Building Sustainability Into Skincare Practices

By Charity

  • We can honor the relationship we have with the environment by looking for ways to build sustainability into even our skincare practices 
  • Start with small things like looking at ingredients sourcing and packaging materials
  • The skincare industry is far from perfect but we can make progress if we pay attention!

The care we show ourselves should extend beyond us. I think of employing sustainable practices as a way to show gratitude to all living things around us. We can honor the relationship we have with the environment and with others by being conscious of how our actions affect them. 

What does this look like in the skincare industry, where the field relies on the rapid churn of product? I think it looks like us asking the tough questions and holding brands accountable to respect relationships to all living things. In this article, I’m going to share with you a few ways that we can bring more sustainable practices into our skincare routine.

Look at ingredient sourcing

Perhaps the easiest place to start is by understanding the ingredients in a product. Skincare products can have a mixture of synthetic and natural ingredients. Any toxic ingredients not good for our bodies will not be good for the environment. Products that eliminate toxins from their ingredient list are a win all around.

Even better is when brands are transparent about their sourcing strategies. When I see brands highlight partnerships with local or cooperative partnerships, this tells me that the product I’m using was not produced at the cost of the well-being of another person.

Pay attention to packaging

Packaging is everything in skincare. To build sustainability into our skincare routine, we need to be mindful of the materials used to carry our beloved products.

I like to look for packaging that uses a minimal approach for eliminating waste. Aesthetically pleasing packaging need not be excessive. I also notice and prefer when packaging uses materials that can be recycled (such as certain plastics, glass or metal) or are biodegradable (like paper or natural fibers).

Try do-it-yourself for zero-waste

While this is not everyone’s wheelhouse, the great thing about DIY is that you only make what you need, when you need it! DIY is an effective way to control sourcing and batch production, which will eliminate waste!

Base products like carriers oils and beeswax can be purchased in bulk. Then they will be readily available for when you make that nighttime serum or a day hand cream. Many of you might be thinking, “I don’t have time to make any of my own products!” I get it! Thankfully there are brands out there that offer customized product development or even offer refilling options!

Introduce products with multiple functions

The old adage that less is more applies to our skincare routine as well! A great way to become more sustainably conscious is to use products that can serve multiple functions. For example, I have a coconut oil and lavender spray that I will use to moisturize my hands, but it can also serve the function of dirt and make-up removal.

The key takeaway here is that there is a place for sustainability in our skincare routine.  Find practices that resonate with you and start there!