Sustainable Beauty Brands

Following on from my BYBI post, we’ve established that sustainability is more than just having recyclable packaging. This week on my Instagram we’ve had sustainability week, where I shared eco-friendly brands in my collection. Of course there are far more brands than just what is in my collection, so here are some of beauty’s sustainable brands and some that have made a good start but have room for improvement.

BYBI Beauty

You’ve read my article about BYBI, you know they’re fab. If you missed it (you can find it here), they focus on responsible sourcing, clean manufacturing and packaging in recyclable materials. They definitely do more than most brands and have a very strong focus on sustainability (they even do monthly summits on the topic called Susty Summits and have their own in-house sustainability manager!). For Black Friday, or should I say Green Friday, BYBI are offering discounts on a variety of their products, but for every bundle bought, they will be planting 10 trees.

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Sjรถ Skin

If you haven’t heard of Sjรถ Skin, they’re a small Swedish brand that focus on honey based products. Each product is made with less than 6 ingredients and their honey is sourced from a local farm in Sweden where the bees pollinate wild flowers in the forest.. Their products are handmade in small batches, which makes the manufacturing portion of their supply chain super eco-friendly. Their packaging is largely glass (with a very small amount of plastic – dropper squeezer, lid)

REN

REN sustainably sources their ingredients (though there’s no extra info than that…) and makes sure that their packaging is eco-friendly. Their bottles are made from ocean plastic, while their tubes are made from post-consumer recycled plastic that is made to be recycled over and over again. They also work with organisations that clean up plastic from beaches, waterways and oceans. On top of this, REN have pledged to be zero waste by 2021, so all their packaging will be recyclable, recycled and reusable.

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Herbivore

All of Herbivore’s products are apparently handmade using sustainably sourced ingredients (though not much more info is given about this). All of their jars and bottles are made of glass. They are always looking at their supply chain to decrease their carbon footprint. Their team vets ingredient suppliers to ensure that they are all ethically sourced and sustainably harvested. The majority of their ingredients are sourced within the US, meaning their carbon footprint would be lower the closer to home they can source the ingredients.

Youth To The People

YTTP have glass packaging on all their bottles and jars and focus on creating clean formulas. They use a lot of natural, superfood ingredients but also make sure to comply with the EU’s list of banned ingredients in cosmetics, despite being a US based company. The FDA has only banned 11 ingredients, compared to the 1,300+ in the EU. They also work with a number of non-profits and activists to build a more just world and to save the planet!

Tata Harper

Tata Harper are famous for growing all of their ingredients on their special farm in Vermont and making and packaging their products in glass bottles and jars. When they do use tubes, the plastic resin is made from corn, rather than from petroleum, which is a renewable source. On the cardboard boxes, there is a label from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative that confirms that the material comes from a responsible source instead of unethical sources (e.g. illegal logging processes). By manufacturing all their products in house and by hand, they are able to have greater control over the sustainability surrounding the process. It is probable that they use much less energy and water by hand making the products and are able to have much more control over their energy sources (aka ensuring it’s renewable).

Paula’s Choice

Paula’s Choice actively seek to source their ingredients in a sustainable way wherever possible. Palm oil, which is often sourced in ways that harm the rainforest and it’s animals, are instead sourced from a Malaysian company certified for sustainable production. While they use plastic packaging, all parts including the caps are suitable for recycling. No additional, unnecessary plastic packaging is used – products are not wrapped in an additional plastic wrap and PC prints all their info directly onto the bottle.

WOWYOU Beauty

WowYou’s packaging is all recyclable and they also have a refill program. On top of this, their HQ usesย only energy from renewable sources and offset their carbon emissions by planting trees. This *Green* Friday, the brand will plant a tree for every ยฃ5 spent to further offset emissions and help to restore habitats. Theyโ€™re supporting the Eden Reforestation Project who work with locals in Madagascar to reforest areas that were destroyed, impacting the ability to farm the land and displacing native species.

The Body Shop

This has to be one of the original pioneering beauty brands when it comes to sustainability. They ensure that all their sourcing has no negative social or environmental impacts and launched โ€˜community tradeโ€™ all the way back in 1987 to ensure fair trading with suppliers. They were the pioneers for fair trade within beauty and currently have 31 community trade suppliers in 23 countries. They have empowered these communities, particularly women, and helped them achieve an independent income as well as building schools and enabling access to safe drinking water. They do still use plastic, but they believe that it used responsibly then it can be sustainable. They work with a community trade project in India to source recycled plastic – helping to tackle the plastic problem while also working with plastic pickers who have access to all the amazing benefits I mentioned above. Working with a Plastics for Change and local NGOs allows their waste pickers to receive a stable income, better working conditions and more opportunities.

