In years gone by, those of us who grew our own organic vegetables, or recycled our plastic bottles, were considered “bohemian” or “granola-crunchers”, but today’s world is a bit different. Even in the skincare industry, the niche market of “green” or “clean” skincare is over. Almost every beauty brand has discovered that if you don’t talk natural and organic, or at least nod your head towards sustainability, then you aren’t honoring consumer demand.
We live in a world where natural beauty is a hot topic. Green beauty is more popular than ever, and especially younger consumers, flock to brands that can show how they are showing respect for the environment by their choices in ingredients, containers, and packaging.
Let’s take a look at why Earth Day is a reason to celebrate, and how brands are developing (or not developing) more conscious ways of sourcing, formulating and selling eco-conscious skin care products.
What is Green Beauty?
Just to clarify, “green beauty” and “clean beauty” are terms in the industry that distinguish a brand from its less natural counterparts. The definition can vary, but typically speaking “green” beauty brands are focused on trying to do their part to have less of an impact on the earth. For example, a company may choose to use recyclable glass containers instead of those plastic tubes that sometimes cannot even be recycled.
Green skincare companies in particular try to focus on more natural ingredients and ingredients that will not cause problems with marine life. A good example of this is the green stand on not using microbeads. In the past, many companies used these as exfoliators until it was discovered that fish were consuming these micro-pieces of plastic.
What is Clean Beauty?
Clean brands are those that focus on the actual ingredients used in skin and other wellness products. Clean brands may choose to eliminate long lists of ingredients, such as polysorbates (like polysorbate-20 or -60) because the formulation of these ingredients involves chemicals that have been shown to be related to cancer. Research continues, but many brands, including Ayr Skin Care, have these ingredients on their “do not use” lists, along with parabens, SLS, petrochemicals and mineral oils, and formaldehyde.
What is greenwashing?
We’ve covered greenwashing before, but let’s summarize again here: greenwashing relates to brands that are not green or clean that try to appear that way to the consumer. For example, your laundry detergent that you have used for 10 years, and is definitely not a natural ingredient, may repackage their brand in greens and yellows, with photos of flowers or herbs on the label, to attempt to fit into the more natural marketplace. They may even say “now with chamomile” or something like that. The result? A product that looks, smells and performs exactly the same, but now has just 0.2% chamomile in it, and a green leaf on the label. Many people do not read ingredients, and the brand counts the power of marketing and symbols to trick consumers into thinking the product is something more than it is.
Greenwashing, I must admit, is the bain of our existence as manufacturers of natural and organic skincare products. Larger labels do this practice to gain a place in the market that smaller indie brands spend a lot of money, time, and research on being part of. Using more organic and natural ingredients costs smaller businesses more money, and then as it often happens, the smaller brands are shoved aside by the larger brands who use cheaper ingredients and market them as the same higher-quality indie counterparts.
How eco-friendly brands have changed the way we purchase
It is difficult nowadays to look in anyone’s skincare and personal items, and not find a product in there that is more in line with eco-friendly practices. A good example of this is where brands have changed out their preservatives to reflect the demand for more natural ingredients, or removing aluminum from deodorants. Green and clean have become mainstream, which is better for everyone.
Earth Day is a great time to take stock of your own favorite brands in all your household goods. Take a look at what you have in your drawer and bathroom cabinet, and see if there are still some brands that need replacing.
You may be surprised to see that you have already made some changes, but you may also find something that has been “greenwashed”. It may be a time to read your labels.
Doing our part for the environment
Ayr Skin Care was founded on green, clean, and animal-friendly practices. One of the main reasons our company was started was because we were having difficulty finding the products that we wanted in order to have healthy, happy skin. Our promise is that we never include certain ingredients we know to be harmful to the planet and for our skin, but it goes far beyond simple eliminations of dirty ingredients.
Our entire ethos is to do no harm: to animals, to people, to the environment. We purposefully curate our gentle product ingredients from the ground up, buying Fair Trade and organic whenever possible, and making sure that every vendor that we use is certified cruelty-free, with no animal testing or harming in the name of beauty. We are also vegan because we believe that animals do not need to be killed or their habitats harmed in the name of our skin.
We are committed to using recycled packaging, filler for mailing, paper and refuse to use silicones or plastics that will end up in the oceans.
What you can do this Earth Day
This earth day you can take a look at your own habits, what you purchase and why. You can celebrate the changes
you have already made to protect our environment, and commit to doing even better in the coming year.
Remember what the real key reasons are for making ethical changes. Not only are we helping to protect people and animals and the environment with simple knowledge and our buying power as consumers, but we are also helping our skin.
Skin care products made with heavy plastics, silicones, petrochemicals, and chemical processes can wreak havoc on your skin over time. Keeping your skincare routine as simple as possible, and buying fewer products, but with higher quality from ethically sourced ingredients, is a good first step.
Together, we can all make a difference in the health and well-being of each other, and the world.
Bye for now!
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