6 ways to reduce your beauty footprint
In light of Organic September and Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Week, (9-14 September 2019) we’ve been thinking about how to adopt more eco-friendly beauty regimes. But opting for products with words like ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the packaging might not always be the simple solution, warns Georgia Barnes, Senior Business Development Manager for Beauty & Wellbeing at the Soil Association. ‘The beauty industry is largely unregulated, so some products that claim to be organic might have some organic ingredients that feature as a percentage, but they might also use harmful plastics, or contain some nasty chemicals that are detrimental to your health,’ she says.
Luckily, there is an easy way to check that your beauty product lives up to its organic claims, and that’s to look out for the Soil Association Organic logo. This logo can only be used by brands if the Soil Association independently verify them, taking into account their production process, ingredients, packaging, labelling and more. ‘The Soil Association Organic certification exists so that we can make consumers feel confident that they’re buying into organic principles, as well as organic content,’ says Barnes.
This week, the Soil Association are encouraging people to make a sustainable change to their beauty routine with their One Small Swap campaign. The idea behind the campaign is that consumers swap one product in their beauty regime for one which has the organic certification from the Soil Association. ‘People think they have to change everything at once,’ says Barnes. ‘But even making a small swap, like changing your face cleanser for a certified-organic one, can make a real difference.’ And if you want more advice on how to reduce your cosmetic footprint, try following these simple tips.
1 Replace as you go
Rather than trying to change your whole regime at once, try replacing your beauty products one-by-one with certified-organic alternatives as they run out. This way, you’ll only have to get used to one new product at a time, rather than a whole new routine.
2 Use multi-functional products
Multi-purpose products that you can use in lots of different ways, such as moisture balms for dry skin, lips and hands, are an easy way to reduce your environmental impact. It will mean you stick to one product that really works, rather than trying out lots of different ones and producing more waste.
3 Support local brands
There are a plethora of really good quality brands that are based here in the UK; support those and your carbon footprint will be smaller, as the products won’t have travelled as far to get to you.
4 Be wary of long ingredient lists
Really long lists of ingredients that you don’t recognise, or understand, can be a warning sign that a product might not live up to its ‘organic’ claims. Look for shorter lists containing names of natural ingredients you know.
5 Look for the Soil Association Organic logo
Buying certified-organic beauty products gives you peace of mind that organic principles have been used and a sustainable approach has been taken. That way, you know it’s been independently verified and that there are no nasties lurking in there.
6 Plan ahead
Just like making your packed lunch the night before, or not relying on fast fashion for the clothes you buy, you can make more environmentally friendly decisions about your beauty regime if you plan ahead. Stock up on sustainable products when you’re in a store that sells them, so that you won’t just pick up an easy fix from a convenience store when you run out.
To let the Soil Association know that you’re joining their pledge, tag @soilassociationbeauty on social media, using the hashtag #onesmallswap