Sustainable skincare: How to save your skin and the planet

Pic: Getty Images

Sustainable skincare brands have grown in popularity over the past few years, yet many brands falsely advertise about their contribution to the planet and pack their skincare products with skin irritants such as essential oils and fragrances.

False advertising and greenwashing of products (providing misleading impressions about a brand’s contribution to the planet) has become so commonplace, it leaves many of us wondering if they are even making a positive impact on the planet, or their skin at all. 

So what should sustainable skincare look like?

Hyram, a skincare specialist, who facilitates skin consultations runs a popular Youtube channel detailing the do’s and dont’s in the skincare world. He states that there are three concepts that make a skincare brand sustainable: they are cruelty-free, their packaging is recyclable, and the brand ingredients are vegan. Yet, this oftentimes is not enough; as many of these environmentally friendly skincare products still contain fragrances that are unhealthy for the skin.

It’s necessary to not only check the brand for the three-fold sustainability concepts but to also read labels to ensure that the ingredients listed are not going to harm your skin. A tip for identifying red flags in skincare products is to check ingredients for essential oils and extremely long labels with types of ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Yet, this is still not always as easy as it sounds. Below is a list of sustainable skincare products that will benefit your skin, and the planet! 

Two of the best sustainable skincare brands –

Youth To The People

Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream. Pic: Leah Perez

Youth To The People is a skincare brand that was created with women’s skincare in mind. With mentors specialising in professional-grade skincare, Youth To The People creates products that centre around nutrient dense and consciously sourced ingredients. 

Youth To The People has also created three non-profits to combat social justice. The first being To The People Fund, which helps BIPOC communities who are faced with disproportionate hardships. The second is To The Future which helps girls, BIPOC, and LGBTQA+ youth to shape their futures. The last non-profit is To The Planet Fund, which makes girls, women, and BIPOC communities central to the climate solution. 

Youth To The People has three components that make their skincare products sustainable. First, they formulate their products in California where they use local suppliers. Their ingredients are vegan, cruelty free, and biodegradable (so the ingredients won’t cause harm to the ocean when rinsed off your face!). Second, all bottles are glass – which means they are reusable! Some ideas to reuse these bottles are to plant flowers or make candles! Lastly, all packaging is recyclable reducing landfill dependency and deforestation. 

Product Recommendations:  

  • Superfood Cleanser
  • Super Berry Hydrate & Glow Dream Mask
  • Superfood Air Whip Moisture Cream

Krave Beauty 

Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser. Pic: Lisette Soriano

Krave Beauty was built on the idea that there were issues with the skincare industry that needed to be addressed. The main issue Krave beauty seeks to resolve through their products is that many skincare products are created to sell rather than with our skin’s health in mind. Liah, the founder of Krave Beauty believes in simplicity for skincare. This means ingredients that are limited, respect the skin, and restore the health of skin.

Product Recommendations: 

  • Great Barrier Relief
  • Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser
  • Oat So Simple Water Cream

Skincare in a time where products are being jam-packed with ingredients, advertised all over social media as sustainable, and have allergens that are detrimental to your skin’s health makes it difficult to find and choose brands that will benefit your skin and will also reduce your carbon footprint. Remember to support brands that are striving to make a difference. Do research on your skincare products before making a purchase to ensure that the brand embodies ethical standards, and has the ingredients needed to protect your skin! 

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