Our shopping habits are changing. Gone are the days when we would pick up the first lipstick off the shelf. Now, we’re focused on reading the ingredients in products and asking about their environmental impact. ‘Green Beauty’ is products that focus on natural and organic ingredients. These brands are quickly dominating the beauty industry. In 2019, the UK saw a 23% increase in sales of organic and natural beauty products. Their popularity shows no sign of slowing down on either side of the pond, with demand growing for natural beauty products.
We’re all aware of our carbon footprint and the impact that consumer behaviour has on the world around us. We’re also more aware of the ingredients in our products. Thanks to YouTube, it’s never been easier to know which skin irritants to avoid and what green beauty products are worth your hard-earned money. Green beauty is products that are kind to your skin and the world around us.
Wait, isn’t ‘green beauty’ the same as ‘clean beauty’?
Green beauty is a term used for products which only use natural or naturally derived ingredients. It’s generally seen as the most environmentally friendly type of beauty products, as it cuts out artificial ingredients and chemical add-ins. You’ll often find green beauty products labelled as ‘vegan’.
Clean beauty is different from green beauty as it focuses on avoiding irritating or harmful ingredients. You will still find synthetic ingredients in your ‘clean beauty’ products, along with a mixture of natural ingredients. Your clean beauty products will not focus on naturally derived ingredients, but on how ingredients react on the skin.
The green beauty revolution has come around due to consumer demand for more natural ingredients. In the early to mid-2000s, it wasn’t unusual for most mainstream beauty products to have chemical ingredients in them. The change happened in 2013 after the FDA revealed that over 400 types of lipsticks contained small amounts of lead. Since then, we’ve become more aware of the ingredients we’re putting on our skin. Green beauty has evolved out of the demand for natural products.
The reality is that we often have no idea what we’re putting on our skin or in our hair. Unless you’re a chemist, the ingredients list of a product will read like a foreign language. There are still chemicals that are popular in beauty products that hadn't enough research carried out on them. Not only are certain chemicals harmful for us, but they can also damage the environment. At the start of 2021, Hawaii’s ban on chemical sunscreens came into effect to protect coral reef life. In the coming years, we can expect to see more states take action against harmful products.
Along with focusing on natural ingredients, green beauty brands have sustainability at their heart. Whether it’s using recycled packaging or working towards a net-zero carbon footprint, these brands are committed to embodying the ‘green’ name.
Traditional brands are also working to embrace the idea of ‘green beauty’. Garnier is committing to a green beauty message with a five-step sustainability programme which involves ethical sourcing programmes and creating new ‘green’ formulas for their shampoos and hair care products.
It’s time to detoxify your beauty routine. Go through your makeup bag and have a close look at the ingredients in the products you use every day. Make a conscious effort to look for green beauty alternatives. Shopping for more natural products doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the latest beauty trends. The green beauty industry is growing every day, giving you thousands of more sustainable and natural alternatives to your harmful makeup products.