As a society, we have become increasingly concerned with skin care, hair care, and over all wellness. We detox our bodies with hot yoga classes, we enhance our hair with highly sought after hair treatments, and better our skin with softening scrubs. While many of our favorite beauty products have earned a spot in our routine for a reason, they may be harming the planet—and worse, they may be harming us, too. Read on to learn of the dangers associated with the beauty products of today, plus find out how to save your skin while helping the environment.
These little beads, also called microspheres, measure up to less than 5mm round; although they’re tiny, they have a vast impact on the environment. You can find microbeads in everything from face scrubs and toothpaste to sanitizers and craft products, they’re even quite helpful in biomedical research and analysis. Herein lies the problem: these tiny beads are often made of polyethylene, but also of petroleum derived chemicals such as polystyrene and polypropylene. This may not seem like a major deal at first—they’re so small, right?—but they’re a major environmental pollutant, in fact, they’re production is now government regulated. Instead of products with microbeads, soften your skin with all natural, environmently friendly ingredients such as sea salt, granulated sugar, or charcoal.
If you have sensitive skin you may already be familiar with the idea of avoiding synthetic fragrances, as they are often the cause of skin reactions. These fragrances—whether in your beauty products, hygiene products, or even your favorite fragrance mist—are composed of all kinds of chemicals that manufacturing companies aren’t required to disclose. Various tests have found that many ingredients (those which the companies do report) are harmful to wild life. Not to mention, Wastewater Treatment Plants aren’t even able to break down such chemicals, so when they wind up in rivers and oceans they are harmful to marine life. This doesn’t mean you can’t smell good, though! There are several companies that sell natural, environmentally safe fragrances, or you can always gather a few essential oils and create your own.
The average bottle of shaving cream is made up of a slew of petroleum based ingredients (such as propane, butane, and isobutene, just to name a few). These kinds of ingredients have been found to unsettle ecosystems and lessen the availability of non-renewable resources…and we’re rinsing them right down the drain! Not to mention, these ingredients can leave your skin feeling tight, dry, and itchy—yikes! Instead of shaving cream, try using hair conditioner or coconut oil. Not only will these products protect your skin from the razor, but they will leave your skin looking and feeling amazing.
Packaging & Recycling
Virtually all beauty products need to be packaged in something. However, there are many companies that are now using recycled packaging, it’s a good idea to check some of those companies out. In addition, be sure to recycle your packaging whenever you finish the product.