Written by Laura Li
|Thursday, 16 February 2017|
BENEFITS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Chemicals used in beauty products go down our drains and into the ocean and local waterways. Even though there are filtration processes the water goes through before being released into the environment, chemicals are still able to pass through because the system isn’t specialized to remove these chemicals. Moreover, chemicals from anti-bacterial soaps and detergents have been known to have severely negative effects on aquatic ecosystems.1 One way you can counter this is to use homemade soaps and organic soaps which are also not tested on animals and some are even vegan, leaving you with a clear conscience and the knowledge that no innocent animals were harmed at your skincare’s expense.
BENEFITS FOR YOUR HEALTH: Most conventional store bought soaps are artificially colored and scented. These chemicals can irritate and dry out your skin. Also, a chemical called Triclosan which has claimed to have anti-bacterial effects may actually hinder human muscle activity and function.3 This side effect can also be carried onto animals via the waterways that the chemicals travel on after use.
Cost: Medium – I will be focusing on organic and environmentally friendly products that can be bought in a store or online. For homemade options, check out these articles on homemade skincare products and soap .
Time and Effort: Low – This is for the busy Greeniacs out there who do not have the time to make homemade products. But fret not! There are many affordable and environmentally friendly brands and products out there.
While generally the rule stands that you should not judge a book by its cover, when it comes to cosmetics it may be a different story. There are many ways for companies to catch the green consumer’s eye. However, there is a difference between packaging that boasts how green the product is and products that are actually packaged sustainably.4 Packaging can be made from recycled, reused, or biodegradable materials:
As discussed in a GreeniacsGuide to healthy skin care, some major chemicals to avoid are: 1,4-Dioxane; Phthalates; Parabens; and Triclosan.8 Here are some additional chemicals to watch out for:9
Lush10 – (High Cost) Although the price may be on the high side, this British company has swept the globe by storm. Its corporate ideology encompasses creating high-quality, effective, and sustainable organic products. With 830 stores in 51 countries, it is clear that this company has been well received. Most of the products are bathing products, although they recently released a make-up line. The company produces unique handmade products with all natural ingredients. It is so fresh that many of these products have expiration dates. Their products also require very little packaging, and when they do, it is usually with recyclable material. Lush also promotes a sustainable lifestyle and will give you a free face mask if you bring back five empty tins!
Osmia Organics11 — (Varies between high and medium cost) Osmia claims to have “luxury bath products for the ecofriendly bath lover” and this online store has been known to live up to such standards. It specializes in bathing products and all of them are made with natural ingredients.
Avalon Organics12 – (Medium cost) This brand is commonly sold at drugstores. All products contain at least 70% organic materials and are certified by Quality Assurance International. They are dedicated to organic agriculture. They value all walks of life and do not support animal testing. Their products have received many positive reviews and are affordable!
As you can see, sustainability does not have to be hard. It just takes one small step to start a clean and sustainable lifestyle. What better way to start cleaning your life than the way you clean body? Happy greening!
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|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 February 2017 )|