pledged to use bottles made from 100% OWP, giving them a new lease of life. In doing so, the company will save a projected 360 tons of plastic from appearing in the ocean each year.
Ingredients wise, Kevin Murphy maintains the stance on using natural sources. Fruit acids derived from Papaya and Citrus and natural surfactants from the Soap Bark Tree and Quillaja are used.
Kevin Murphy continues to develop products with a conscience in partnership with Pack Tech, who are innovators in professional packaging, to clean up the oceans and create new boxes and bottles.
Every June, La Mer gives back by committing to helping protect marine habitat with its Blue Heart Oceans Fund. Along with this is a limited-edition Blue Heart Crème de La Mer jar. This year, a hand-painted watercolour design inspired by the rippling surf the sea is featured.
The public can do some good too by posting on Instagram using both #La MerBlueHeart #LaMerDonation hashtags in June. For every post, La Mer will donate $25, up to $550,000, to the La Mer Blue Heart Oceans Fund to support its 2020 youth's ocean education projects.
Also, purchase of the commemorative Blue Heart Crème de La Mer does not impact their charitable donations. So, do remember to dedicate a post!
The ocean is vast, so treasures are bound to be discovered. Former Burberry Beauty executive and luxury industry veteran Marcella Cacci partners with Lubrizol's Skin Essentials business to introduce a pro-ocean biodiverse beauty and wellness company that uses blue biotechnology.
By not harvesting from the ocean itself, One Ocean Beauty is able to develop key marine microorganisms sourced sustainably and develop restorative skincare with anti-ageing properties.
Its suite of products has 'ocean DNA'. From sea serum, ocean mist cleanser, eye revival marine cream, deep-sea moisturizer, to marine collagen tablets, glyoprotein is harnessed in them which increases collagen synthesis, hydrates and retains moisture.
The brand also works with Oceana (the world's largest non-profit ocean conservancy group) and has a blog that informs customers of other ways they can help reduce their impact on the ocean.
Back in Earth Month 2018, the pioneering British skincare brand and environmental activist rolled out a new 100% recycled bottle containing 20% reclaimed ocean plastic to contain the award-winning Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Wash. They have since applied this to all of its products.
Working with TerraCycle, a leading innovator in recycling, this move coincides Ren Skincare's pledge to achieve zero waste by 2021.
“The beauty industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the over-use of packaging, and an alarming percentage of it is non-recyclable. Plastic packaging that ends up in landfills and waterways—as opposed to the recycling stream—remains there for decades, and even centuries, causing toxicity to our land, oceans, rivers, lakes and beaches," said Arnaud Meysselle, Chief Executive Officer, REN Clean Skincare.
"REN Clean Skincare participates in beach cleanups to educate consumers on these issues and designs its packs to minimize waste."
Sephora isn't careless with its in-house products. The French personal care and beauty retailer created an eco-conscious clean skincare line that touts over 60% naturally derived ingredients and packaging made from reclaimed sugarcane.
As a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Sephora uses efficient design on recyclable materials to divert waste from landfills. Besides 65% of the range's plastic is made from sugar cane residuals, their cardboard boxes are constructed from sustainably-managed forests and printed with vegetable ink.
The Firming Day Cream in this eco-conscious skincare line is formulated with 92% natural origin ingredients. They'll restore radiance and firmness to dull skin affected by the loss of elasticity.
Keep a lookout for 'The Clean at Sephora' seal. That means a product is formulated without a list of over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, phthalates, and more.
The popularity of this cult suncare brand isn't to be underestimated. Offered exclusively through Sephora Singapore only, products are often sold out within minutes. Using natural mineral-based and organic cutting-edge formulations, the brand's key focus is to shield skin from the damaging effects of UV rays and environmental aggressors.
Usual suspects such as parabens, polysorbates, silicones, sulfates found in typical sunscreens are not present. Instead, powerful antioxidants, minerals micronutrients and EcoSun Complex fill up Soleil Toujours' products. Furthermore, its formulations are coral reef safe, environmentally responsible, vegan, and not animal-tested.
Sustainability efforts don't end there. The brand uses sustainable, recycled, and biodegradable materials whenever possible. In particular, the products are packed in FSC-certified paper boxes, which has been sourced in an environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible manner.