We’re all trying to live a life where we care for ourselves, others, and the world around us. Jacqui Parangi, beauty therapist and independent consultant, talks to us about ethical and sustainable beauty, and how we can look after the environment and ourselves by choosing products wisely.
Sustainable? Ethical? What do these words really mean?
A beauty product is considered sustainable if its end-to-end process, from sourcing and manufacturing to packaging and selling, leaves little to no impact on the environment. Ethical ingredient sourcing considers beyond the ingredients themselves, to who was involved in obtaining them, and if they were treated fairly. Key elements of an ethical and sustainable beauty regime include using organic and natural products. These utilise ethically sourced raw ingredients which are cruelty-free and incorporate recyclable or renewable packaging.
To be ethically conscious, research on a company’s sustainable and ethical business practices is essential. The product company itself should adopt excellent waste and resource management policies such as water and energy management, carbon offsets and be focused on minimising any manufacturing by-products.
We can also consider how we use products, for example swapping disposables such as cotton pads, wipes, and razors for reusable options, and sourcing makeup brushes, hairbrushes and applicators from sustainable or recyclable materials such as bamboo.
Better for you and the planet
Eco-friendly products have a kinder impact on the environment around us. Waste reduction (especially toxic waste) has become a topic of high interest in recent years. Petrochemicals found commonly in mass-produced synthetic based products can be highly toxic to humans, and also to the environment. On the contrary, eco‑friendly products can have a positive effect on the long-term health for both us and the environment. Natural, sustainable products rely on the healing properties of ingredients found naturally in our environment. These ingredients are made up of smaller particles that encourage better absorption and uptake whilst reducing toxic buildup, contributing to a healthier skin overall.
The whole package
Eco-friendly packaging focuses on whether the product packaging is biodegradable, made from recycled materials, or is recyclable, without disturbing the stability of the product itself. This is necessary to cut down on harmful chemicals in our environment and reduce the amount of discarded plastic. This has a negative environmental impact, affecting both plants and animals. CHS stores put all products in paper bags and make a conscious effort to recycle paper and empty containers. They focus on stocking product ranges such as No.8 and Underbalm, which are all about reducing plastic and Living Nature skincare which is fully recyclable.One of the most popular ‘ethical’ brands is Living Nature. Not only do they source the highest quality raw ingredients, but they are certified by BDIH, a globally recognised body who set some of the most rigorous standards worldwide for naturalness and environmental sustainability.
Strict criteria and annual audits ensure Living Nature adheres to sustainable ingredient sourcing practices and only safe natural ingredients are included in all formulations. Production and handling of ingredients is completed with care, right down to the cleaning agents used in production and how raw ingredients and products are stored. Their unique gravity fed D-shaped bottles contains 15% calcium carbonate (chalk) that when combined with polypropylene reduces energy and plastic used in manufacture. The card used for their cartons is sourced from renewable forests and contains no toxins or elemental chlorine bleach.
Supporting the local community
Supporting local products and stores can help to reduce environmental impact, lower the carbon footprint, provide unique products, as well as generating a healthy local economy and community. Local products and stores are more likely to focus on the interests of the community, with income being used to help generate local community development, and donations to local charities contributing to overall community well-being. Local stores tend to offer more personalised customer service, which develops good long-term relationships, and also has a positive impact on the local job market, benefiting not only individuals, but the community as a whole.
Don’t miss Jacqui in-store every second Thursday for our Living Nature Luxury Facial series at Tonic Health Chartwell store. To book or for more information call 07 854 8342.
The first step
To start on a more ethical and sustainable beauty regime, try:
Slowly swapping products as you finish them for more ethical alternatives.
Researching to become more knowledgeable about ingredients and their sources.
Reading online reviews, not just the brand’s own feedback.
Asking for samples prior to purchasing.
Checking out the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database which reviews the safety of products and ingredients.
Finding out if the range you’re considering is held accountable for its practicesby a certified external body such as COSMOS and BDIH.