As beauty enthusiasts continue to champion the ‘clean beauty’ movement, transform your skincare routine with sustainable products and practices. From organic compositions to conscious consumerism, here’s your manual to joining the revolution
Clean up your act
Now more than ever, we need to make a sustained effort towards investing in goods that are not just beneficial for our skin, but favourable for the planet too. Beauty’s clean-up act is about adopting a more sustainable approach to one’s skincare routine. Shivani Prabhakar, Head – Marketing and Product Innovation, SoulTree, emphasises, “More and more consumers are seeking brands that do not harm animals during the manufacturing or testing processes. Switching to cruelty-free products will not only help protect animals, but will also protect one’s body as these products are formulated with safer ingredients and do not contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrance and carcinogens.” Wondering how to make a healthy switch? “Scan the list of ingredients mentioned on the packaging. It is equally imperative to boycott products that use non-recyclable and non-reusable packaging and animal-based and -tested products,” answers Bhaskara Seth, Co-founder, Neemli Naturals.
Rites of package
A substantial chunk of landfill comprises plastic waste from the personal care industry, which is why consumers are calling for sustainable packaging. “A sustainable approach considers the entire supply chain and focuses on waste reduction by using materials that are recyclable and non-hazardous. Not adopting this approach will lead to further depletion of the planet’s resources and escalate the problem of waste generation,” feels Prabhakar.
The mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle is one way to address this issue. Shankar Prasad, Founder, Plum and Phy, explains, “As brands, we have to reduce the amount of packaging we use i.e., avoid the outer carton if not required, opt for a thinner sheet of cardboard where it’s unavoidable, and substitute plastic with glass or aluminium wherever possible. For this to work, consumers must stop discarding things into the trash can and see if they can be reused or recycled.”
But that is not the whole picture! Ritika Jayaswal, Founder, Nourish Mantra, points, “We all know that glass packaging is better for the environment than plastic, but not many of us understand that glass packaging is also more expensive. Even the transportation of products in glass packaging is costlier. For brands to be sustainable with these additional costs, consumers must be willing to pay more for conscious packaging.”
No harm done
So, how can a buyer determine whether a product is cruelty free or not? “Before buying a product, one should research the brand. Inspect the product for a cruelty-free logo or PETA certification and check the ingredients listed on the label,” explains Abhishek Bhattacharya, Country Director, KIKO Milano India.
There is a growing base of consumers who want to minimise their carbon footprint. “This awareness has led to a more discerning approach towards purchases. They realise that natural products work from the inside out and don’t rely on quick-fix solutions. Free of toxins and
made with organic ingredients, these products are not only healthier for us, but also the environment,” feels Prabhakar.
That said, don’t just fall for anything that says ‘natural’. “What’s important is to make sure that the product comes with a complete ingredient list, that the brand has a history of taking product safety seriously and is willing to engage in conversations around ingredients and their safety. Avoid parabens and phthalates in formulations. Do bear in mind that allergies and reactions can occur even with natural ingredients; so, pick products according to one’s skin type, and always do a patch test,” suggests Prasad.
When switching to organic beauty, prioritise the following:
· Naturally derived ingredients
· Certified organic ingredients
· Ingredients sourced from sustainable or renewable plant-based origins, which do not negatively impact the ecosystem
· Cruelty-free and vegan formulas
—Inputs by Amanda Le Roux, Vice President, AVEDA
The second half of the 20th century saw consumption rise on the basis of new discoveries, and their widespread dissemination through mass media, which led to mass consumerism. “Today’s marketing is all about conversations and consumer-engagement, powered by digital media. For brands to find a place in consumers’ lives and for consumers to spend their money on brands, there’s got to be a meeting of the minds, in addition to more tangible aspects like product features and never-before offers,” feels Prasad. Reducing one’s carbon footprint and being mindful about oneself, the environment and the planet has never seen so much advocacy before. “People are now starting to realise that they should curate fewer and better things rather than stocking up on poor quality commodities that barely last a few uses,” concludes Jayaswal.
Photo Credits: iStock