Ethical beauty certainly isn’t a new topic, but the recent ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads has shone a brighter light on the subject. We look at 5 ways you can make your beauty routine an eco-friendly one.
Thousands of tonnes of plastic microbeads from products such as exfoliating face scrubs, shower gels and toothpastes wash into the sea every year, causing tremendous harm to fish and marine wildlife. Whilst microbeads play a small role in a larger problem, campaigners argued it was the easiest to prevent. The initial phase of the law has put a stop to manufacturing rinse-off products, but a ban on selling such products will follow in July.
Whilst the ban on microbeads is a step in the right direction, research has shown that many other types of plastics are added to personal care products including Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or Nylon.
Brands or companies that do not carry any form of microplastic can proudly wear the “zero plastic inside” logo. In one glance, this logo makes it absolutely clear for consumers that a product is guaranteed 100% free of microplastic ingredients.
Sustainable palm oil
Palm oil, a type of edible vegetable oil, is found in everything from snacks to household cleaners to cosmetics, but it is heavily linked to major world issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced.
Whilst oil palms were originally from Western Africa, today, palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America, with 85% of all palm oil globally produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared every hour to make way for palm oil production. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction. The government found over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) say palm oil has the potential to be very environmentally friendly, if it is grown sustainably, as it requires far less land to meet our needs than alternative oils as well as employing about 6 million people worldwide, with over a third of these being small time farmers who often live at the edgy of poverty.
There is a growing trend for companies to use biodegradable packaging that is less harmful to the environment.
Zero Waste Week, an annual awareness campaign in September for reducing landfill, reported that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. The cardboard that packages perfumes, serums and moisturisers contribute to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year.
Beauty has a long way to go and many products still have an element of excess, but as the movement gathers pace, it can only mean change for the better.
The UK’s organic beauty sector, including organic make up, is currently worth £61.8 million. It goes without saying that organic and naturally sourced products are on the rise, and no wonder when they are the gentlest to our skin and the environment.
When you buy organic products, you’re supporting organic or natural ingredients, sustainable manufacturing processes, biodegradable packaging and protection of wildlife and the environment.
Natulique, a sustainable and ethically sound brand, is now being stocked in K Hair Salon. Natulique hair products and colouring system is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and certified organic. All Natulique products are available in 250ml & 100ml bottles made of 100% environmentally friendly recyclable PET plastic. With K Hair believing in eco-consciousness with a holistic approach, you really can get your hair coloured with a clear conscience.
Save water where you can
Water and beauty go hand in hand, but the amount we use while lathering up in the shower or cleaning our teeth is only one part of the story. Just scan the back of your skincare or makeup products and you’ll see it’s usually the first ingredient mentioned, accounting for 70 to 80 per cent.
Mintel, the global market research company, dubbed water a luxury product. “Water is set to become a precious commodity as consumption outstrips supply. The more consumers become aware of this, the more beauty brands will need to change how they manufacture and formulate products to limit their dependence on water.” Charlotte Libby, Global Beauty and Personal Care analyst at Mintel, commented. Water is often used in formulations as a cheap base but once you remove that water, botanicals and oils are used instead, which results in a much stronger offering.
Even if you're not ready to go completely organic, just remember that one small change can make a huge difference.