By Naume Guveya
Hey there, I have a quick note before we get into all the rules. If you’re not too sure what sustainable beauty is, I suggest that you read this comprehensive guide.
If you are happy with your knowledge, let’s jump into this one.
Sustainable beauty was once a novel idea that few people paid attention to. Now, it’s big business.
Unfortunately, this increasing popularity has not come without some problems. While sustainable beauty can transform your health and that of the planet, there is too much going on.
For one, some people use the term ‘sustainable beauty’ inappropriately when referring to beauty that’s not so sustainable. What’s more, there are so many sustainable beauty terms being thrown around they will make your head spin. There’s natural, organic, and green beauty. But there’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and a whole lot of other buzzwords.
You may also be trying to find out how to make your beauty routine more sustainable or you’re concerned about toxic chemicals getting into your body.
Attaining a more sustainable beauty routine can be hard and even a bit daunting. In light of this, here are some quick guidelines to help you simplify the process.
#1: Have an Inquisitive and Curious Mind
Genius is not the one who gives answers, it’s the one who asks the questions.Saurabh Gupta
Don’t go about believing everything you are told.
This is a key thing to remember as you make your beauty more sustainable.
Imagine a crafty salesperson trying to clinch a deal. They will tell you what you need need to hear.
The same is true for brands that are more concerned about their profit margin and not so much anything else. Their main goal is to jump onto the sustainability bandwagon. They will give you ‘sustainable’ beauty products even if they are not even sustainable. In some cases, the products even come with a good dose of false claims and dangerous consequences for good measure.
Just because it says ‘natural, ‘organic’, ‘sustainable’, or some other fancy word, doesn’t mean it is. The cosmetics industry is largely unregulated and so brands can get away with false claims.
Key Takeaway: There’s lots of misinformation when it comes to sustainable beauty. It’s important to have a sceptical mind. Take time to see what’s in a product.
But before you can analyse a product, you need to understand what the label is telling you and this brings us to…
#2: before you create a ‘Sustainable beauty routine’, Educate Yourself
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.Benjamin Franklin
It’s not enough to say that a product is natural. What’s in it?
It’s not enough to claim that a product is safer because it contains no synthetic chemicals. Some synthetic chemicals are safe while some natural ones are toxic.
It’s not enough to bash traditional products in favour of natural ones because of “chemicals”. Even natural ingredients have chemicals.
How would you feel if a brand told you that they use the extract of an ingredient with the following aroma and volatile taste chemical compounds:
You would likely not want this on your skin, let alone in your body. But this is the chemical composition of a good old apple.
The fact is that every living thing consists of chemical compounds. Unfortunately, lots of people fall for this whole natural and chemical-free charade. Many times, this is a result of having limited knowledge. Forget choosing a product based on how professional the packaging looks. Choosing a product based on what you know is better.
When you have knowledge, you will know that what’s on the label may not necessarily be what’s inside. This will help you make the correct product choices. The good thing about research in the present day is that information is a lot easier to access.
Key Takeaway: Research before choosing a product and aim to stay in the know of any ongoing developments. You only have one body and only one planet to call home. Taking the time to learn as much as you can is worthwhile.
#3: Watch Out For the Not-So-Obvious Things
Sustainable beauty is important. But it’s critical to look at the bigger picture. It’s a bad idea to care only about some things and disregarding others.
For example, it’s rather useless to buy sustainable products packaged in tonnes of plastic. This is the same plastic that:
- Emits tonnes of toxins during its manufacturing.
- Doesn’t break down and ends up in the ocean where it is consumed by aquatic creatures.
- Is mostly recycled into non-recyclable items.
- Leaches chemicals into the soil and water systems, damaging flora, fauna, and wildlife in the process.
- Can leach toxic chemicals into the packaged sustainable product, effectively making the product worthless.
Pretty sure you get the idea.
It’s important to think about what excessive packaging means for your health and that of the planet.
- Watch out for brands that package small items in unnecessarily big boxes
- Opt for products that minimise packaging or those that offer non-toxic packaging that is biodegradable.
Key Takeaway: Making your beauty sustainable is not about mindless choices. It’s about considering the impact of your consumption.
In the end, know that every step counts
It’s important to remember that sustainability is not a once-off thing – it’s a process. It will take patience and a conscious effort to create a truly sustainable beauty routine. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to learn and celebrate all your efforts, no matter how small.
Imagine if there are 10 people like you out there who are making an effort to live more sustainably. Now imagine 100 or 1,000 people doing the same. We can make a big difference by choosing to take action and leveraging the power of collective effort.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead
P.S. Remember that some traditional beauty products are great, but sustainable ones are usually better. They are more conscious and they tend to do a whole lot more good.