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Lush

This one should come as no surprise to anyone. Lush use as little packaging as possible where possible and nearly half their products can be taken home without any packaging. Where packaging is unavoidable, they try to use recycled materials. Around 90% of their packaging can be recycled currently and they’re working on that last 10%. Sustainable sourcing is also high on their list – they do not use palm oilย at all in favour of more eco-friendly oils. Their website hints that they only collaborate with suppliers that respect the environment, animals and people living there. When it comes to manufacturing, they’re aiming to reduce energy and water consumption and specifically do not purchase energy from fracking companies. Lush accepts that sustainability is something that can always be improved on and in turn they want to use their buying power to drive change. I find it really interesting that it’s the most eco-friendly brands that make reference to the fact they aren’t perfect but are always trying their best, when other brands are trying much less and don’t talk about it.

Beauty Pie

They are always working to make their packaging as eco-conscious as possible. They use plant-based inks (Earthinksยฎ) which are one of the most eco-friendly inks on the planet. They also use recyclable and recycled board in all their cartons. It’s a good start but it would be great to know a little more about their sourcing and manufacturing. As Beauty Pie tend to work directly with labs in various different countries, it would be really interesting to know how much they know or can influence sustainable policy when it comes to manufacturing. Because they do work with these international labs, there will be a fair amount of carbon emissions involved in shipping to the UK and US, so it would be great to know a bit more about what they’re doing to combat this.

Good Molecules

Beautylish’s offering in the realm of affordable skincare is a line of a largely single ingredient products. All their bottled products come in glass packaging which are obviously much easier to recycle than plastic. They are starting to have a greater focus on their sourcing. The affordable skincare from Beautylish recently launched their Rosehip oil which was sustainably grown and hand-picked from the Patagonian Austral of Chile. By working directly with the growers, the brand can ensure that all parties are treated fairly and with respect, while also eliminating any markup from middlemen.

How to tell if a brand is sustainable

As consumers, we’re really reliant on brands sharing their sustainable policies. If they don’t share it, we can’t assume they’re doing it. Some companies share much more than others (BYBI, Body Shop) so we have a lot more insight into the brand and their practices. Personally I think brands should share what they’re doing and should want too as well! If brands have a particular focus on the environment, there is often a dedicated page for it on their site. If you Google the brand followed by sustainability, you might find the info you’re looking for. There might be info about it in their ethos, mission or on their about us page. To find out about ingredient sourcing, you can try each individual product page. If this information is missing completely… well you can guess what that means. Now that you’ve read all about brands that are doing the most, it will become very clear when you see brands doing the very least.

This list is by no means definitive. I’m sure there are many more brands that have sustainable sourcing practices, but they may not be as well known or well publicised.

In the coming years, I think sustainable sourcing, manufacturing and packaging will become a staple for all new brands coming to the market, but it will take quite a long time for the bigger brands to make this change. In my mind, this is fairly comparable to cruelty free products – every new brand that emerges now is cruelty free but the conglomerates are much slower to react. Just because a brand has recyclable packaging doesn’t make them eco-friendly. As the founders of BYBI said, it is the very least that any brand should be doing. People are starting to question eco-policies deeper and it’s only through this questioning that things will really change.

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Christmas gift guides – the skincare fanatic

Following on from my previous gift guide post, this one is for the skincare fanatic. I’ve created this one so that there are options for all budgets because hyped up skincare can often fall in the premium budget category, and frankly that isn’t accessible to everyone. So here’s a mix of my high and low skincare suggestions suitable for a mixture of skin types!

REN – Stop Being So Sensitive kit – ยฃ22 (Cult Beauty, Fabled, Selfridges, Naturisimo)

I’ve tried a few things from the REN EverCalm range now, and it’s all amazing. It’s so nourishing for the skin and is amazing quality. In the UK, REN is not an overly expensive brand, and this little kit gives you a great introduction to the brand. The EverCalm range is their line that targets sensitive skin, but anyone with normal-dry skin can also use it and love it. The day cream will become your new favourite, and their cleansers look absolutely beautiful. I’m pretty convinced that after trying something from this line, you will repurchase the full size.

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Emma Hardie Skin Cleansing Kit – ยฃ30 (Cult Beauty, ASOS, Marks & Spencer)

If you have never tried the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and have always wanted to, this is a great way to test the product out without shelling out for the ยฃ50 full size. Not only do you get the cleansing balm and a super soft cloth (which will change your life), but you also get the Rosehip exfoliating seeds that even out texture and tone the skin.

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Fresh Beauty – Masks for Miles – ยฃ69 (fresh.com/UK)

If you are a mask obsessive, you will love this gift set by Fresh. This set includes the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, the Lotus Rescue Mask, the Rose Face Mask and the Sugar Face Polish. These are the mini size products that are 30ml each, and if you were to purchase these individually, it would come to ยฃ92 (ยฃ21 each for Lotus, Rose and Sugar Polish, ยฃ29 for Black Tea). So you get a massive saving of ยฃ23! You basically get a mask for free which is fab!

