A growing number of us are putting our sustainability ethics at the top of the agenda when looking for great new beauty products.
We want to minimise our regime’s environmental impact, and we also want to know that our favourite brands have sustainability in mind when they’re producing the products we love.
Here are a few things you should know about making your regime greener and cleaner.
Look for brands that use 100% recycled plastic
As a beauty expert, I’ve always been vocal about the dilemma that the industry faces with packaging. Liquids, creams, powders and lotions need to be transported to your bathroom somehow, but the packaging choices made by brands can have a huge impact upon our environment.
There are currently 8.3billion tonnes of plastic in circulation on Earth. Plastic can live up to 400 years and cause endless destruction to our environment. Brands that utilise 100% recycled plastic for their packaging are taking huge strides in keeping plastic out of the damaging waste cycle.
Recycled plastic is often called “post consumer recycled”, or PRC. But don’t just look for “PCR” on product packages, look for percentages too. “PCR” could be as little as 10% recycled plastic packaging, with the rest coming from virgin plastic.
One brand that’s made PCR a priority is Childs Farm. As its CEO and founder Joanna Jenson told me in a recent interview“All of our bottles are 100% ocean prevented PCR plastic. We do the heavy lifting for our parents [customers] as they have enough going on in their lives anyhow.”
She has also included Goodness Sleep, Lavender and Bergamot Sleep Pillow Mist from Baylis and Harding, which puts sustainability high on the agenda.
As the brand’s head of new product development, Liz Wegener, told me: “It has some incredible sustainable credentials, which our entire Goodness brand does. The packaging is made from 100% recycled plastic, we [also] have biodegradable materials in the packaging, and we have a minimum of 98% naturally derived ingredients.”
Check out the website
If a brand has a great sustainable story to tell, you’ll find it on their website. Make sure you check about the About Us page before heading to the shop.
For instance, REN’s website shares the story of how it set and then met its “zero waste” pledge. The brand now only produces packaging designed to be recyclable, contain recycled materials or that can be reused, saving many tons of plastic from entering landfill.
As REN global brand ambassador David Delport explained to me on the OK! Beauty Box podcast: “We had to take responsibility for an aspect of the beauty industry that isn’t so pretty, which is the huge amount of waste that it generates.”
There are two fantastic, full size REN products in the OK! Beauty box curated by Billie Shepherd. There a Brightening Dark Circle Eye cream which gives visible undereye brightening results in seven days, and the soothing, skin strengthening Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm.
Know your logos
There are some key logos to look out for, which give you strong clues about a brand’s ethics and sustainability. Do be aware though that not all brands can afford to invest in official certification and might create their own logos.
BCorp: a brilliant certification that traces the footprint of a brand from start to finish and ensures that its products and services are delivered with fairness and equality throughout the whole operational chain.
Recycle logo: There are several different recycling logos used on packaging, which can be confusing! Sometimes packaging will say if specific parts, such as the lid or pump, aren't recyclable. For the parts that are, always put them in your recycling bin. You can find out more about recycling in your local area here https://www.gov.uk/recycling-collections .
Do your bit at home
We often forget to recycle bathroom packaging as the main recycle bin is in a different room. So make sure you keep a small recycling bin in your bathroom. This will encourage you to remember to dispose of your waste efficiently.
To avoid needless product waste, cut product tubes when they are almost empty. There is often a lot of product stuck in the bottom of a tube, from body moisturisers and toothpaste to shampoo and conditioner. By cutting the tube you get to use every last drop.
If you’re like me and would love to be able to do more for the environment, switching to brands with high sustainability standards can make a huge difference.
Listen to Natalie on The Beauty Room, brought to you by OK! Beauty Box, for in-depth chats with your favourite celebrities, brands and beauty experts.