5 Tips to Make Eco-Conscious Skincare
If you’re looking to live a more planet friendly lifestyle, then making your own skincare is a great place to start. Since nature inspired my journey into crafting my own skincare, I want to make sure that my hobby isn’t harming the ecosystems that allow the beautiful botanicals that I use to flourish. Here are five ways that I’m making my skincare as eco-conscious as possible:
1. Choosing ingredients from close to home
The other day, as I was making my way through my skincare routine, I began to consider how many kilometers my favourite tinted moisturizer had to travel before finding its way to my beauty counter. The brand would have had to transport the ingredients (from various continents) to the manufacturer, have the product sent to a warehouse or retailer and then ship it to me.
It really adds up and I probably missed a few steps. Here are a few ways that I’m sourcing ingredients close to home:
Growing my own herbs and flowers to use in my formulations.
Connecting with local farmers to source seasonal ingredients.
Sourcing from local suppliers that carry Canadian ingredients.
Adopting this philosophy as a formulator means you'll know exactly where your ingredients come from and it also weaves a compelling story into your products.
2. Using glass, paperboard and metal over plastics
Choosing eco-friendly packaging is the action that comes up the most when I researched sustainable skincare. Knowing that only 9% of all plastic ever produced have been recycled worldwide, I feel it's worth spending more on biodegradable, recycled or recyclable materials. Not only are these options better for the environment, they're also better for your health because plastics can seep into your products. It’s mind boggling to me that it’s still so hard to find natural skincare products that aren’t packaged in plastic.
3. Researching the impacts of my ingredients
One of my favourite aspects of formulating is researching the amazing beneficial properties of each ingredient. I also look into how the ingredients are being harvested. I’m often surprised to see that some of the most common skincare ingredients aren’t being sustainably harvested. Here are a couple of things I look into:
Does this ingredient grow in abundance and how long does it take to grow? Some ingredients are in high-demand and are being harvested at a much faster rate than they grow. This has led to popular ingredients, like rosewood, being added to endangered species lists.
Are the ecosystems that depend on this ingredient greatly impacted? Some ingredients may grow in abundance, but they’re being grown at the expense of important ecosystems. For example, biodiverse forests are being replaced with palm crops at a large-scale. This deforestation is negatively impacting the survival of many species that are already endangered.
4. Hand blending in small batches
Mass produced cosmetics require a whole lot of energy to make. The great thing about making your own skincare is that you have control over the manufacturing process and you can take steps to be low or even zero waste. Here are a few ways that I'm reducing waste:
I blend my formulations by hand rather than using mixers and blenders. I find blending ingredients by hand very therapeutic, so it’s a win-win.
If I’m using a water bath to heat or cool ingredients, I later use that water for my house plants.
I make personal sized batches to prevent waste and only make extra if I’m gifting to friends and family. Making small batches is best when it comes to natural skincare due to its limited shelf-life.
5. Taking part in the conversation
Some natural skincare brands donate a small percentage of their sales to a environmental not-for-profit or charity. This is a great way of bringing awareness to environmental issues. However, you don’t have to run a business to have an impact. It’s often the organic conversations that result in positive change. For example, you can use your social media channels and content platform to take part in conversations around eco-conscious practices in the beauty industry. Much like I’m doing here!
What would you add to this list? Can you think of anything else I should consider?