In this guide to eco-friendly makeup, we look at some of the things you should look for in eco-friendly makeup, and share a few beauty products to get you started on your sustainability makeup journey.
Sustainability is all the rage in the beauty industry right now. But being more conscious with our beauty choices is more than just a trend – it is the right thing to do for the future of our planet.
Obviously, you are well aware of the plastic waste headache the world is dealing with now as a result of yesterday’s choices.Figures published in the journal Science in 2015 showed between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year.
And to be honest, the beauty industry is a huge contributor to the heaps of plastic waste finding their way into oceans and other waterways, and ultimately into the food chain.
On the bright side, we are starting to talk sustainability. More and more beauty brands the world over are also joining the sustainability bandwagon as they make a shift towards more eco-friendly products.
The onus now remains on each one of us to do our little part in curbing the plastic waste menace. This we can do by choosing to use products that qualify as environmentally friendly.
What is Eco-Friendly Makeup?
Eco-friendly makeup is makeup produced by brands that have made the conscious decision to take an environment-friendly approach when it comes to the manufacture, packaging and sale of their products.
This type of makeup aims to curb waste, remain sustainable and basically have the interests of the environment in mind when being sold to the world.
Characteristics of Eco-Friendly Makeup
For a beauty product to qualify as eco-friendly, there are certain boxes the product needs to tick.
These include, among others:
Makeup brands that pride themselves in being eco-friendly will package their products in containers that are 100% recyclable.
Some companies are leading from the front by using recyclable containers and even biodegradable packaging that is capable of dissolving in water.
Reuse is one of the three R’s of waste management and a key part of the process.
Eco-friendly brands strive to make their offerings available in refillable cosmetic containers – stainless steel, for example – that you can reuse over and over.
This way, you don’t have to throw out the container every single time you replenish your supplies.
Other eco-friendly makeup brands avoid the use of plastic completely.
These ones take a more natural route that makes use of recyclable bamboo that is green certified.
Companies that are conscious of the environment will also try to abstain from testing their cosmetics or ingredients on animals – or even outsource any tests that involve animals to third parties.
These are known as cruelty-free makeup brands.
There is a host of labels that can help you in identifying cruelty-free makeup. These include logos and text but beware that some companies could be masquerading as cruelty-free but in reality it is but a sham.
In case of any doubts, you can always search the authenticity of their claims on the PETA database.
Ingredients of Eco-Friendly Makeup
Ingredients tell us a lot about a product.
When it comes to evaluating whether a beauty product is eco-friendly or not, the small text on the product’s side can reveal a lot.
Eco-friendly makeup will usually be one or more of the following:
Just as GMO does not automatically mean organic, cruelty-free products also do not imply the product is free of all animal ingredients.
If you are looking to take things further and cut animal-derived makeup from your life, vegan cosmetics are the way to go.
Vegan beauty products have been on the rise, as a report by Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) outlined.
The global marketing firm revealed that between July 2013 and June 2018, there had been a whopping 175% rise in new vegan and cruelty-free beauty products.
Organic makeup is made purely from natural ingredients.
It does not make use of parabens, preservatives and avoids most chemicals. The ingredients are usually antitoxins and will not include any toxic agents whatsoever.
In addition to being kind to our ecosystem, organic makeup is also great for your skin.
Makeup made through biodegradable formulas has the ability to decompose naturally without harming the environment.
It is free of plastic microspheres (used as exfoliants in cosmetics) which can end up in oceans, and eventually find their way into the food chain.
Eco-Friendly Makeup Reviewed
Now that you know what to look for in eco-friendly beauty products, let us take a look at some of the best eco-friendly items you should consider for your revamped beauty regimen.
Miracle Face Erase Makeup Remover Facecloths
Say goodbye to disposable wipes, towelettes, cotton pads, oils and cleansers.
The 2-Pack Makeup Remover Facecloths from Miracle Face Erase can wipe out even the toughest makeup with the help of nothing more than some good H2O.
The dermatologist-approved cloth is made of a soft microfiber material that swells to grab and hold the makeup.
It is gentle even for the most sensitive skin, including rosacea. You only need look at the glowing reviews on Amazon to see how customers are satisfied with this product.
The remover facecloths come in a pack of two, each with its own convenient hanging loop and a bonus six hair ties thrown in for good measure.
