5 Sustainable Beauty Strategies for Earth Month (and Forever)

Kiki Powers

by | Read time: 4 minutes

Have you ever wondered what terms like “eco” and “green” really mean when they appear on beauty product labels? These buzz words typically suggest that the products they refer to are made with natural ingredients, and/or produced from renewable materials.

And yet, the FDA requires no pre-market approval or specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients, nor are cosmetics companies required to share their safety information with the FDA.

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Since these corporations have such latitude in making product claims, it opens the door for greenwashing, which is when they use marketing jargon like “clean,” “natural,” and “eco-smart,” even if their products contain unhealthy chemicals, or otherwise fail to meet these descriptive terms.

Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to find sustainable beauty products, because as consumers become more conscious, the market is responding with an ever-growing array of safer, cleaner options, environmentally friendly packaging, and other eco-initiatives. These additional tips can help you “green” your routine:

1. Consume consciously

One way you can use your consumer power wisely is to pay close attention to the beauty/personal care brands you support. When you insist on products free of harmful chemical additives, you not only protect yourself, the water supply, marine life, animals and the environment around you, but you also help to shape the market forces for good! Take a peek at these 5 important things to consider when buying natural beauty products.

2. Be a minimalist

Along with being discerning about the quality of your products, it also pays to consider the quantity. When it comes to eco-beauty, less is often more. In addition to being greener, due to less plastic/paper packaging, a streamlined personal care routine can simplify your life and save you money. Give old/outdated products a toss, keeping only high-quality essentials you rely on daily. “Less is more” also applies to ingredient labels. Learn here about how to ensure you are getting safe, non-toxic beauty essentials.

3. Go cruelty-free

If you feel animal testing is unsustainable, choose cruelty-free products. Learn more here about what this term really means. The beauty of opting for items that do not harm animals in the manufacturing process is that these products are often healthier for you as well, since they are less likely to contain additives like petroleum, parabens, sulfates, EDTA and synthetic dyes. Check out these 8 cruelty-free beauty brands to get you started.

4. Love sampler kits

The wonderful thing about trial sizes is that they enable you to experiment with new products while maintaining a modest environmental footprint, as opposed to buying full-size products that may get tossed if they don’t work for you. This smart, “green” approach is cost effective too! Check out this Burt’s Bees kit of daily beauty essentials, for example, or this Zum assortment of fun, diverse beauty goodies. You may also like the Andalou Naturals rose-scented getting started kit for sensitive skin or this age-defying product array. These kits make splendid gifts too!

5. Minimize disposables

If you use disposable beauty tools, you can streamline here quite easily, starting by swapping single-use pads and wipes for washable cloths and/or reusable wipes. Also, investing in high-quality, reusable tools that will last, such as makeup brushes and hairbrushes, is both eco and money-smart. When you do use cotton swabs or pads, choosing organic will help the environment, since cotton is one of the most heavily-sprayed crops of all.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, runoff of pesticides, fertilizers and minerals from cotton fields contaminates rivers, lakes, wetlands and underground aquifers. These pollutants affect biodiversity directly by immediate toxicity or indirectly through long-term accumulation.

Hopefully, these tips will both inspire and guide you to a cleaner, healthier beauty routine that is beneficial to you, and all living things as well.

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