How can I tell if my skincare is sustainable?
Vegan, natural, organic, fair-trade, cruelty-free, clean, all-natural, botanical… There’s a lot of words that products nowadays tend to toss around like they’re nothing. It puts a big pall over the whole sustainable skincare and cosmetics market, when you’re not sure if what you’re buying is really eco-friendly – or if it’s just a scam.
Have you ever received something that you were really anticipating, only to find out that it’s really different from what you thought it would be?
It’s really hard to find reliable sustainable skincare in person, let alone online, with all this fog of uncertainty.
So what do these words actually mean?
Much like a lot of food labels that say natural or organic, it can be difficult to see if the product itself is actually sustainable. And much like those same food labels, there’s no legal definition of natural, vegan, or organic in skincare. In short: they could mean just about anything.
Here’s a few little facts I picked up recently:
- A brand is able to use “natural” or “organic” even if the product only uses 1% naturally sourced or organic materials.
- “Vegan” and “cruelty-free” are words that are often included without proof, too.
- “Clean” generally means it doesn’t have sulfates, silicone, parabens or any of those other chemicals that you find in a lot of modern-day products.
But don’t despair!
There are ways to tell if the product is truly what it says it is, and the devil is in the details:
- For products that say they’re natural or organic, you just have to check out the brand. It’s usually on their website, so find out how they source their ingredients.
A bit of legwork has never really been fun, but neither is putting chemicals on your skin, so… buckle up!
The rest of them are preeeetty easy:
- If you want to know if something is truly vegan or cruelty-free, look for the Vegan Society logo.
- Cruelty-free products can also be confirmed by the Leaping Bunny logo.
- And, if it’s sourced fairly, it should have the Fairtrade Mark.
In Wild Fabrik, we have our own little logos to help you discover the best, most sustainable products for you. Look for…
- the bunny for products that are confirmed to be cruelty-free.
- the two leaves for products that are organically made.
- the little man with the hat for handmade goods.
- the scales for ethical production
- the cycle for sustainable material
- the little house for products that support local communities
It’s never been easier!
One more thing to consider…
Still, it’s important to note that even the most natural products in the world could well be unsustainable. Avocados, for instance, grow naturally, but, when grown season after season, tend to degrade the soil. It’s why a lot of farmers often rotate between different vegetables in their fields.
Plus, it can be difficult to pick out if the company that produces the skincare products you’re interested in is greenwashing or not. (Greenwashing is when they exaggerate just how green they are). This started with Westinghouse in the 1960s, which was quite blatant.
But, nowadays, it’s become a lot more subtle. It’s begun to revolve around the idea that personal health and sustainability are one and the same. I think we all know that that’s not 100% true, even if we’re on our journey towards true sustainability in our lives.
Greenwashing is slowly fading away because of awareness of big issues like climate change, but not all brands have stopped doing it. It’s still prevalent in the world.
So, how am I to know if my skincare is sustainable?
There’s no foolproof method here, but we do have some tips and tricks!
- We talked about checking out how and where the brand gets its ingredients from. The where isn’t enough, so make sure to check how too!
- Take a look at the packaging, as well. A lot of skincare brands might state that they’re sustainable, but the packaging begs to differ.
- Sneak a peek at the brand’s vision and goals for the future. If they have a spiel about being eco-friendly and working toward sustainability, you’ve probably got yourself a winner.
Again, there’s no simple aha answer just yet in the world, but we’re slowly ramping up to it, I’m sure!
Here’s some products that we’re loving right now!
AMAZINC’s Raspberry butter is one of our favorites. With a creamy texture and a delectable scent, it’s almost addicting how good it is!
Fall is well on its way in, but summer’s not over yet! This shade of nail polish is not only vegan, it’s just the right shade to be the perfect transition between the two!
We love a real organic face cream! With extracts of bamboo, mimosa and plantago, Dafna’s Moisture skin cream is an absolute mood!
An old favorite of ours: the bath and body bundle is a fantastic dose of self-care to help you relax after a long day!
Step 1: body butter. Step 2: face butter! This one has the scent of prickly pear and mango, and is great for dry and distressed skin. It can help reduce redness and inflammation, too!
If you’re like me and you have sensitive skin, but still want to exfoliate, this is the one for you! An ultra-gently exfoliator, the tourmaline and neroli blend includes natural jojoba beads to lift away dead skin cells!
And we won’t forget the kings out there! A perfect gift set for that special man in your life (or for yourself if you’ve read this far!), it includes a beard oil and cleanser as well as a notebook to help document their important skincare routine… or whatever memories they want to include!
Here are some other brands that do great natural products:
1. We all know about Lush! Now, they have products that they sell naked
It prioritizes the product and takes away the packaging. Of course, this isn’t always possible, so they’re working on making their packaging 100% sustainable. That’s huge!
A brand that uses ingredients sustainably farmed in Japan, like Japanese White Turmeric and Spring Turmeric, Re-erth believes in protecting our environment. They take initiatives to improve, heal, or protect it, and give us that “mochi” skin experience.
3. activist has high-performance, low-waste skincare
It’s meant to pamper your face and protect our planet. Based in California, USA, they’re a great option for our US followers!
Plastic not your deal? This one’s plastic-free and zero waste. Also based in California, it uses a range of local, organic and sustainably harvested botanicals to make its products!