Beauty brands are always looking for ways to stay fresh and current, and in these changing times, that means making their products greener and producing them more sustainably. The past couple of years have seen an explosion in green beauty, and we’re super excited about a few trends that are making a big splash.
Refillable, reusable and biodegradable packaging are on everyone’s mind for 2020, and many beauty brands are leading the way. TerraCycle’s loop program allows customers in a few major cities to order products from participating brands including Josie Maran and Paula’s Choice, which arrive in eco-friendly packaging like glass bottles. When the product is finished, customers simply send the empty bottles back, where they are cleaned, re-filled and re-used.
Other brands like Pure Anada are offering refills for their products, reducing their packaging waste. And many companies like Dove are committing to fully recycled plastic for their packaging.
Clean beauty transparency
Not long ago, so many items in the beauty aisle became “clean”, “green” or “natural”, with consumers having very little idea what these words actually meant. Recent years have brought a new fight against misleading information, and a push for transparency from brands, with clear definitions of “green”, “clean” and “natural”. This transparency can include Environmental Working Group’s ratings directly on the packaging, with symbols that customers can easily decipher, or simply listing ingredients in plain language, large and up front, so consumers understand exactly what is in the products they’re using.
No more water
Water (or aqua, as you may find it on cosmetics containers) is the most commonly used ingredient in the beauty industry. But fresh water is a limited resource, and companies with a commitment to sustainability are looking for new ways to use less of this precious commodity. Korean cosmetics companies started the water-free trend a few years ago, and it didn’t take long for other companies to jump on board. Now, water-free products like powdered cleansers and dry sheet masks are readily available, and even L’oreal has committed to a 60% reduction in water used in each product over the next 15 years.
Limiting water in cosmetics isn’t just better for the environment. Water-free cosmetics are easier to travel with and tend to have a longer shelf life. And when water is removed as a base and replaced with oils and botanicals, formulations are more potent, giving you more bang for your buck.
Reusable and biodegradable products
Shampoo and conditioner bars such as this one from I LIVE ECO are an exciting beauty innovation – minimal packaging and nothing to throw out when they’re done. Reusable cotton rounds are another – removing the need for disposable cotton pads or pre-soaked face wipes for removing your makeup or nail polish. When the rounds are dirty, just throw them in the laundry and they come out fresh and ready to use again. The konjac sponge in our spring eco box is one of our favourites. Made from vitamin-infused konjac root, these sponges provide a gentle exfoliation and are compostable when you’re done with them.