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Yu Ling – Jade Facial Rollers – ยฃ12 (Cult Beauty)

I have been wanting one of these for ages! Rollers have loads of uses, from helping to boost circulation and de-puff the eye areas to eliminating toxins and relieving stubborn headaches. I’ve seen a lot of people use these rollers over sheet masks to work the essence a little deeper into the skin and to add to the self care element and give yourself a little massage – joining skincare and self-care!Yu Ling Rollers Jade Facial Roller (Small)OMOROVICZA – Christmas Intro Set – ยฃ65 (Cult Beauty, Space NK, Lookfantastic)

Omorovicza is a super high end Hungarian skincare brand that looks absolutely beautiful, but lets face it, is not accessible to everyone. BUT, this minis set lets you try out a lot of their products and get a good feel for the brand without going bankrupt! In this set, you get the Thermal Cleansing Balm, Deep Cleansing Mask, Cleansing Foam, Elemental Emulsion and the famous Queen of Hungary Mist. The set is valued at ยฃ112, so it’s pretty good value! If you are someone that likes to dabble in high end skincare but have always been priced out, then here is your opportunity to give it a go!

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Sjo Skin – Happy Honey Mask – ยฃ42 (Sjoskin.com)

If you spend any time at all on the gram, you will 100% recognise this mask. Beauty addicts across Instagram and the world swear by this and herald it as the best mask out there. This Swedish brand really encourages love and positivity in the beauty community and is one of the nicest, socially aware brands on Instagram at the moment. This is definitely one on my wish list!natural skincareOskia – Deluxe Travel Collection – ยฃ55 (Spacenk.com)

Oskia is another one of those brands that look gorgeous and are faves for people in the beauty industry… and they have the price tag to match! I love gift sets for trying out more high end brands as it gives you a great chance to try more products for a really good price. I really want to pick this one up for myself! This set contains Nutri-Active Day Cream, Renaissance Cleansing Gel, Micro Exfoliating Balm, Renaissance Mask and Super 16 Pro Collagen Serum, all in travel size and it comes in a really lovely bag.

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Mario Badescu – The Brightening Kit – ยฃ34.50 (Beauty Bay)

Mario Badescu is a really great brand for people with acne prone skin and loved by loads of celebrities. When I had acne, their Glycolic Foaming Cleanser was my go-to product to keep my acne in check and I would always notice it worsen when I didn’t use it. I chose this kit specifically because it had the glycolic cleanser, also because it’s a brand that I had so much faith in when my skin wasn’t at its best. The products in this kit can be used by any skin type, especially the glycolic products and the vitamin C serum.Mario Badescu The Brightening Kit

Kiehls – Holiday Skincare Set – ยฃ47.50 (Kiehls.co.uk, Selfridges, Feelunique)

If you’re a newbie to Kiehls, or are a harcore lover (like me), this is a great gift set for you, your mum, your auntie, your hairdresser, ANYONE. It contains loads of amazing minis to try, including my faaaavourite product ever (Midnight Recovery Oil) which you definitely need in your life. Kiehls’ products are so beautiful and high quality, and if you have never tried them before, they are GREAT with samples if you order from them directly. There are a few other sets on the websites for your body and hands, so pick the one that’s best for you!

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Dr Jart+ – Ceramidin range – ยฃ5.50 – ยฃ35 (Selfridges, ASOS)

If you are a dry skin babe, then Dr Jart’s Ceramidin range is perfect for you. It has been developed for extremely dry skin and whenever you apply anything from them, it feels like your skin is saying ‘aaaaaah’ with a cocktail in a bathrobe. If you are on a bit of a tighter budget, then the Dr Jart Ceramidin face mask is only ยฃ5.50 and will give your skin an instant moisture boost. Alternatively, if you’re after a great, fairly thick moisturiser, then the Ceramidin Cream is your gal.

Beauty Pie (beautypie.com)

I know the idea of a subscription service can leave some people cold, but Beauty Pie is exceptional. If you are a self-proclaimed skincare addict, this is definitely something you want to try out. You can cancel your subscription for free after 3 months and you get access to an amazing range of top quality products. The Japanfusion line is heralded as the best one (which I’ve tried and it is good), but my absolute favourite is the Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm.

BEAUTYPIE_Plantastic_Apricot_Butter_Cleansing_Balm_968500_460_1I hope this guide has been useful for all you skincare fanatics out there! Maybe don’t buy anything until Black Friday now, because I’m sure you can get a better deal then! Let me know which skincare bits and pieces you’ll be picking up this Christmas!

Xo

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