Date: 23 April
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL
From our guest writer Lynsey Clayton in the UK
Action 113: Switch to eco-friendly beauty products
Green & Natural Beauty
Have you ever considered what is really in the beauty products you use on a daily basis?
How many of these ingredients do you wash down the drain? Face washes, shampoo, conditioner – and more.
Actually, many of these products contain ingredients which can be toxic to the environment – and they’re not necessarily great for you either!
Skin and chemicals
Our skin provides a natural, protective barrier, but up to 60% of these chemicals can still penetrate and be absorbed into the bloodstream. Whilst not all chemicals are bad (many are in fact harmless, natural, or derived from natural products) there are some synthetic substances which are not good for us; they can affect our immune system, moods, nervous system and reproductive system. Some artificial colours and fillers used in beauty products can also cause redness, irritation and allergies.
In fact, if you have an allergy, switching to a natural, organic product can often help. It reduces the effects of allergies in babies, children and those with sensitive skin. This is because organic products have been produced without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers.
Organic products are much better for the environment, as synthetic pesticides and chemicals are restricted, and therefore do not contaminate the soil and water table, and cause harm to animal life.
For example, phosphates, commonly found in many beauty products, can lead to the excessive growth of algae in our waterways, which starves the water of oxygen, killing fish and plant life.
And, of course, petroleum derived additives often break down incompletely and contain toxic impurities that can cause pollution and endanger plant and animal life.
My favourite brands for natural beauty and make-up products include Neal’s Yard, Green People, Faith in Nature, Inika, Ksoni, Kind2 and Organii.
Just search for these in your browser for the links to their websites or on Amazon to purchase.
Then there’s the issue of keeping your bathroom as plastic free as possible. Try some of these tips, some of which have also appeared in other articles on this site:
- Consider buying toiletries/beauty products that are plastic free – soap bars, shampoo bars, etc
- Buy in glass or metal containers
- Find a zero waste shop or refill station (refillery) to refill from
- Buy larger bottles to save keep buying small ones
- Consider using soap nuts
- Always source reusable cleansing wipes, pads and feminine hygiene products
- Use a bamboo toothbrush
- Use and compost paper/bamboo cotton buds
I hope you’ve found this short introduction to thinking about the environmental impact of your beauty products useful, please make small changes where you can, it does add up.
For more information and reviews of “green” beauty brands, please visit my website.
This article has been contributed by our guest writer Lynsey Clayton