For a long time, cosmetics and skincare products have been regarded as toxic to the environment. When it comes to sustainability, they hardly come to mind, considering the damage they do to the planet.
Today, we see more skincare brands touting words like eco-friendly, organic and all-natural.
As consumers become increasingly aware of the things they buy, it’s expected that more people will be more critical of these skincare products, as well as whether their packaging can be recycled.
What is Sustainable Skincare?
Let’s go into the basics first.
Sustainable skincare refers to products that have a lesser impact on the environment. They are products that not only meet our beauty needs but also avoid impacting the environment or humans’ safety severely.
These products usually contain plant-based ingredients instead of chemically synthetic ingredients that are prepared and replicated in laboratories. They also tend to be vegan and cruelty-free.
Making a conscious effort to choose products that are better for ourselves and the environment does make a difference.
If you consider the amount of pollution and damage done to the environment, it makes even more sense to choose sustainable items over toxic lab-grown alternatives.
How to Choose Sustainable Skincare and Incorporate It Into Your Skin Care Routine
A good way to start is to look at the ingredients label on the skincare product you’re eyeing. It should contain natural ingredients like polyphenols, argan oil, bentonite clay, Cetearyl alcohol, charcoal and more, depending on what the product is.
Of course, not every natural ingredient may suit every consumer. For example, if you have sensitive skin, citrus-based extracts like orange and lemon can be irritating and may cause damage after long-term use. Essential oils like bergamot can also increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
The key is to analyse what goes into that bottle of skincare product and to look out for ideal options that are gentle and easily absorbed into the skin.
Chamomile, green tea, oats and turmeric are some good examples.
Recyclable and Reusable Packaging
Sustainable skincare products usually come with recyclable or reusable packaging. Choose skincare products with packaging made from multi-use glass bottles, metal or certain types of plastics.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are some examples.
Speak to an Expert
It’s normal to be confused about choosing the right sustainable skincare products. Who do you turn to in order to answer your burning questions?
An expert can help you - in this case, your dermatologist. Bring along the skincare products you want to ask about on your next trip and let the dermatologist have a look.
He or she will run through the ingredients and inform you about the potential irritants and how you can incorporate sustainable products into your skin care routine.
Don’t rush to switch out all of your skincare products into those that are natural and plant-based. Start slow and introduce one product per week to observe if any allergic reactions appear. This way, you can also check if it works for you.
If you’ve been using chemical-based products all along, be patient to see changes to your skin. Waiting for a while doesn’t mean that the product isn’t effective.
Do Your Research
An informed consumer is a smart consumer. Don’t just follow trends and listen to what people rave about, because what works for them may not work for you.
Go online and study the different types of natural skincare ingredients that are good for you, and what you should avoid, whether that’s chemical-based or plant-based skincare products.
The Bottom Line
Each type of skincare product, whether sustainable or not, works differently for every consumer.
Although choosing a sustainable skincare product is a great move for the environment, it doesn’t mean that you should buy it mindlessly.
Get the help you need to make a wise and informed decision that’ll improve the condition of your skin!