Beauty products may look pretty sitting on your vanity shelves, but they don't look so nice when they're taking up space in landfills.
Though we're eager to learn all about the latest and greatest serums and night creams we want to add to our collections, it's time that we look just as in-depth into the environmental impacts of our favorite beauty products. Luckily, more and more consumers and cosmetics and skincare lines alike are examining how sustainable its formulas and packagings are.
Are you taking a "clean beauty" approach to your makeup and skincare products? Read on to learn more about personal care items' impact on the environment.
Harming the environment
When it comes to clean beauty, there are two main components to consider: the product itself and the product packaging.
As for the formula, you want to look for products that do not contain harmful chemicals and other artificial ingredients, and instead go for items made from gentler ingredients. Look for product labels that list safe botanical extracts and naturally derived oils. Harsh chemicals and synthetic compounds can wreak havoc on the environment.
For example, the microbeads that used to be commonly found in face washes and other skincare products to boost exfoliation were found to be environmental aggressors, polluting lakes and the ocean and potentially harming wildlife.
Said one researcher, who found thousands of microbeads in Lake Michigan, according to NPR: "They are about the same size as fish eggs, which means that, essentially, they look like food. To any organism that lives in the water, they are food. So our concern is that, essentially, they are making their way into the food web."
This and other damaging effects led to former President Barack Obama to sign a bill banning microbeads from rinse-off cosmetics last December, the Huffington Post reported.
Product packaging is also responsible for significant, negative environmental effects, as it is commonly made from plastic. For example, the Huffington Post relayed that nearly 45 percent of all trash found in landfills is product packaging.
Making smarter choices
A clean beauty approach is one that involves seeking out recyclable and sustainable products and manufacturers that value minimizing their environmental impact, whether through using biodegradable materials that promote healthy soil or incorporating food waste into product formulas.
By taking a more conscious approach to the environmental impacts of your beauty products, you can look good while doing good for the Earth.