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The rise and reasons of eco beauty

There have been times in the near past where I’ve simply felt overwhelmed with the sheer amount of beauty buys available. It’s never ending. Many brands are launching new products and collections every couple of months and although it has led to some innovative ideas, it gets to a point where it’s just all too confusing.

I’m a massive beauty product lover. I love testing out new makeup and skincare, researching the benefits of key ingredients and sharing products I believe in. That hasn’t changed as such. What HAS changed is the way I choose my products and what’s in the products I’m choosing. This year, I’ve been focusing on using clean, green, eco-friendly items more often and it’s been a revelation.

It started at the end of last year when I had a reaction to one of the products I’d been using. I still don’t know which one, but I developed dermatitis; the area on the left of my nose and parts of my chin were red and dried out. Something had been too harsh for my skin and I’d noticed too late. I’d also point out it may have been hormonal, but I think a mix of products I was applying too harshly to my face, coupled with my biology, resulted in an annoying skin flare up. And although it was unpleasant (though not uncomfortable, thank goodness) it made me take stock and think about what exactly I was putting on my skin.

I’m clearly not the only one. Sales of organic, sustainable and cruelty free beauty products have risen steadily over the years. From my research into brands who follow this ethos, there are more than I realised, which is great. But it’s also meant I’ve been saying goodbye to some beloved brands because I can no longer morally support what they do.

As beauty consumers, we just want the best possible product for our skin, hair, body etc. We love the idea of getting goodness or change from something and it will make us look and feel great. But now, people are stopping and thinking about the beauty items they love and whether the cost is too high. Eco beauty is about simplifying, not just the ingredients, but how much we are consuming.

"Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m 100% natural and waste free when it comes to beauty, as I’m not."

The beauty industry is latching on to this concept in a hope to appeal to and retain the eco conscious beauty customer. I’ve never seen more companies start to change their ways than now; stripping back their ingredients, looking for more natural derivatives, ditching excess packaging, developing recyclable products. Everything from toothpaste to lipstick, foundation and face masks. It’s not just about the cleansing, ‘green’ ingredients, it’s how the contents and bottle have been manufactured.

Marketing these new products is also important. I’ve seen a change into bloggers, vloggers and influencers realising their enabling of fast fashion and fast beauty. Some of my favourite beauty reviewers online have scrapped deals and endorsements with brands who don’t give out an eco-conscious stance. And the word is spreading.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m 100% natural and waste free when it comes to beauty, as I’m not. However, with a little research changes can (and have) been made and hopefully they can offer a little inspiration.

Homemade recipes

There are so many recipes and tutorials online for making your own homemade beauty products from natural ingredients. Lip balms with coconut oil, sugar scrubs, aloe vera plant hair treatments etc. There are so many to explore.

Know the gimmicks

‘Scientifically proven’, ‘clinically tested’, ‘natural’, ‘eco’ are all words thrown about a lot within the beauty industry and maybe not be 100% true. Just because something says natural on the packet, doesn’t mean it is. Read the ingredients list, look up reviews and find brands and products you trust.

Buy local

3. Buying local sounds like the same old chestnut, but after delighting in some beautiful, homemade Manomara products at the Christmas market, I was sold. What carbon footprint?

Switch beauty tools

If changing up your beauty regime simply isn’t going to work, then why not switch your beauty related products? Makeup brushes, face and body loofahs, toothbrushes/ toothpaste and hairbrushes are all items that are easily changed from plastic and synthetic versions to natural, recyclable materials.

Finally, when it comes down to eco beauty, the one main point to take away is, aren’t we doing this for a benefit? It may be that we want to avoid future skin reactions, or we want to help the environment or animals. It might be that we want to simplify our bathroom cabinets and makeup bags. Whatever it is, there’s a steady revolution happening in beauty trends, and I, for one, am happy to be on board.

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