This product is chemical-free and reusable up to 1,000 washes.
Karma Organic Vegan Non-Toxic Nail Varnish
The Organic Vegan Non-toxic Nail Varnish is an organic product from Karma Organic, an American spa chain that strictly specializes in pure organic offerings, chief among them nail polishes.
The Karma Hues Nail Polish is one of their trademark lines and appeals to anyone in search of not just non-toxic, but cruelty-free nail varnish.
This nail polish is free of harsh smells and common chemicals found in nail polishes such as formaldehyde, toluene, DBP and TPHP.
This means it is kind to the environment, and an ideal choice for allergy sufferers, expectant mothers and children of all ages.
The Karma Organic Nail Varnish is resistant to chips (yay) and the entire packaging is recyclable.
Beauty by Earth Organic Vegan Self Tanner
It is not often that you come across tanning products that actually achieve what they proclaim to.
But the FDA-approved Organic Self Tanner from Beauty by Earth really does make good on its word. And it does this while incorporating 100% natural and organic ingredients that transform your skin without posing any whiff of risk.
This tanner can give you a sun-kissed glow without exposing yourself to long hours in the sun and the risks that come with it.
You will also be glad to know that not only is this organic tanning cream cruelty-free, but also vegan.
The Organic Vegan Self Tanner is a bestseller on Amazon, with rave reviews to boot. It is little wonder the company has a money-back guarantee policy in place should the results prove underwhelming.
Sensitive skin will love it.
Karizma Vegan Biodegradable Face Glitter
Glitter might seem harmless, but it has detrimental effects on Mother Nature. It contains microplastics which are a nightmare for the environment.
But now there is an alternative. This one is made by Karizma Beauty, a brand that works with celebrities and whose chunky glitter products are wildly popular.
This particular offering is fairly new.
The Karizma Vegan Biodegradable Face Glitter is made primarily from a cellulose derived from eucalyptus. It is kind on the skin and dissolves naturally into nature and water bodies, promoting a sustainable future.
The eco-friendly cosmetic-grade glitter is much softer than plastic glitters. It is completely non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free and comes in recyclable packaging.
Eco Tools Bamboo Makeup Brushes
We often overlook makeup brushes when we are talking sustainable makeup. But this is another avenue through which we can make a world of difference.
As far as eco-friendly makeup brushes go, few brands in the business deliver better than the aptly-named Eco Tools.
Their set of makeup brushes is made with sustainable materials of the finest quality. These include recycled aluminum and plastic, coupled with renewable bamboo and ultra-soft synthetic bristles.
Certified by PETA, these makeup brushes are cruelty-free and vegan.
You would think it doesn’t get more eco-friendly than that, but Eco Tools takes it a step further. The packaging is made of 100% tree-free paper.
How, you ask? With 80% bamboo fibers and 20% cotton!
A set includes 5 brushes, a cosmetics case, and 3 beauty look cards.
MuiFa Bamboo Cotton Swabs
While we are still talking bamboo, cotton swabs are another way you can go green when it comes to your beauty routine.
If you are one of those who do not fancy those reusable silicone Q-tips, you don’t need to revert to using plastic. Bamboo cotton buds are a perfect environment-friendly alternative. These ones from MuiFa brand are 100% cotton and bamboo only.
They are fully compostable, and are available in packs of 200.
But follow the above link to take advantage of the 5-pack bundle that offers 1,000 sticks at a fraction of the price.
Native Unearthed Natural Deodorant Balm
- natural deodrant balm
- paraben and alumium free
- cruelty free
- contains coconut oil and vanilla
- no animal ingredients
This deodorant from the award-winning UK brand, Native Unearthed, contains 100% natural ingredients to keep you smelling fresh all day without any adverse effects on the environment.
This particular one contains vanilla and coconut oil.
The creamy balm is cruelty-free with no animal ingredients. It is free of aluminum and paraben, and comes packaged in recycled glass.
Another great alternative to this product is the 3-Pack Seasonal Natural Deodorant from the San-Francisco-based brand, Native.
Another award-winning formula, this one is available in a range of scents ideal for the different seasons.
It is cruelty-free and vegan, aluminum-free and does not contain any toxins or chemicals.
We hope you will love these product recommendations and that this guide to eco-friendly makeup will prove the catalyst you needed to revamp your product choices!