Historically, we as humans haven’t been the best stewards of our planet—especially since the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century and new energies (like coal) and technologies (like the steam engine) started to take over the world. Since then, we’ve produced more, consumed more and stripped our planet of its resources. The result? Rising temperatures, extreme storms, extinct species, plastic in our oceans and overflowing landfills.
Now that we’ve started to understand the impacts of our global actions, we can all take part in reducing our environmental footprints. And the beauty products we choose to buy are just one way we can make a difference (and it’s a big one, considering the beauty industry has hundreds of billions of dollars behind it). Here’s why your choices matter.
What are the benefits of reducing our environmental impact?
There are concrete ways that supporting sustainable beauty brands and opting for an eco-friendly beauty routine is beneficial for the planet.
- Fewer greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change (which is responsible for severe storms, drought and a rising ocean—all of which can cause poverty, loss of animal diversity and loss of human life)
- Fewer toxic chemicals that end up in our water, soil and air that can cause respiratory problems, cancer and issues for animals
- Less trash in our landfills
- Less plastic in our oceans
- A cleaner, safer, healthier world for everyone
How can we make an impact through our beauty routine?
While the biggest changes need to be made by governments and large corporations, there are steps that we can each take to minimize our carbon footprints.
Use your money to support greener alternatives. Not only do those purchases send a message to the beauty industry about your values so it can plan accordingly for the future, but these more sustainable products are also better for the environment in the here and now.
- Look to brands that source their ingredients sustainably.
- Stick to vegan skin care, makeup, hair care and body care.
- Demand cruelty-free products.
- Buy from brands that use less packaging or offer refillable models.
- Look for companies that try other sustainable packaging alternatives, like biodegradable packaging and sustainable production and transportation.
Aside from the beauty products you buy, you can also take steps to make your overall getting-ready process more sustainable.
- Use up your products before buying more. If you don’t like something or find it irritating, give it to a friend.
- Stick to reusable cotton pads, swabs and towels and skip disposables (like single-use face wipes).
- Turn off the water when you can, like when you’re massaging your cleanser into your face, shampooing your hair or shaving.
- Recycle or reuse your beauty containers.
It’s not your job to singlehandedly save the world, but the life you live—and the values you share with your community—can make a difference.