Skincare — only one of our favourite topics, how about you?! To be honest, though, there is a lot of confusion around what constitutes "green" or "sustainable" skincare, so we thought we'd do our best to break it down!
While this is just the tip of the conversational iceberg, we hope that these *4 things to watch* will help you take a closer look at the skincare on your shelf! Our goal is for you to feel more empowered as an eco-conscious consumer. :)
Here we go:
- Safe-for-you ingredients: "Non-toxic" — although not a regulated term — generally means that a product's ingredients have not been linked to negative health impacts in humans. Consumers are also demanding to know that products are not only free of harmful chemicals but also made with responsibly harvested ingredients.
- Safe-for-the-earth ingredients: the products we use on ourselves end up back in the earth — and specifically our waterways. One example of a purchasing decision made for environmental safety is choosing reef-safe sunscreen. Please know that sunscreen continues to be vital for preventing skin cancer — so wear that SPF! The concern is sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, two of the most common sunscreen ingredients, which are toxic for corals.
Quick pause to consider this thought from Diana Felton, Hawaii State toxicologist (as quoted in @refinery29): "We have so much more to learn about what some of these chemicals do to both the environment and to human health; it’s this great human experiment." That's both bad and good news. While it's true there are unknowns, don't let this deter you from being as conscientious as you can while shopping — consumers do have power to shape industry change. Keep demanding accountability and transparency from brands so you can be as informed as possible!
- Packaging: Skincare brands and manufacturers have a huge responsibility and opportunity to overhaul their packaging, reduce their waste and address the plastic crisis. Compostable materials, biodegradable plastics, and — best of all — refillable/reusable items all help us move the needle on eliminating single use plastics. That's why we do what we do as a refillery, and we're excited to see more and more low waste, plastic free + refillable skincare products on the market!
- Carbon footprint: We want to see sustainable practices upheld from end to end, from the time a product is made to when the customer uses it. With skincare brands, we encourage you to look for — and demand — a commitment to decreasing their carbon footprint from manufacturing to delivery. There is even an increasing number of beauty brands becoming certified carbon neutral, which means they offset the carbon emissions that they are responsible for producing.