Beauty Products and the Environment


Mackenna Rowe, Design Editor

The beauty industry continues to grow and with that, more issues keep arising. Luckily some brands are trying to keep the Earth in mind as they contribute to the industry. Beauty products tend to test on animals, use plastics, and some chemicals are not the best. Many brands are owned by larger parent companies, and those parent companies can own many other businesses that contribute to deforestation and sweatshops, sometimes child labor.

Skincare started leading in this with natural products and creating sunscreens safe for the coral reefs. The products will come in glass or plastic that can be reused or recycled. Makeup brands are slowly catching up. Right now, no to little waste is hard to come by with beauty. Some brands have refills for products, or you can make the products at home. It can be easier to start off with beauty products that are vegan/do not test on animals. From there, doing research on parent companies or even smaller brands that are more environmentally friendly. These products tend to have better chemicals not only for you but the Earth. That way when the products get thrown away and go to decompose or washing off your makeup makes less of an impact.

But, be careful. Companies can greenwash. Greenwashing is leading on to the fact that their products are good for the environment. They can use words, pictures or somewhat false advertising so the consumers think they are doing their part. So yes that one particular mascara might be made from blueberries but another product in that company could have taken down forty trees just to make. As more people become aware of their actions, more companies get rid of chemicals everyone is going against, or they create products for that type of consumer. For instance, Love Beauty and Planet is a haircare line that is sold at many major retailers. The reason this product made it to mainstream shelves so fast is that it is owned by Unilever. Unilever has not contributed well to the environment in the past but made a somewhat better haircare line, slapped the word Earth on it, and called it good. They do have many articles about trying to reduce their impact on the Earth and how protecting forests are important yet their past says otherwise. They are an example of greenwashing, and one of the three-parent companies that have actions like this.

As the beauty industry continues to expand, there are brands expanding products better for the environment. Other companies trick the consumer in thinking a product is great for the environment when in reality, it does a lot of damage.  Doing the research and testing out products costs time and money, but overall will be worth it in the end.