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The Environmental Impact of our Everyday Beauty Products

non recyclable bathroom essentials: plastic cotton buds, cotton rounds, and facial cream

We all love to pamper ourselves with our favourite skincare products, makeup and haircare must-haves. But have you ever considered the environmental impact these beauty products might have on our planet? Let’s dive into the not-so-pretty side of our beloved beauty routines.

Why should we care?

Well, we should be at least alarmed. The beauty and fast fashion industries are major players in environmental pollution. Yep, that is the ugly truth. From the production and packaging of products to their disposal, beauty products leave a hefty carbon footprint.

The environmental impact of beauty products: main offenders

  • First up, packaging. Think about all those sleek bottles, shiny tubes, and fancy jars lining your bathroom shelf. Although they are pretty, most of them will not be recycled. Shockingly, it’s estimated that the beauty industry generates over 120 billion packaging units annually. To get a better picture: it is enough to wrap around the Earth over 300 times!

The environmental impact? A vast majority of this packaging will end up in landfills. Then it will sit there for centuries leaching harmful chemicals into the soil and water. Horrible!

net bag full of colourful plastic containers
  • Unfortunately, there is more: the ingredients. Do you check the ingredients of your favourite beauty products? If you don’t, you definitely should. Chances are, you will find a laundry list of sneaky synthetic chemicals and other toxic substances. 

What is the problem with that? Well, these ingredients can pose a risk to our health and our ecosystems. So speaking about the environmental impact of our beauty products, let’s look into microbeads commonly found in exfoliators and toothpaste. They are tiny plastic particles already causing havoc on marine life. Experts dread that the oceans are already polluted by up to 51 trillion microbeads. That’s enough to cover more than 500 tennis courts! Appaling!

  • On top of that, we should consider water usage. Water is a precious resource, unfortunately, so much of it is wasted in the name of beauty. 

What should you think about the environmental impact here? Consider that the beauty industry uses millions of gallons of water every year. Water is used all the way, from growing botanical ingredients to the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, sustainable and fair practices are often neglected. Too bad..

huge makeup collection layed out on bed

What can we do to reduce the environmental impact of our beauty routines?

  • First, we should look for companies offering refillable and recyclable packaging options. Luckily there has been a surge in the popularity of zero-waste beauty brands, which focus on minimising packaging and reducing waste throughout the product lifecycle. 
  • Let’s also safeguard our health and significantly reduce the negative environmental impact of our beauty products by choosing the ones with clean, natural and sustainably sourced ingredients. Reading labels can shed light. Also look for certifications, e.g. USDA Organic or Leaping Bunny. 
  • Recycle your empty containers whenever possible. 
  • Why not research to discover local brands that prioritise transparency, sustainability, and ethical working conditions? It is a great way to try new and exciting beauty products while supporting small businesses and artisans.
  • Finally, why not simplify your beauty routine? Most of us do not need shelves full of beauty products, a few key items can get the job done. So why not go for quality over quantity? This way we can all reduce our negative environmental impact while still looking fantastic. 
bamboo toothbrush with natural toothpaste

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, our everyday beauty products may be small, but their environmental impact is anything but. So let’s rock our natural glow, make informed choices, and protect our planet. Together, we can become more conscious consumers, and create a more beautiful world for future generations. 

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