There’s a new benchmark for sustainable beauty. Whether it’s the best natural beauty products or brands that are simply more environmentally friendly, these are the ones that are doing it best.
Who knew saving the planet could look so good?
Who knew that you could create earth-friendly plastic from sugar cane? Aveda did – back in 2002.
Ever since its creation in 1978, Aveda has made its mark as one of the best natural beauty brands out there. It has been mindful of its environmental footprint and today the figures speak for themselves.
85 per cent of its skin and haircare products, such as Aveda’s Thickening Tonic, are housed in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. Other comes in jars made from 100 per cent post consumer recycled materials (think milk bottles).
Throw in the fact that it was the first beauty company to manufacture products with 100% wind power and there’s no question that Aveda is leading the charge when it comes to giving back.
When it comes to the best natural beauty brands, this newcomer has managed to nix every rumour you’ve ever heard about botanical skincare not being as effective as its chemical counterparts. It also keeps its carbon footprint low.
‘Balance Me manufactures all its products in the UK and our warehouse is still in East London. This ensure our carbon footprint is lower than any brand that manufactures abroad and flies or ships in its merchandise,’ says co-founder Rebecca Hopkins.
What’s more Balance Me consciously uses only natural actives. And, for complete transparency, it lists the natural percentage of each product on the front of its packaging.
‘We’ve created luxury formulations at supermarket prices as we believe that ethical beauty should be inclusive. To that end, we source natural botanicals from all over the world. But we’re also lucky that we can sustainably harvest many ingredients such as borage oil, cucumber extract and carrot tissue oil right here in the UK.’
The Organic Pharmacy first launched organic make-up in 2006. Fast forward 12 years and botanical tech has moved on so much that founder Margo Marrone re-formulated her entire colour range.
The Organic Pharmacy Hydrating Foundation, for instance, contains stem cells, hyaluronic acid and vitamins that work with your skin to strengthen it.
What’s more, colour-adapting natural pigments blend perfectly with any skin tone for a fresh-faced glow.
Plant extracts have also come on leaps and bounds. ‘Before, you would put plant colour into a product and it would disappear after a few hours,’ says Marrone. ‘Now we’ve sourced plants with a punchy hue that are stable even in sunlight.’
The tides are – quite literally – changing in the world of skincare packaging. And it’s about time: eight million tonnes of plastic end up in oceans, rivers and on beaches each year.
That’s why, Ren Clean Skincare is one of the first skincare brands to offer products in a 100 per cent recycled bottle containing 20 percent reclaimed ocean plastic.
‘We decided to take any plastic and almost the entire bottle can be recycled a second time,’ explains CEO Arnaud Meysselle.
The first product to be rolled out with this packaging is the heavenly-scented cult Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Wash.
Growing up, who didn’t wear their The Body Shop Born Lippy strawberry lip balm as a badge of honour? It said ‘I’m against animal testing’ and ‘I support fair trade and going greener’.
That commitment to being a force for good hasn’t changed.
The Body Shop was the first to use hemp in beauty products 20 years ago, helping farmers make a living from more diverse crops.
Today, the Hemp Hand Protector is one of the bestselling products. Not surprising when you consider hemp’s highly moisturising properties.
And because it’s a naturally resilient plant, there’s no need for pesticides, which is kinder to the environment.
Win-win. All of which proves it’s worth staying loyal to our first beauty love.
Thankfully, our options for cruelty-free beauty products have grown considerably over the past decade. However, finding products that are also vegan? Now that’s a grey area.
To be clear: it’s illegal to test cosmetics on animals in the UK. But just because a company is cruelty-free doesn’t mean it’s also vegan.
That’s why the Maui Moisture range of shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments, deserves bragging rights.
Since its launch in 2016, Maui Moisture has never tested its products on animals and, better still, it doesn’t use any animal ingredients or by-products.
‘Many hair products contain honey, beeswax and the animal-derived protein keratin,’ explains Jaime Kontz, Associate Director of Research & Development. ‘Our mission was to find effective plant-based ingredients so that we didn’t have to use anything derived from an animal.’
Better still, instead of chemically treated de-ionised water, all of Maui Moisture’s formulas start with two of the best natural beauty heroes: aloe vera juice and coconut water.
Your hair and the planet will thank you.
Seaweed gives kale a run for its money in the nutrient stakes as it’s packed full of magnesium/calcium/copper/iron. It does wonders for the skin, too, by detoxifying, hydrating and locking in nutrients.
That’s why Voya, a natural beauty brand that uses hand-harvested seaweed, is doing its best to protect the algae.
Environmentally, seaweed operations must show that they maintain sustainable wild populations and actively minimise their impact on the surrounding natural environment.
Voya’s seaweed is grown organically and harvested by a specialist local team on the reefs of Ireland’s north-west shoreline.
And to give something back to the oceans Voya also adopts seals. You can’t get any more caring than that!
By now we should all be well- versed in pollution from smog and exhaust fumes. But household pollution? Not so much.
And yet the combined effects of outdoor and indoor toxins cause more than 550,000 premature deaths every year in Europe, according to the World Heath Organisation.
‘Simply closing our front doors to a busy road doesn’t prevent ultra-fine and potentially harmful particles getting trapped inside our homes,’ says Paul Dawson, Vice President of health and beauty at Dyson. ‘There are also fumes released from new furniture, cleaning solvents and gasses from cooking.’
To offset the damage, Dyson has created a filter system to remove 99.95 per cent of indoor pollution particles and allergens as small as o.1 microns from the air, as well as feeding real-time air quality back to you.
All of which gives the environment a shinier future, too.