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Sustainability is top-of-mind for many these days. And one area that has plenty of room for improvement is the beauty industry. The market is vast; you may use 5, 10 or 15 beauty, skin, and personal care products in a day. And many probably come in a plastic bottle, jar, or tube. Eye creams in particular — you’ll get just half an ounce, each in its own little jar. So, how to green your beauty routine?


Refills have been around a while. But we’re seeing different ways to do the refill model and expansion into more products. At Follain, the store sells liquid soap in glass bottles that you can get refilled at the store once your bottle runs low. L’Occitane has a bulk refill program too. Their eco-refills are sold in pouches instead of plastic bottles, which require up to 90% less packaging, or 124 tons of material! Refills are also a better value; since there’s no need for pretty packaging, you get more product for your money.

recycled materials

There’s increasing use of recyclable materials like glass, bamboo, or recycled paper cartons. There are even recycled paper bottles for shampoo, by Seed Phytonutrients, that have a recycled plastic inside liner. Some stores will also accept used plastic containers for recycling. The company Terracycle works with many brands to offer them a range of national, easy-to-use recycling platforms to provide customers with a sustainable shopping experience and to move the world away from single-use packaging.


Products made from natural materials can substitute for disposable ones. For example, you might buy reusable cotton pads for use with makeup remover or toner that are washable. There’s also returnable containers, like refill pouches that can be returned to the company to be cleaned and reused for the next customer.


After all the talk about recyclable packaging, there’s another way: avoiding packaging altogether. A growing trend is solid shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoo in plastic bottles. Lush has been selling these for years, along with a little metal tin to store the bar. Much more portable and easier for travel, too! Many of their bath products are displayed in open barrels and are not individually packaged.

There are so many interesting ways to be more eco-friendly in the beauty industry. Stay tuned for the next innovation!


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