Despite best intentions, one's affinity for the perfect cat eye and flawless skin can come at a cost to the environment. But whether you have a fully-stocked, Pinterest-worthy beauty room or you can fit all of your essentials into a single makeup bag, there are always simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Because, the thing is, not recycling shampoo bottles and tossing tubes of mascara into the garbage is leaving a mark on the planet, and there are easy ways to change your habits. Estimates say personal care items and beauty product packaging account for a third of all landfill waste, and once it ends up there, it takes some 1,000 years to decompose. (Yikes.)
Luckily for us (and better yet, Mother Earth), beauty companies are doing their part to save the planet. From producing recyclable packaging—which keeps landfill waste to a minimum—to supporting earth-friendly initiatives with proceeds from their profits, these are the brands behind sustainable products that are as good for the environment as they are for your glowy complexion and gleaming strands. The best part? You won’t have to sacrifice quality or effectiveness on your road to living a greener lifestyle.
Keep scrolling for 11 brands leading the charge on sustainability.
Consider this brand-new brand an Earth Day angel: Seed Phytonutrients remains mindful of the environment from ingredients' harvest to your shower. To protect seeds from over-commercialization, the beauty brand partners with independent American organic farmers and only uses cold press and expeller methods to extract oil from their seeds (rather than solvents). What's more: They support organic farmers by paying for all their crops up front, no matter their yield and they use environmentally friendly recycled and recyclable packaging for all of their products. No small feat considering that even the shower-friendly products are made from paper and 100-percent post-consumer recycled plastic liner, resulting in 60 percent less plastic than a traditional bottle.
Try: Daily Hair Cleanser, $24
From sourcing ingredients from nature, exploring non-toxic alternatives, to using renewable energy such as wind and solar power to produce products and transporting goods in recycled cardboard shippers, Origins is making major strides in the sustainable beauty space.
Additionally, the brand only works with factories that contribute zero waste to landfills and never use styrofoam peanuts (or leaflets!) when shipping product. Even their shopping bags are made from 100 percent recycled craft paper that's also completely recyclable. For added green points, Origins even launched the Plant-A-Tree program to aid reforestation projects around the world in a partnership with the American Forests’ Global ReLeaf organization. So far, they’ve planted over 750,000 trees.
For every product purchased, Eminence plants a tree in a developing country to fight deforestation through their ongoing partnership with Trees for the Future. The skin-care and makeup brand also provides families with the education and tools necessary in order to create their own tree nurseries, which allows them to not only profit but support their own basic needs. In 2006, they became the first skin-care brand to plant over five million trees (the number's currently at nine million, NBD).
Try: Bamboo Firming Fluid, $58
John Masters Organics
Through partnerships with local farmers and harvesters of organic and wild-crafted ingredients, they favor naturally-occurring fertilizer and pesticides and use cold-pressed techniques and steam distilled extracts to create their products. And with their physical items? All packaging uses the least amount of ink possible and is printed on 100 percent recycled and unbleached paper.
Juice Beauty's headquarters in California is made of all sustainable and reused materials, and its products meet USDA organic regulations. Their solid eco-values means they even purchase most ingredients locally on the West Coast from organic farmers, and all products are manufactured in the United States via solar and wind power. On the philanthropic side, Juice Beauty's providing support to non-profit Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and the Environmental Working Group.
Try: Blemish Clearing Serum, $30
For the 75 years that Aveeno's been around, they've been constantly on the hunt for eco-friendly solutions—this includes everything from packaging that uses less materials to incorporating recycled and recyclable material. They even support community development and beautification.
New to the beauty space, Asarai is the skin-care brand that can’t be missed (I mean, look at that sunny yellow packaging). As part of the organization 1% for the Planet, Asarai has pledged that no matter what, a percentage of their sales will always go to helping the environment. Aside from being ethically-sourced, cruelty-, and toxin-free, all products are created with 99 percent natural ingredients (or more).
Not only are landfills being swarmed with plastics, but so is the ocean, creating what's been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Like landfills, a staggering amount of this comes from the personal care industry. To combat that, this do-good brand has partnered with the Surfrider Foundation, committing to helping with 300 beach cleanups throughout the US and UK. What's more, they've made a commitment to be waste-free by 2021.
Try: Anti Fatigue Body Scrub, $49
This French-girl approved beauty brand has always been a staple thanks to its gentle, botanically spiked formulas, which were recently repackaged for a new elevated look and feel. The brand is doing its part by giving back 1 percent of its gross sales to 1% for the planet and has planted over 4 million trees globally (almost 1 million here in the US) to help reforesting efforts.
Try: Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water, $28
Love Beauty and Planet
Not only is this brand making it easier to recycle their plastic bottles by creating labels that easily wash off, but the actual formulas themselves are sustainable. The conditioner contains a fast-rinse technology, which means that less water is needed to wash off the formula. Less water means shorter showers and that's a win not only for your busy schedule, but also for the planet.
The star-ingredient in this line is squalane, which is known for its ultra-hydrating properties, but the brand uses a sustainable plant-derived form (and also has a list of 2,000 banned ingredients). The formulas come in outer packaging that's tree-free and derived from a sugarcane paper, with no bleach, dyes, or foils used.
Try: Biossance Micronutrient Fine Mist, $32
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