What Sustainable Beauty Looks Like Now
8 minutes read
Sustainable beauty is a movement everyone wants to be part of. With each passing year, the climate crisis comes into with ever sharper focus and here we are scouring the internet day and night to do our bit and find the best ways to lessen or limit our carbon footprint.
“As consumers, we spend a lot of money and online shopping is more popular than ever,” Emma Heathcote-James, Environmentalist and Founder of Little Soap Company tells Beauty Daily. “But before you click ‘buy’ are you sure you’re doing the right thing? Are you buying a product that has been made using sustainable materials and processes? Are you buying locally or is your must-have item being shipped from afar, thus contributing to unnecessary carbon emissions? Are you shopping mindfully, as in, choosing items that are really needed?”
What does sustainable beauty really mean? And are we jumping on the eco-trend the right way? Beauty Daily investigates.
What is sustainable beauty?
With the effects of climate change, the rise of zero waste movements like Plastic Free July and the coronavirus outbreak, beauty consumers are keener than ever to purchase from environmentally friendly, planet-conscious, and sustainable beauty brands. But what does sustainable beauty really mean?
Sustainable beauty is a 360-degree approach. It’s not just marketing or packaging labels. It’s an end-to-end process: from sourcing, manufacturing, packaging and selling with the tiniest impact possible.
“Put simply, something that is sustainable is something that can be maintained easily and without detrimental effects on the environment – products that can be used long term without damaging the planet,” says Heathcote-James.
Today, companies have been taking extra measures and are committed to making a change and doing their bit to combat climate change and plastic pollution.
“I applaud anyone trying to make an ethical and sustainable choice about their beauty and skincare products. But I advise them not to become too concerned with labels, some of which are not part of any approved certification scheme (such as ‘green’ or ‘clean’ beauty). Instead, think personally about what it is you’re concerned about and do your research”, Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager, says.
Purchasing and patronising products from brands that have a strong commitment to caring for the planet and people can be your first step towards choosing sustainable beauty. Clarins has been pioneering planet preservation and responsible and sustainable beauty.
Clarins has been committed to fair trade since Day 1. Today, Clarins works in 18 fair businesses around the globe while protecting plant biodiversity. It’s governed by three main principles:
- Fair payment for work and raw materials.
- Fund programmes that support local communities.
- Respect for biodiversity because Clarins believes in Responsible Beauty through sustainability.
To date, 100% of the electricity used in Clarins’ sites worldwide comes from renewable energy and has been carbon neutral since 2020, aiming to further reduce its carbon footprint by 30%, and achieve a B-corp certification by 2023. (A B-Corp certification is given to private organisations and businesses that meet high standards of social and environmental performance.)
The brand is also committed to preserving coral reefs. The new and improved suncare range is formulated with ingredients that respect the skin and the coral reef. This initiative is part of Clarins’ overall commitment to fighting plastic waste on beaches and in the oceans. By 2025, Clarins’ objective is to use 100% recycled or recyclable product containers.
The brand’s commitment to sustainability is an ongoing venture.
How can I make my beauty regime more sustainable?
“Becoming more eco-friendly and living more sustainably can feel daunting. It’s a big goal!” explains Heathcote James. “It’s completely human to feel overwhelmed, slip up and then give up. So, my first piece of advice would be to start small. There is no need to change everything overnight. Think couch to 5K, rather than overnight Gold Medallist!”
She has the following advice. “To make it easy, start with the smallest room in the house – the bathroom. Fling open the cabinet and make a note of all the single-use and disposable plastics you can see, from hand soaps and shower gels to toothbrushes and make-up wipes. Right here, there are opportunities to start switching, slowly, easily, but surely. You know the phrase “it’s only one plastic straw, said 8 billion people” – it’s about little changes all mounting up to make a big difference and eco-ing up your bathroom, that one small room in your home, will make a difference,”
“Some of the simplest sustainable and eco-friendly skincare swaps are trading in your single-use plastic beauty products for plastic-free, reusable and more sustainable items,” says Heathcote James
Switching to a solid shampoo bar
It might sound cliche but simply switching to a solid shampoo bar will make more of a difference than you probably realise.
