Sustainable cosmetics: 3 ways to recognize them immediately
When the world calls for help, cosmetic manufacturers can answer with sustainable cosmetics: products with environmentally friendly formulations, production practices and packaging methods. However, not everybody on the market plays fair. Here is how you can recognize real sustainable cosmetics in a heartbeat, not only to feel good about yourself but to make the world feel better as well.
Sustainability is a huge issue but, rather than a responsibility towards the planet and ourselves (as it should be!), it has become more of a trend, psychologically associated with health and safety. You know, there’s a certain level of comfort that comes from the word “sustainable” and the market knows that.
So, brands might take advantage of the “green trend” using images of leaves, the world, or the literal color green to appear sustainable when they're actually not. And while they show a “green” face, they might continue to use questionable chemicals and rely on cheap, one-use packaging materials.
Which is NOT OK.
How to identify sustainable cosmetics for good
So, how to find sustainable cosmetics that you can trust? Well, you’re in the right place. HSA is a sustainable cosmetic expert and it has identified 3 things that you can check to make sure you’re looking at real sustainable cosmetics.
Ingredients don’t lie! Be on the lookout for suspicious chemicals and additives and know that sustainable cosmetic brands will most likely use natural, recognizable ingredients or synthetic ingredients that are not harmful to the environment or the skin and hair.
If you can’t even read it, it’s probably bad for you. For example, formaldehyde and diethanolamine (I dare you to say them three times, fast, without twisting your tongue) are well-known human carcinogens and dibutyl phthalate (yeah, right) is toxic to human reproduction. I know, scary.
Instead, sustainable cosmetic manufacturers use oleochemicals: oils and fats derived from natural sources.
Some common sources for these ingredients are:
- Natural oils, such as palm and coconut oil, argan oil and avocado oil, but also shea butter, beeswax and many others.
- Agricultural plants, such as soybeans and corn.
Names that we can actually pronounce and understand, what a relief!
Packaging choices can say a lot about the level of sustainability of a cosmetic brand. Generally speaking: less is more. And if you can’t go full on naked (meaning packaging-free, obviously) then try being as least impactful as possible. For example, glass bottles rather than plastic ones are a good indicator of sustainability.
However, if you do decide to use plastic, at least go for the recycled one or for plastics derived from sugar cane or even from the ocean waste. Compared to virgin plastic, recycled plastic has a much lower footprint in terms of carbon emissions and reducing landfill waste.
Look for brands who explain with the utmost transparency their approach to sustainability through a clear and honest marketing: how they source their ingredients and why they have chosen this approach.
Honesty is the best policy!
Look for these 3 indicators and you’ll know right away! How do we know? Because we ourselves manufacture sustainable cosmetics, employing clean and healthy ingredients in respect of the environment.
Looking for a partner to manufacture your sustainable cosmetics? Contact us! We are cosmetic manufacturers that you can trust.