Sustainable beauty is pretty big in the beauty world these days.
And on paper, it seems like a great idea. After all, what’s not to love about taking care of yourself by taking care of the world around you, right?
But once you get past the initial “yay!” phase, sustainable can suddenly seem lot more complicated.
Can you still wear that lip balm you like, even though it has honey and beeswax in it?
Do you have to throw out every beauty product you own and start over completely?
Is it even okay to wear makeup anymore?
Does this have something to do with never shaving your underarms or wearing deodorant again?
If you like the idea of sustainable beauty but aren’t sure how to go about incorporating it into your actual like, we’ve got good news: it’s actually easier to jump on the sustainable beauty train than you might think. All it take are three quick shifts in thinking:
1. Choose natural over synthetic ingredients
2. Buy products that produce minimal waste
3. Choose things you love and use them over and over
Natural, Rather Than Synthetic
There are a lot of chemicals in makeup these days, and a lot of these chemicals are produced in ways that can seriously damage the environment. And, just as bad, because these chemicals are so new, it’s hard to know whether they’re having any effect on your body (after all, your skin is your largest organ, and it can absorb a lot of product over the course of a day!)
To protect the environment and your own health, look for beauty products with natural, rather than synthetic ingredients. This means that instead of a long string of chloro-, mono-, hydroxy-, sulfate- words on the label of your shampoo or foundation, you want to look for things you recognize, like natural oils or real herbs.
If you buy products with certified organic ingredients, even better: they’re raised to have a minimal impact on the environment (awesome) and grown with less exposure to chemicals and pesticides (more awesome).
If you’re vegan, or trying to avoid animal products such as beeswax or honey, you may fhve to buy makeup with synthetic ingredients in it to replace the animal ingredients. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course -- everyone has different priorities! But in general, look for fewer unpronounceable chemicals and more words that you recognize.
Produce Minimal Waste
Another key component of sustainable beauty is reducing waste, increasing recycling, and keeping products out of the landfill. Makeup can come with a lot of waste: plastic containers, single-use brushes, and unnecessary packaging.
You can avoid a lot of this unnecessary waste by paying attention to how companies package their products. Jane Iredale, for example, sells metal powder compacts that can be refilled, which means you don’t have to throw away a bulky plastic container every time your foundation runs out. Or you can support companies like Origins, which allows customers to bring in empty makeup containers for recycling.
Or, you can simply do your best to be conscious of recycling makeup packaging and containers in your own home, rather than throwing them away. (Like our 100% paper lash containers.) There are a lot of ways to embrace sustainable beauty, so find the one that fits best with your lifestyle.
Things You Love & Reuse
The last key component of sustainable beauty is about longevity. There’s a lot of impulse buying in the beauty world, and a lot of using products once and then throwing them out. But that produces a lot of trash, a lot of shipping materials, a lot of wasted products and ingredients, which is not so good for us or our world.
To prevent this, find products you really love and use them over and over! Don’t use a lip gloss once and then leave it drying out in your makeup bag -- use it up!
Work to discover brands you trust and enjoy. Buy products that aren’t designed to be used once and then thrown away. (Like Esqido lashes! Did you know each pair can be worn many times? If only everything were that reusable...)
That’s not to say we’re killjoys over here -- part of the fun of makeup and beauty is trying out new things and playing around. We definitely don’t want you to stop doing that! But if you use something and don’t love it, it's easy to pass it on to a friend rather than throwing it away. And then keep playing with what you have left.
When you come down to it, embracing sustainable beauty isn’t all that difficult. All it requires is a little more mindfulness about what you buy and what you use. And you can keep shaving and wearing deodorant, if that’s what you want.