Health and Beauty, Sponsored Content
This is a sponsored article from Sustainable Choice verified member VOYA.
At VOYA, we advocate for sustainability and believe it is important to be aware of how our actions affect the world we live in, so that we can create a better life for ourselves and future generations. The global beauty market has come a long way with ‘eco-friendly’ innovative products and packaging. Plus, more consumers are using their voices to make a change. According to recent studies, 73% of global consumers would change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment
However, it can be tough to navigate authentic versus misleading advertising. Many companies claim to be “Green” or “Natural”, but this isn’t always true. Greenwashing is when companies intentionally and/or unintentionally make false claims about their sustainability initiatives to deceive consumers into believing they are environmentally friendly. So must we choose between helping the environment or looking and feeling great? Is there a way to be less impactful on the planet when purchasing beauty products, while still tackling our skincare concerns?
The first step towards switching to a more sustainable skincare routine is to use what you already have. Be mindful of your purchases and avoid wasteful trends that end up with discarded half-empty bottles that get thrown out. Worse still are single-use products that are detrimental to the environment. Single-use cosmetics like face wipes, disposable razors, and cotton buds are incredibly wasteful. Both your wallet and the planet will be thankful if you can find products that can be reused over and over again. Muslin cloths and organic cotton towels are perfect for this. All you need to do is put them in the wash and it saves you from throwing anything out!
We often hear companies promising the world with their green claims. To know what is genuine, make sure you check if a company can support its environmental claims with hard data. If that information isn’t provided, it’s likely a case of greenwashing. Certain certifications such as cruelty-free by PETA and ‘COSMOS ORGANIC’ by the Soil Association assure that the product have achieved the highest standards set by the appropriate accreditation bodies. It’s also worth checking out if the company you are buying from offsets their carbon. VOYA is proud to say that from every year since 2012 we have offset our carbon emissions through the World Land Trust. These funds are then invested in the protection and restoration of threatened tropical forests to combat the devastating effects of global warming.
Along with checking if your natural beauty products have been awarded certifications, it’s good practice to start reading the ingredient labels. Avoid products that contain ingredients like parabens, polyethylene glycol (PEGs), toluene, oxybenzone, and siloxanes, as they can be harmful to your health. Plus, the significant damage of synthetic fragrances has been recorded to be a bigger polluter compared to cars, as well as long-term health effects such as breathing problems, asthma, and cancer. By carefully examining labels, you can purchase products that aren’t tested on animals and are also safe for your health plus the planet.
It’s not just over-harvesting our precious resources that is the problem. Many beauty products do irreversible damage to our natural world. Toxic chemicals, including microplastics, in your skincare, get washed down the drain and end up in the ocean, damaging fragile ecosystems. Microplastics are “small plastic pieces less than 5 millimetres long which can be harmful to our oceans and aquatic life”. Avoid beauty products that use plastic microbeads in soaps, toothpaste, shower gels, and facial scrubs to exfoliate the skin. These beads are often consumed by marine life and as the plastics build up in their digestive tract, it becomes detrimental to their health.
Try to choose organic whenever possible. Organic farming is better for the environment, because it works with nature, not against it. There is zero animal testing, no synthetics, fertilisers or herbicides, and the ingredients are sustainability sourced. Choosing organic has many benefits, from supporting biodiversity, protecting wildlife and combating the climate crisis. You can read further detail about the benefits of organic here.
Try to choose organic whenever possible. Organic farming is better for the environment because it works with nature, not against it. There is zero animal testing, no synthetics, fertilisers or herbicides, and the ingredients are sustainability sourced. Choosing organic has many benefits from supporting biodiversity, protecting wildlife and combating the climate crisis. You can read further detail about the benefits of organic here.
Once you’ve reached the end of your skincare products, recycle or repurpose the packaging. You can wash out bigger cosmetic pots and use them as plant pots, make DIY candle holders, or homemade organisers. Check out some of these creative ideas for how to reuse cosmetic pots – 10 ways to upcycle your beauty containers.
As the beauty industry continues to evolve, consumers should push for more environmental and sustainable practices. The next time you shop, think about the impact that product will have on the environment, and whether you need to consider more sustainable alternatives.