Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Companies that produce ‘zero waste skincare’ include a variety of things. Some choose to package their products in recycled materials like paper or cardboard as opposed to plastic containers.
Brands like Milk Makeup offer products that function with refillable cartridges to reduce the amount of packaging in general, like their Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30. Not only does this save money for the company and their customers, but it’s a more sustainable option for any makeup and skincare connoisseur.
Other conscious companies like Uni provide return or recycle options for their body care products. After receiving and using the products you buy, you can either return them in the same packaging (it comes with a prepaid label) or simply recycle the containers at your nearest dropoff bin.
There are many ways to go about the whole ‘zero waste skincare’ situation, but if the concept is new to you, you’re probably asking what the drawback is.
Whether you work for a company like this, buy from one, or just did your first Google search, the first thing that stands out is the cost.
Unfortunately, products that are made and distributed with more sustainable methods tend to come with a higher price tag for both sides.
For one, there is a lower demand for this niche, meaning they’re made in smaller batches than more commonly used, disposable products. Since mass-production is less costly, and eco-friendly or plastic-free skincare items typically aren’t, it costs more to make and sell.
While not everyone can afford to buy zero-waste skincare products, if it’s something you can swing, it’s definitely worth it.
Typically, items are disposed of in a landfill or put in an incinerator which puts more toxins into our air and water. Products with more thoughtful packaging and production, on the other hand, help conserve resources and minimize that pollution.
Zero-waste products also help the economy. Due to its nature of conserving resources and reducing the need to collect new raw materials, it creates more manufacturing and recycling jobs.
Ultimately, it helps us get closer to ensuring we don’t consume more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce!
Even Vogue Business has addressed that between 20 and 40 percent of beauty products end up as waste, and that includes skincare. That means any company or consumer who isn’t involved in the ‘zero-waste skincare’ category is, unfortunately, contributing to that.
Even on the consumer level, products with harmful packaging can leach into the product itself and harm the consumer, especially with prolonged use. The ICSID group, the world’s leading institution for investment dispute settlements, affirms that plastic cosmetic packaging can have effects on cleanliness of the product.
There’s no shortage of ways that typical skincare and cosmetics are harmful to both the consumer and the environment. Thankfully, there are brands making an effort to reduce this, and we’ve highlighted some to check out here:
Blendily - handmade, zero waste, botanical skincare
Dew Mighty - refillable skincare
Activist - vegan, cruelty-free, refillable skincare
BeeYou Organics - gluten-free, zero waste, cruelty-free makeup & skincare