Sustainable “inside and out”
Sustainability means taking into account the social, environmental and economic aspects of the entire production chain of a product to ensure a totally positive impact. When it comes to natural cosmetics, sustainability is not just about how the ingredients are obtained or how the product is produced, but also about the materials used in their production and post-production. This holistic and sustainable approach has to be very explicit in brands from the start, so that the entire production process is more natural and organic.
Sustainable and biodegradable: the ideal cosmetic product
Innovation is key to supporting sustainability in the cosmetics industry. From the discovery of new and more natural ingredients to post-consumer processes with an environmental impact, such as elimination of packaging and biodegradability of ingredients, natural products and ingredients must be certified according to rigorous criteria that guarantee a sustainable approach to both.
Research and innovation to find alternatives to plastics in cosmetic packaging
Until recent years, fossil fuels and their derivatives (such as plastic) were the main source of development of new materials for everyday life. However, the environmental impact of such materials, particularly plastics, has increasingly become a point of concern for many consumers looking for green and sustainable products. Therefore, the brands' concern has to go beyond production and focus on packaging. The requirements should be prohibiting the use of halogenated plastics and promoting recyclableand renewablematerials for primary and secondary packaging, as well as supporting packaging reduction wherever possible.
In recent years, many natural and organic brands have redesigned traditional cosmetic products to drastically reduce or completely avoid plastic packaging. Some examples of innovative products are deodorant creams, solid shampoo bars and toothpaste tablets. In many cases, plastic packaging is being replaced by cardboard and glass, which are easier to recycle and reuse. Transformed refill options have recently become very popular as they allow consumers to reuse a product's packaging multiple times, resulting in a reduced reduction in packaging production.
A responsible and conscious consumption: the role of consumers
Through their purchasing decisions, consumers of natural and organic cosmetics can contribute to reducing the global environmental footprint of cosmetics by supporting brands and products that promote conscientious practices to protect our planet's future.
Speaking of consumers, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish brands that prefer a sustainable path and even manage to assimilate the different characteristics of the products. So, we leave some advice for you to buy without taking risks.
Pay attention to the list of ingredients, reduce the consumption of those that can have a greater environmental impact: there are several pollutant components.
Faced with a very “natural” packaging, be wary. Read a list of ingredients. Those of vegetable origin are in Latin and, like the rest, sorted according to concentration. If they appear at the bottom of the list, it is because they are present in small quantities.
And remember that “natural” is not synonymous with “safe” and doesn't always mean it's better for the environment. However, it is important to emphasize that, for a product to be for sale in the European Union, it must be safe, whether of natural or synthetic origin.
Typically, there are three components that consumers want: health, environment and their personal finances. For that it must be okay, to make conscious choices. Use products with an account, weight and measure, and opt, preferably, for refillable packaging or packaging made from recyclable materials or that can be recycled.
Try to do away with over-packaged products, such as toothpaste in a tube or jars of face cream, which, in addition to the large primary packaging (tube or bottle), are often wrapped in cardboard boxes. and sometimes even with a plastic film, completely unnecessary.
To address this packaging theme, there are several solutions on the market. For example, why not go back to the old soap? In the transition from solid to liquid, the only thing that definitely increased was the environmental impact. In the case of soap, once the little cardboard that surrounds it is avoided and after it has been used in its entirety, there is nothing left.
And this logic has been extended to other products, such as solid shampoos, which promise to be true “ecological miracles”, as they initially save water in their production and, above all, do not require plastic packaging. It now remains to evaluate its entire production cycle, including the ingredients that define it, to see if, in reality, they are a good bet. In terms of water consumption, to wash your hair, it has exactly the same impact as liquids.