Individuals who choose to start shopping sustainably might be surprised to find out that beauty products can be filled with unhealthy chemical additives or tested on animals. If you’re looking to make your beauty routine more environmentally friendly, here are eight tips to help you distinguish legitimately clean and green beauty products from ones that are not.
Rethink where you shop. Instead of perusing through the drugstore beauty aisle, consider heading over to your local health and wellness store. The merchandise on their shelves will have already passed a basic level of inspection that those at regular grocery stores or drug stores have not. That’s not to say you won’t find green products in other more conventional shops, however, shopping at a health and wellness store will eliminate the confusing greenwashing that makes products look more eco-friendly than they are.
Know what to avoid. Some ingredients have long and complicated names that are difficult to remember. Make a list of the harmful ingredients you want to avoid and keep it handy while you shop. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has helpful lists that categorize the most concerning chemicals by product types, such as shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, eyeshadows, perfumes, and more.
Use an app. If you run on a tight schedule and compiling an ingredient list isn’t convenient for you, then turn to an app that allows you to search for products by name or even scan barcodes to see if they are safe. Luckily, there are several, like Think Dirty, already available for both iPhone and Android.
Assess the packaging. Normally we wouldn’t encourage anyone to judge a book by its cover, however, how a product is packaged will tell you a lot about the company’s environmental values. Skip the plastic packaging and keep an eye out for glass, metal, and paper packaging which have higher recycling rates than plastic. Look for containers that allow you to use all the contents without much trouble and brands that offer refills.
Be willing to try new formats. Taking on sustainable habits is becoming more popular today, and innovators in the beauty industry won’t let their products fall behind in the movement. Some new ideas for packaging and selling products may seem strange, but maintain an open mind and you may grow to love the new sustainable spin on old favorites, such as shampoo bars, solid moisturizer bars, dissolvable body wash sheets, and toothpaste tabs.
Look for key labels and logos. The exhaustion of examining a multitude of cosmetic bottles, otherwise known as ‘label fatigue’ is very real. Save yourself the trouble by familiarizing yourself with the most well-known and top-respected ones that are sure to be verified by third parties, rather than an in-house rating system.
Some reliable logos include USDA Organic, Leaping Bunny, Ecocert, and B-Corp.
Stick with what you know. Once you find something you like, keep buying it! Don’t feel pressured to branch out and experiment with new products if you’ve come across a reliable company that is serious about producing green beauty items. Besides, the companies that resonate with you deserve and appreciate your loyalty.
Buy better, buy less. If you’re purchasing good quality cosmetics, then chances are they’ll last longer, feel better, and look great. This may mean you can use less and therefore buy less, which is ultimately more sustainable.