“There are 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles getting thrown out globally every year! Our solid, lightweight, plastic-free Eco Shampoo Bars, £5.50 are 5x more concentrated than a liquid formula and only contain 12% water, with each bar replacing (on average) two 250ml liquid shampoo bottles. Making this simple, sustainable swap will not only reduce your plastic consumption and pollution but also helps save water and reduce transportation emissions,” says Heathcote James.
Dry cleansing method
If you are up to it, use a product that encourages no water consumption such as Total Cleansing Oil, £24, Micellar Water, £24or Velvet Cleansing Milk, £24 which can then be wiped off with reusable cotton rounds. All these are effective to remove dirt, sweat, sebum, dead skin cells and pollution. We recommend using the ultra-soft but effective Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads, £12.99. Not only is this large cotton round able to remove almost everything in one gentle swipe, but using them as part of your daily routine can reduce waste and environmental impact as they can be reused hundreds of times.
Go back to soap bars
“A solid soap bar uses 20 x less packaging than a plastic bottle of hand soap or shower gel, and they last up to 3 x longer offering you a cheaper washing experience! Replacing your shower gel with bar soap like Eco Warrior Hand & Body Bar, £4.50 can reduce your plastic waste by at least 12 bottles a year, and eliminate over 7 litres of unnecessary, wasted water,” Heathcote-James recommends.
Refillable eco-friendly natural deodorant
If you want to smell summer, and live up to your sustainable beauty goals, swap your deodorant to a Wild’s new limited edition Passionfruit Martini scent deodorant.
This vegan, all-natural Passionfruit Martini Starter Pack comes with 1 Ombre Case, and 1 Refill, £16.50. Bursting with delicious scents, this passionfruit cocktail-based deodorant will have you smelling like a million dollars on a warm summer evening while warding off unpleasant body odour all day long. End throwaway culture. Stick, Twist and Repeat. Once you’ve finished, you can buy your refills here.
Eco-friendly makeup means using raw materials from a sustainable source such as essential oils, fruit, and plant extracts. Also, pay attention to the use of recycled containers and packaging, in addition to the transport and manufacturing processes.
If you are really committed to creating less impact, try Waterless Beauty. It is one of the best trends in 2022. Traditionally, beauty formulas are made of up to 80% water. But with the UN reporting that one in nine of the world’s population still does not have access to clean water, and around five billion people to be affected by water shortage by 2050, it is not surprising that brands are committed to waterless beauty.
The waterless concept also makes products lighter to transport, meaning a lower carbon footprint. Opting for blush sticks or powder blush instead of the liquid version is a great alternative. We love the My Clarins LITTLE BLUSH, £16 and the Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour, £27.
Another waterless beauty swap is choosing powder foundation over the liquid version. Beauty Daily recommends Everlasting Compact Foundation SPF 9, £32, a transfer-proof, ultra-matte finish foundation that ensures a flawless complexion with an added SPF 9 protection.
This ultra-matte, ‘long-wear on the go’ foundation is perfect for those hectic days where one swipe is enough to mattify the face, while giving you great coverage.
This long-wearing foundation conceals imperfections in just a few seconds without looking cakey. The result? A perfect complexion that withstands all of life’s daily ordeals (sweat, humidity, heat) and flawless skin throughout the entire day. Its soft, fine texture melts into the skin, all while letting your skin breathe.
Plant-extract infused lippies
Clarins lip oils are formulated with 93% ingredients of natural origin, including a powerful new trio of responsibly harvested, organic natural plant oils: organic sweetbriar rose oil – manually harvested and rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids – helps to nourish and comfort lips. Cold-pressed organic jojoba oil and hazelnut oil help to nourish, hydrate and soften lips while providing a luxurious silky texture.
It comes in eight sheer shades made to hydrate, comfort and cocoon your lips with a sheer kiss of colour and shine. If we were to pick, we’d go for the ultra-versatile Lip Comfort Oil in Honey shade, £20, which you can use on top of your preferred coloured lipstick or can be used as an overnight sleep lip mask.
Looking for some sustainable living inspo content reads? Read Beauty Daily’s Beauty and Wellness Writer Anne Lora Scagliusi’s Column talking about how she’s leading a greener life: Some Simple Things I Do To Live Sustainably