Code Red: How To Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable

Code Red: How To Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable

The planet is in the last chance saloon when it comes to climate change. According to academics, some of the damage already inflicted by humans is irreversible.

In order to avert increasing and major natural disasters, everyone has to act NOW.

That is the stark message delivered to the world this week in a new scientific report, Code Red For Humanity, published by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Time has almost run out.

Climate breakdown and even mass extinction are phrases being banded about to highlight the fact that this is a real emergency.

Greta Thunberg has been right all along.

Eyes are now firmly focused on world leaders. They are expected to outline what they plan to do to stop global warming. But, of course, climate change is a challenge for all of us.

If we do nothing, the temperature and sea levels will keep on rising – and extreme weather events will become even more commonplace and ever-more dangerous to humanity.

Individually, we can each make a difference – from turning down the central heating a notch or two to reducing the amount of unsustainable products we buy. The fashion industry is cited as being the second most polluting in the world, and beauty products should not be overlooked. Ingredients and packaging are set to come under intense scrutiny.

climate change


Sea Change From Industry Innovators

While more and more manufacturers are replacing unsustainable components such as palm oil with ‘clean’ alternatives, the sector still has a long way to go. The amount of plastic used in the cosmetics industry is huge – an eye-watering 76.8 billion units in 2017. And, for consumers, there is currently very limited choice when it comes to greener products on the high street. Yes, great strides have been made when it comes to cruelty-free and vegan, but the greatest challenges lay ahead.

To make a real impact, change will be needed throughout the supply chain, as well as in manufacturing processes and, of course, in packaging. Don’t expect banana powder to be routinely sold in paper bags any time soon. 

While some experts urge consumers to be more savvy about ingredients in the products they buy, others point to less taxing ways to make a difference. Writer Zoe Dubs penned a groundbreaking article about ‘Eco fashion for your face‘ for Elle magazine in 2018. Since then, a lot more natural cosmetics have been sold in cardboard packaging, but the vast majority of makeup is not completely natural and is still sold in plastic.

The good thing is, you don’t have to be an expert to play your part in bringing the world back from the brink. Being responsible doesn’t mean you also have to be an authority on complex ingredient lists.

sustainable beauty


Simple Ways To Beat Climate Change With Beauty

Here are just a few really easy things we can all do to start making a difference right now…

  • Stop buying facial cleansing wipes and cotton wool pads. Invest in long-lasting and sustainable alternatives made from fabrics or bamboo.
  • Choose an eyeshadow palette that includes pigments you can use as a blusher, highlighter and contour.
  • Improve hygiene to ensure powdered products are used until they are finished. Wash or sanitise hands before touching makeup and keep brushes and sponges scrupulously clean. Ensure items are stored out of direct sunlight and where they won’t gather dust.
  • Don’t replace fixing sprays. You can wash out the bottle and fill it with plain water. A few spritz will set your look just fine.
  • Consider making your own beauty products. Here are a few ideas. Some suggest mixing existing products to make something new and others use every-day ingredients like Vaseline. 
  • Swap a primer for an ice cube or any moisturising cream you may have.
  • Promise yourself you will never buy a product from an online retailer that can’t guarantee sustainable packaging will be used.
  • Recycle all packaging.

Boris Johnson, the current UK Prime Minister, has called the UN’s report ‘a wake up call’. But this is a dire emergency and it is going to take a lot more than words to stop the world from burning.

That is why the planet cannot afford to wait for politicians to act. It’s down to all of us. 

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