You know how important it is to choose wisely when it comes to the ingredients in your beauty products. From fragrance ingredients and silicones to alcohols and endocrine disruptors and everything in between, it is essential to know what the products you use on your skin and hair contain. When in doubt, check our Hair Crimes List.
But there’s more to quality beauty products than the ingredients. It’s what’s on the outside that counts, too. As in, the packaging and processing practices of a product. If you are wondering how to make your beauty routine more eco friendly, you’re in the right place.
What is Sustainable beauty
What do we mean when we talk about eco friendly beauty products or a sustainable beauty routine? In the simplest terms, it’s all about having the subtlest impact on the planet. Yes, synthetic ingredients aren’t great for your hair and skin, but it doesn’t end there. They rinse down the drain and affect our soil and water, plant and animal life, as well. Business practices that are both wasteful and toxic have a big impact on the environment. And, well, all of that plastic packaging is causing major damage to our world.
Certainly, natural ingredients are a great place to start when considering how to create a beauty routine that is more eco friendly. Even better if the products you purchase contain ingredients that are organic, sustainably processed, and fair trade. Sustainably produced ingredients have a lower environmental impact versus synthetically produced. Better for the earth, oceans, animal and plant life, and humans.
Buying from brands that utilize eco friendly business practices—renewable energy sources, sustainable resources, avoiding excess waste use, etc.—is another step in making an impact on your beauty regimen. Some of the ways beauty companies help the planet is by donating to earth friendly organizations, planting trees, or offsetting their carbon emissions.
Carefully considering what your products are packaged in is also super important in an eco friendly beauty routine. Plastic bottles, excessive and unnecessary packaging, and use of materials that aren’t recycled or recyclable have a detrimental effect on planet earth. According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, 120 billion units of packaging are produced by the personal care and beauty industry annually, and only around 9% of the world’s plastic gets recycled each year.
Another way to work around to all of that plastic usage is to look for alternatives to traditional packaging. Shampoo bars, glass bottles, aluminum tubes, and refillable bottles are all better options than one-use plastic.
Ditching disposable products, like makeup remover wipes and disposable razors, helps to cut down on trash that ends up in the landfill. Use soft cloths to remove your makeup rather than wipes or tissues. Investing in a good quality razor and menstrual cups also adds to a sustainable routine.
A sustainable beauty routine means considering these factors each time you make a beauty purchase. Naturally sourced, sustainable ingredients, sustainable business practices, and eco friendly packaging all make for a healthier routine, for you and the environment.
How To Make Your Beauty Routine More Eco Friendly
Take a second look at the ingredients you use. You are likely already ingredient-conscious when it comes to your beauty products or you wouldn’t be here. But is using natural ingredients enough? Sustainable ingredients are those that do not harm people or the earth both by using them and producing them. Ingredients that are sustainably grown and consciously harvested do the least damage to the earth. And cruelty free ingredients, not just finished products, means they weren’t tested on animals at any point in the production process.
Look behind the brands you buy from. Most often, a brand that makes high quality skin and sustainable hair care products with natural and organic ingredients will also use eco friendly business practices. But not always. It’s best to take a close look at ethical efforts of the brands you plan to purchase from when setting up an eco friendly beauty routine. Go to a brand’s website and view its sustainability page. Here at North Authentic, we have your back with our set criteria for the brands we carry.
Consider the packaging of each item you use. Do you love a certain face cream or hair product, but it comes in a lot of unnecessary packaging? Perhaps a popular hair mask is contained in a tube that can’t be recycled. Or maybe all of that plastic bubble wrap makes you cringe.
Many brands are making strides to choose eco-friendly or sustainable packaging options, such as refillable products and post-consumer recycled materials. If you can, spend your beauty dollars on products made by brands committed to recycling and using recyclable materials you are already limiting your eco-footprint. If there are certain items in your routine you can’t part with, contact the brand and state your concerns. Some brands have plans to revamp their packaging to be more eco friendly coming up in the future.
Easily identify Eco-Friendly Packaging. There are certain types of packaging that are more sustainable than others. If you are not sure how to spot them…here is a cheat sheet on what items are recyclable from home.
- Stainless Steel & Aluminum
- Clear or frosted glass jars and bottles
- Cardboard and paper
- Plastic #1, 2 or 5 - Plastic must be made with one type of plastic (aka mono material) and larger than a yogurt cup in order to be recyclable. That means pumps, lids, and sprayers are not recyclable. It is also important to note that most colored plastics are also not recyclable. The way to easily identify which plastic containers are recyclable is to look on the bottom of the packaging for a number like the image below.
Plastic packaging with numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7 are not recyclable. Those go in your wastebasket.
Recycle the right way. Good news, there are ways to make your recycling efforts even more effective. We include recycling instructions on every product page. And view our Sustainability page for a more in-depth explanation and even more ideas on how to make your beauty routine more sustainable.
Our favorite sustainable hair products
As we said, you are in the right place to shop the best sustainable hair products. Check out our favorite sustainable hair care brands (soon to be yours too!) and the eco conscious practices they implement to support your new eco friendly beauty routine.
- Planted 19,283 trees so far with Trees for the Future to support many ecosystems
- Primarily solar-powered headquarters with eco-friendly LED lighting
- Clean, biodegradable ingredients
- In-store recycling program and use of eco-friendly and biodegradable packaging
- Recyclable/repurposable glass, bamboo, wood, and aluminum packaging
- Minimally packaged refills available
- Streamlined product line
- Clean ingredients
- 1% of sales donated to One Percent for the Planet™
- Recycled plastics and recyclable bio-based plastic made from sugar cane
- Electricity from renewable sources and a commitment to reduce carbon-based emissions
- Natural and biodegradable ingredients
“Naturally Drunk” campaign which informs customers on ways to reduce waste
Equal match of all purchases donated to a sustainable cause
Add-on program promoting multiple uses of aluminum bottles
- Recycled and recyclable carbon-negative packaging
- Partnership with rePurpose Global to fund the recovery and removal of ocean bound plastics
- Offset plastic usage to support ethical wages for marginalized waste workers in Goa, India
- Ink-printed labels and FSC-certified paper to ensure forest sustainability
Other Eco-Friendly Products
It’s easy to up-level to eco friendly hair products for a more sustainable routine with these high-quality, eco conscious brands. Now you’ve learned how to make your beauty routine more eco friendly. A few extra steps, that will soon become second nature, are worth it to support the health of our planet.
All North Authentic products are free of: Sulfates, parabens, EDTA, 1,4 Dioxian, and many more all provided in our Hair Crimes List. While we work with our brands to become even more conscious, we identify additional "Free Of" ingredients on every product page.
Shop "Free Of" ingredient preferences using our Filters. You can also take the North Authentic Hair Quiz to get your personalized hair care prescription of the best products for your hair curl type.