There are thousands of makeup brands out there, but few are considered sustainable. I have a passion for makeup myself and I couldn’t help wondering just how much the makeup industry contributes to all of the waste being made and the unethical use of ingredients. Being a billion dollar industry, makeup brands struggle to incorporate sustainability into their brands and their mantras.
What is Sustainable makeup?
Sustainable makeup is defined as a product that is made from renewable and natural ingredients. Two big unethical ingredients commonly found in makeup are Mica and palm oil. Mica is a mineral that can be commonly found in different blushes and eyeshadows to create a shimmery finish. While it is said that mica is non-toxic, there are ethical concerns with how it is sourced and what could potentially be contaminated with toxic chemicals. Palm oil is extremely unethically sourced, causing a large amount of deforestation when it is harvested.
What makes a clean, cruelty-free makeup brand?
Packaging, whether it be for makeup or food, is one of the largest contributors to our fight with pollution. It is so hard to avoid, especially in the makeup industry. From pallets to bronzers they all come in some sort of plastic or non-renewable packaging. A sustainable brand would use recyclable materials such as aluminium, glass, and bamboo. Another great option for package is seed paper, paper that has seeds embedded into it. You plant the paper in dirt and watch your flowers blossom. Reusable packaging is another way to incorporate sustainability in products. Having refillable pots for pigments can be a great way to save production.
Having natural and ethically sourced ingredients is another key aspect to making a brand sustainable. Natural ingredients are not only sustainable but can be better for your skin. Take shea butter; it can be a great ingredient in lip balms. Other ingredients such as different kinds of oils and natural pigments contribute to a sustainable product.
Making a makeup brand sustainable means that they are ethically sourcing their materials. They must be gathering their material responsibly and sustainably. Big problems that come with the makeup industry include unethical mining and deforestation. Previously mentioned, palm oil is found in a lot of makeup. This palm oil extraction contributes to large amount of deforestation.
Don’t know if your favourite makeup brand is sustainable? There’s a few ways to check:
- Look on their website - brands who are proud to take the steps in sustainability will mention it on their website
- Look at the ingredients on your product - you can look for harsh and unethical ingredients on your product, and do some research if you don’t know what something is, and where it comes from
Sadly, most makeup sold in stores are not sustainable and eco-friendly. This hopefully will change through policy changes and with time.
Use a reusable makeup remover pad to clean off your cruelty free, clean makeup
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