2019 is the year of clean beauty. If you’re among the millions of millennials and Gen X’ers who have embraced eco-friendly consumerism, we applaud you. It’s about time the tide turned toward environmental responsibility when it comes to manufacturing the products we use every day. The beauty industry, normally at the forefront of emerging trends, is no exception this time.
But it’s not just about jumping on board the “clean beauty” wagon because it’s trendy. It’s about our planet, and the future of mankind. This is our chance to set things right — once and for all. The products you keep on your beauty shelf are one small but powerful way to show where you stand on the issues.
Every year, the beauty industry creates more than 120 billion units of packaging waste*
The demand for sustainable beauty is real. Plastics are considered the worst offenders in terms of cosmetics packaging, but it’s also what is inside the bottle that counts. UK legislators have even banned plastic micro-beads in cleansers and exfoliants, and the United Nations has dubbed our current environmental situation a ‘planetary crisis’. It’s no wonder the growth rate for eco-friendly cosmetics surges nearly 15 percent annually.
Here’s what you can do to make the planet greener
This is where you have to get creative with balancing your love of beauty products with ethical responsibility. These six sustainable beauty tips will get you started.Curb your beauty spending habit (We know, crazy for a beauty company to recommend!)
The cardboard used for cosmetics packaging and perfumes causes a loss of nearly 18 million acres of forest every year. The point is that even glass and cardboard, which are considered more environmentally friendly than plastic, still contribute to landfill waste when they don’t make it in the recycling bin.
So what can you do about it? That’s easy. Limit the products you buy. Pick your favorites, and see them through to the end of the bottle. Unless it caused an allergic reaction or is making your skin worse in some way, try to stand by your beauty purchasing decisions. By that we mean using up all the product or giving it away to someone who needs it before tossing it in the bin or buying something new.
For those of you who have three old cleansers, a few half-full jars of face lotion and a miscellany of bottles collecting dust on your bathroom vanity, now is the time to use them up and embrace some new habits.
Botanical Republic wants to make that easy for you. Our line of simplified luxury skincare has all your bases covered. It’s basically all the products you need to cleanse, treat and prettify your skin, and nothing you don’t. Shop our no-brainer collection of streamlined skincare here.Use multitasking products so less waste goes in the bin
You don’t need a million products to achieve beautiful skin. At Botanical Republic, we pared down our offerings to give your skin everything it needs to look great with as few products as possible.
Buying beauty products that combine multiple benefits in one helps the planet by reducing the number of bottles that end up as landfill. This applies to all your personal care purchases. Think 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, or this clever cleansing oil that acts as a makeup remover, facial cleanser, skin hydrator and shaving oil in a single bottle.Look for products that use less packaging
The goal is to produce as little waste as possible. Every bit of packaging adds up. Next time you’re in the beauty aisle, keep an eye out for products that avoid excessive packaging, which is wasteful.
Botanical Republic makes an effort to pare down our boxes by scrapping the inner cardboard liner. It’s the details that count, and that is just one less bit of packaging that ends up in the trash bin.Choose paper over plastic
Paper never needs to end up in a landfill, making it the holy grail of green packaging. This organic material can be recycled. Even when paper does end up as landfill, it decomposes way faster than plastic. We’re talking weeks instead of hundreds or even thousands of years for other materials.
At Botanical Republic, all of our paper-based materials and tissue paper are acid free and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The ink we print on our packaging is also made from soy, a natural alternative to traditional printer ink. This allows the ink to be removed from cardboard and paper much easier during the part of the recycling process known as “de-inking”. Soy is also sustainable and renewable.
Paper packaging has its limitations. You can’t put a cleanser or eye cream in a paper box and call it a day because it would leak, of course. Manufacturers then have the decision to choose between plastic or glass packaging, which leads us to our next point…Opt for glass bottles instead of plastic
Choosing skincare products in glass packaging is one big step you can take to make the planet greener. While plastics can be recycled, they can only be reused so many times before they reach the end of their life cycle.
Unlike flimsy plastic, glass is durable and can be recycled over and over again. That’s a big reason we chose to use glass instead of plastic for all Botanical Republic products.
Plastic also never truly decomposes. It can be broken down, but it never fully disintegrates. Instead, it breaks down into micro-plastics, which can get into your drinking water. So yes, that means you are drinking plastic in the tap in many places.
That might inadvertently cause you to reach for one of the biggest environmental offenders in lieu of tap water: plastic water bottles. And the cycle continues. See the problem?
Meanwhile, glass fully breaks down at the end of its life cycle. It leaves no chemical contaminants or synthetic residue behind, unlike plastic. Glass is clearly the safer alternative — not just for the planet, but for your health, too.Say “No” to water (as a cosmetics ingredient)
Turn over nearly any cosmetic skincare product, and nine times out of ten you will see “water” listed as one of the first three ingredients. Note that the word “aqua” may be used instead. Yep, that’s just a fancy word for plain water, but don’t be fooled.
The FDA requires cosmetics ingredients to be listed in descending order on the label, so the higher you see water on the ingredients list, the more the product is watered down. That means your hard-earned money is paying for cheap filler, rather than the key ingredients advertised on the label.
It’s not just drugstore brands taking advantage of consumers. Many skincare companies, even luxury brands, use water as the main ingredient, and experts say the availability of clean, drinkable water will tank by 2050 due to increasing demand, climate change and global pollution, according to the United Nations.
Botanical Republic products don’t use water as a filler. We aim to do better, not only for your skin and your wallet but also for the planet.
Learn more about Botanical Republic's sustainable beauty practices here.
*According to Zero Waste Week, a yearly environmental awareness campaign aimed at reducing landfill and informing the public about best environmental practices.Follow my blog with Bloglovin