As much as we love our beauty products, there’s no denying that the beauty industry as a whole is doing some serious harm to the planet. Supposedly 80 billion of the plastic bottles that wind up in landfills every year are from shampoo and conditioner alone. Add skincare products, makeup, and all the rest into the mix and you’ve got an insane amount of plastic. Then, consider the chemicals found in formulas, the carbon emissions from making and delivering products, and so on, and it kinda makes you feel sick.
Luckily, beauty brands are stepping up and doing what they can to minimise their impact on the environment while still feeding our insatiable love of everything beauty.
Now it’s your turn. Follow these simple steps to a more eco-friendly beauty routine.
Boycott excessively-packaged products
The statistics: Over 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry.
Hearing how much plastic from haircare bottles are ending up in landfill is all the reason we need to make the switch to products with minimal packaging. A great place to start is with solid beauty bars, such as shampoo, conditioner, body, and cleansing bars. Not only do they do away with plastic packaging for the most part, but they don’t contain any water so you get a lot more product out of each bar, therefore reducing your consumption. Something to keep in mind, too, is that while paper packaging is often recyclable and therefore a better option than plastic - which can take 500 years to break down - it still takes its toll on the planet since trees need to be cut down to make the paper.
"A great place to start is with solid beauty bars, such as shampoo, conditioner, body, and cleansing bars."
It’s not just product packaging that you need to be mindful of. Think about how your online deliveries are impacting the earth, from how far away they need to travel from to how much packaging they’re being shipped in. (Psst, all of our a-beauty orders are packaged in a recyclable cardboard box with recyclable, renewable and biodegradable paper filling. Plus, both the box and paper consist of more than 50% partially recycled content and are 100% recyclable. And we ship from here in Australia, so your goodies are being sent locally.)
OUR PRODUCT PICKS: Theseeke Green Clay Cleansing Bar; NueBar Normal Hair Shampoo Bar
Back brands who are giving back to the environment
The statistics: The cardboard that envelops perfumes, serums and moisturisers contributes to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year.
Some a-beauty brands go above and beyond the eco call of duty and have implemented some truly commendable initiatives to help save the planet. Jurlique have been hosting a Tree Planting Day for the past 10 years and Ultraceuticals has recently purchased a portion of a forest on 114 acres outside of Canberra where it plans to launch a long-term reforestation project.
Sukin has teamed up with Greening Australia on their Reef Aid Program to help protect the Great Barrier Reef, and Aussie sunscreen brand People4Ocean donates up to $1 to reef conservation initiatives worldwide when you purchase one of their products.
Make the switch to refillable & reusable products
The statistics: Australians produce 540kg of household waste per person, each year. It's estimated about 130,000 tonnes of Australian plastic ends up in our waterways and oceans each year.
We all need to reduce the amount of rubbish we throw away. The beauty industry is full of single-use products like wipes, blotting papers and under-eye patches. There was a time when they were convenient and our only option. Not anymore. Australian beauty brand Face Halo has been making eco-friendly reusable makeup removing wipes for the past four years. They’re non-toxic, reusable for around 200 machine washes, recyclable, and you only need to use water with them, which cuts down on the products you need and the potential chemicals being washed down the drains and into our oceans.
More and more refillable products are starting to pop up on the market. For example, Biome has a wide selection of zero waste ‘naked’ beauty formulas; Adorn Cosmetics has an environmentally-friendly cosmetics refill program; and Azur Pure Skincare's closed loop, circular refill system cuts down on packaging wastage.
OUR PRODUCT PICKS: ASUVI Refillable Natural Deodorant; Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer
Support local brands & ingredients
The statistics: The global transport sector was responsible for approximately 8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2018. Transport is Australia's third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
You an contribute those warm and fuzzy feelings you get from supporting local to more than just a show of patriotism. By buying from businesses close to home, you’re helping to reduce carbon emissions that result from shipping your products from far and wide to down under. Go that one step even better than making the switch to a-beauty brands over international ones and also consider choosing products that are made with Australian ingredients as they haven’t had to be transported long distances during the production phase.