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— Karen  Black —

Sustainable Skincare: How to Protect Your Skin While Being Eco-Conscious

Health

August 12, 2022

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Hi there! Welcome to the  blog, an insight journal about skin, welness and beauty. Stay a while and say hello!

Hi, I'm KAREN

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There’s no doubt that we need to take care of our skin. Not only does it make our skin look healthier, but it can also help us to avoid skin problems in the future.

However, many skincare products on the market today contain harmful chemicals that can damage our skin and even our health. This is why more and more people are turning to sustainable skincare options that are both good for our skin and good for the environment.

In this blog, I’ll share with you some of my favourite sustainable skincare products that are gentle on our skin and help reduce our environmental impact. So, if you’re looking for ways to be more eco-conscious with your skincare routine, read on and learn about some of the best sustainable skincare products!

What is sustainable skincare, and why should you care?

When it comes to eco-friendly skincare, many people think the only way to go is to purchase products specifically marketed as green or sustainable. However, many of the brands we think of as being environmentally friendly have a lot of work regarding sustainability.

Embedding sustainability in our skincare requires more than just purchasing ‘natural skincare.’ it’s about having a closed-loop system to ensure none of the ingredients or packaging ends up in landfills.

Microbeads are solid plastic particles and an environmental problem that endangers both marine life and human health. Even though Australia has made significant progress in recent years in reducing them, are we doing enough?

Our wastewater systems can’t filter out such tiny objects, so microbeads are dispersed into seas, lakes, and rivers. They don’t dissolve or break down, so they stay in these waterways for a long time.

So how do I know if microbeads are in my personal care products?

You can check the packaging for common microbead ingredients such as:

​​Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Nylon (PA)

Polypropylene (PP)

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)

Or contact the manufacturer directly to ask if the product contains any microbeads. Cosmetic manufacturers must list their products’ ingredients. However, if the product is registered with the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods as a therapeutic good, manufacturers only need to list the active substances and their proportions, as well as any potential allergens or components that could affect certain individuals. In this case, you may contact the manufacturer directly to find out whether there are any microplastics in the product. If you are interested in microbeads, go to www.choice.com.au. Also, search Beat the Microbead. It is a collaborative campaign supported by more than 90 NGOs from 38 countries. Their website has an extensive product database containing microplastics in many countries, including Australia.

Of course, sustainability is more than phasing out microplastics. A product must also have low carbon and water footprints and be cruelty-free.

We need to do our part to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans. But, we also need to be mindful of other ingredients and skincare products and their impact on the environment, and the whole product lifecycle, from sourcing to packaging to disposal.

Tips for reducing waste when using skincare products


Look for reef-safe sunscreens. Reef-safe sunscreens don’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are harmful to coral reefs. These chemicals can cause bleaching and deformities in corals and are toxic to other marine life.

Choose minimal and environmentally friendly packaging. Many skincare products come in single-use packaging, which creates a lot of waste. Look for products that come in minimal, recyclable, or compostable packaging.

Avoid products with microbeads. As I mentioned before, microbeads are tiny plastic particles that end up in our waterways and cause harm to marine life. Many personal care products, such as exfoliators and toothpaste, contain microbeads.

Toothbrushes. The average person uses about 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime. And most of them end up in landfills, where they take centuries to decompose. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush, which is biodegradable and compostable. Bamboo is also a sustainable material that doesn’t require chemicals or pesticides to grow.

Wipes! Facial and Baby wipes are convenient, but they’re not eco-friendly. Most of them don’t break down easily and often contain plastic. They are usually made of a cotton-like fabric woven together with plastic resins such as polyester or polypropylene. Makeup wipes can contain high levels of alcohol and harmful chemicals, which can cause dryness and irritation and disrupt the PH balance of your skin.

There are many sustainable and eco-friendly skincare products on the market. And more and more companies are becoming better at sustainable packaging and formulations. The following are some of my favourite eco-friendly skincare brands that I use in the clinic:

Dermaviduals Skincare

My sunshine Sunscreen

Qi Beauty

Rahua Haircare

Jane Iredale

Do your research and read labels to find out what’s in a product and what it’s made of. Check if a company is cruelty-free. Many skincare products are tested on animals, so look for cruelty-free labels. Finally, remember that sustainable living is a journey, not a destination. We can all do our part to reduce our environmental impact and make more sustainable choices. With a little research and making small changes, we can all help reduce our environmental impact.

Karen xx

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