How to Choose Eco-friendly Beauty Products
In an effort to make healthier choices for your skin and hair, as well as the planet, natural and eco-friendly beauty products are booming in popularity. In fact, they’re becoming so popular that nearly every brand is coming out with more “natural” versions of their classic formulas. With so many to choose from, it gets difficult to know what is the “real deal” and what is misleading labeling. Here’s what to look for when choosing natural or eco-friendly beauty products:
Sustainable business practices
You can really tell the sincerity of a company by their business practices and the ingredients they use. Ingredients and practices used by large companies have a big impact on the environment, so choose carefully which businesses you want to support.
Some examples of sustainable business practices are using renewable energy, recycling, using only environmentally friendly or organic ingredients, etc. Another characteristic of sustainable business practices is using eco-friendly packaging, such as recycled materials, Plant-based biodegradable plastics, soy-based inks, etc
By purchasing from companies committed to organic or all-natural ingredients and practices, you’re contributing to an economic effort that is better for the planet.
Know how to spot the fake “natural” products
Some companies have become clever in how they label their products, using words like “natural” or giving their product a botanical name, when really only a few of their ingredients are plant derived. There are no regulations on using the word “natural,” and you may find that word used even on products only containing a few natural ingredients, like cucumber extract or jojoba oil.
If organic or plant-based ingredients are important to you, make sure to read all ingredients, as some products will have the word “organic” in the name, even if less than half of their ingredients are certified organic.
Know which ingredients to avoid
A plant-based formula is going to be best, and organic ingredients are even better. But another thing to consider is that the ingredients in your products are also not causing harm to the planet. Palm oil, for instance, is plant-derived, but palm plantations are responsible for a lot of deforestation.
When choosing products, you’ll want to avoid the three P’s: Petroleum, Phthalates, and Parabens
- Petroleum by-products, including mineral oil, paraffin, and propylene glycol, are a common ingredient in many cosmetics. According to The Environmental Working Group, petroleum products take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Moreover, they can cause skin irritation, allergies and cancer.
- Some research has found phthalates link to hormone disruption and reproductive health. Phthalates are a common ingredient of nail polish and deodorant.
- Parabens — including methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben — have link with skin problems like irritations, dermatitis and allergic reactions.
Unfortunately, beauty products that contain certain chemicals can harm the environment once they go down the drain. If mercury, lead acetate, toluene or petroleum are in any of your products, you might want to ditch it for one tha t is safe going down the septic system.
Know the source of fragrance
As you may (or may not have) noticed, companies aren’t required to list fragrance chemicals on product labels or to test them for human toxicity. Often times, labels just say “fragrance” without any additional information. These fragrances could be causing allergies, or potentially bad for the environment. For this reason, it’s better to choose unscented products, or ones you know are only fragranced with essential oils.
At P&H salon, we prefer to support brands with natural ingredients and more eco-friendly business practices, which is why we use Davines products. You can read more about their products here, or come in to experience them yourself!