As we each do our part towards a more sustainable future, many of us are looking at ways we can create more eco-friendly hair and skincare routines. Though these gestures may be small, they can add up if we each do our own part. Our daily choices matter, and if we keep the environment in mind with each decision, we can create a greener future for generations to come.
But where do you start when it comes to creating an eco-friendly hair and skincare routine? Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting a routine that includes sustainable ingredients, biodegradable packaging, eco-friendly brands and approaches, and more.
What is Sustainable Beauty?
When it comes to sustainable beauty, be on the lookout for ingredients that don't harm the planet or your own body. Instead, seek out non-toxic, natural ingredients that are clearly spelled out on a product's label. Plant-based ingredients should be sustainably grown and free from parabens and phthalates.
Packaging is also important when it comes to researching sustainable beauty brands, as we try to move towards a zero waste future. Biodegradable packages, reusable glass bottles, and refillable options are all sustainable options to keep at the top of your list.
Beware of Greenwashing
When you're researching sustainable skincare and hair brands and products, it's important to be aware of "greenwashing," a form of marketing or advertising that claims a product is environmentally friendly when it's not. As new laws and regulations discourage this practice, it's still important to know what to be aware of while doing research.
For complete assurance that a brand uses eco-friendly, sustainable ingredients, their ingredients should be clearly stated on a product's label. You can also do further research into a company's website, where they should be transparent if their ingredients and packaging are naturally derived and biodegradable.
Why Should You Have an Eco-Friendly Skincare and Hair Routine?
As we each do our own parts to shape a greener, more sustainable future, we can focus on actionable steps such as creating an eco-friendly routine when it comes to our skincare and haircare.
According to a study done by the Environmental Working Group, skincare and personal care products are some of the least regulated and they often contain chemicals and contaminants that are dangerous to both humans and the environment.
Since we use these products directly on our skin on a daily basis, it's important that we know ingredients go into these products. Whether your goal is to balance your skin’s pH or simply have healthy skin, you should know what is inside of a product’s formula. Brands that use raw components should also practice ethical sourcing to ensure their ingredients are supplied responsibly and ethically. After all, we should be aware of what we’re putting directly on our skin!
Similarly to skincare, we should take care to look for haircare brands and products that are committed to sustainable ingredients and fair trade and supply chains.
Seeking out eco-friendly hair products can also be the best solution for keeping your hair healthy and refreshed. Many natural ingredients such as seaweed, olive oil, and clay can be just as effective as synthetic counterparts. Opting for these formulas for your haircare can not only save your hair – but the planet as well.
Take an Ingredient-Focused Approach
When crafting an eco-friendly skincare and hair routine, you should first choose ingredients that are sustainable and enriching for your skin and hair. Here’s a guide to ingredients to seek out as well as which ones to avoid.
Sustainable Ingredients to Seek Out
Natural ingredients have been used for skincare for centuries. Tea tree oil, for example, can be used for everything from acne breakouts and inflammation ro scar treatment and eczema. Argan oil is another plant-derived ingredient with beneficial properties that includes sun protection and moisturization. Keep an eye out for these ingredients, especially in products like body wash, that will be in close contact with your skin.
When it comes to hair, natural ingredients such as clay and charcoal (known for increasing body and texture), honey (for hydration), and coconut oil (for extra shine), can be both natural and effective. Similarly, other naturally derived ingredients such as aloe vera and avocado oil contain vitamins, natural moisturizers, and can even act as antifungal agents.
Ingredients and Chemicals to Avoid
When it comes to skincare, ingredients aren't regulated in the same way that food has the Food and Drug Administration. According to a 2021 study done by Environmental Science & Technology Letters, over 100 skincare and makeup brands contained per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, toxic chemicals that do not easily break down and remain in the environment for years.
Other ingredients such as formaldehyde, mercury, and parabens have been proposed to be banned in several states. To learn more about other potentially harmful ingredients, check out our Guide to Chemicals to Remove From Your Home.
Reduce Water Waste
One of the top ways to make sure your daily shower routine is sustainable is to keep in mind your water usage. You can make big changes in your bathroom, such as installing a flush efficient toilet or a water efficient showerhead, but smaller changes can also be just as effective.
Only turning on the tap while using water can be a small but major first step. You can keep this in mind when washing your face or hands or brushing your teeth. You can also reuse towels to avoid unnecessary laundry loads and avoid flushing tissues. These small but necessary actions add up to reducing your daily water waste.
Use Reusable Accessories When Possible
When it comes to skin and hair care, the accessories that become a part of your routine can add up. Keep the environment in mind by using reusable or biodegradable accessories when possible, such as reusable make up pads or silicone swabs, as well as bamboo facial brushes.
These accessories can usually be washed and reused multiple times and their natural ingredients make them less likely to cause irritation or inflammation on your skin. Opting for natural loofahs is another eco-friendly alternative, as they are biodegradable and compostable.
A recent study from the University of Connecticut observed that the beauty industry creates 120 billion units of packaging a year, and of that, 70% ends up in landfills. More and more brands are making an effort to eliminate single-use packaging and offer refill options, but we still need to be careful when choosing which products to add to our daily routines in an effort to lessen our plastic waste.
At Puracy, we choose packaging that is simple and easy to recycle. Our bottles, pumps, sprayers, and caps are all made from Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is commonly known as PET(E), an inert plastic that does not leach harmful materials into its contents and does not contain Bis-phenol A (BPA). It is globally recognized as a safe, non-toxic, strong, reusable material that is 100% recyclable. In fact, it is the most widely recycled plastic in the world!
Global Efforts Towards Sustainable Beauty
Though it’s important for each of us as individuals to do our part for a sustainable future, many countries and companies are also making an effort to keep skincare and hair care products eco-friendly. Here are some initiatives from around the world that are working towards a sustainable future.
Credo Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
Created to address the packaging crisis in the skincare and beauty address, these packaging guidelines aim to lessen single-use plastic and non-recyclable materials. It also offers best practices for eco-friendly packaging, as well as offering alternatives to single-use wipes, pads, and sample packs.
Major Beauty Brand Consortiums
Last year, several major beauty and skincare brands came together to develop an environmental impact assessment and scoring system to help customers compare the sustainability efforts of different products. The group strives to develop a common methodology for assessing the industry's environmental impact, as well as creating a shared database of ingredients and raw materials.
Puracy Personal Care Products Support a Sustainable Future
When you're choosing natural hair and skincare products, you can depend on Puracy for natural, eco-friendly formulas. From our shampoos and conditioners to scalp scrub and body wash, we believe in full transparency when it comes to our product labels and marketing efforts. Our labels clearly outline every ingredient within each Puracy product, with no exaggerations or omissions.