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Blue Beauty and Sustainability

With the rise of clean, natural, organic, green, and blue beauty, we are on the hunt for healthier, more sustainable choices when it comes to selecting beauty products. Now more than ever before, sustainability is a conscious choice and we are far better informed. Not only have we come to understand the impact of our choices, but companies have made this part of their top line agenda – from packaging to formulations.

One of the interesting trends that has become more prevalent in the marketplace is that of anhydrous products – otherwise known as waterless formulations.

Water is a precious commodity, and according to a recent report by Mintel, in the decades to come, water will be considered a luxury. Beauty and fashion brands are very much aware of this with Unilever stating that they have reduced the volume of water used in their manufacturing methods by 40% and L’Oréal recently claiming to have set a target of reducing water consumption by up to 60% for each of their finished goods. This thought process is trickling across the industry with many rethinking their future necessity for water.

Waterless beauty? The term originates in South Korea. The Asian market is known to lead many a beauty trend and Korean manufacturers have been creating waterless formulations with added skincare benefits for some time, not purely for environmental reasons. Waterless formulations are kind to our skin, reducing risks of flare-ups and irritation, and particularly good for people suffering with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin.

The formulations are gentler on our skin. Water is essentially used in most products and it is classed as “aqua” which is typically the first ingredient on a label and it tends to make up the bulk of the formula. Shampoos, cleansers, serums, and gels contain the highest percentage of water.

Waterless beauty can be created in a few different forms such as cleansing balms, powders, solids, oils, butters, and masks which can be incorporated into skincare, cosmetics, and haircare. Brands like Ethique Beauty is another brand whose mission is to reduce wastage and to introduce environmentally friendly regimes. They develop concentrated beauty bars for your hair, body, and face. Makeup brands have also started going waterless. Pinch of Colour has created all or their products without water – using ingredients such as honey extract and shea butter to replace water.

Certain waterless products can be slightly more expensive as they are concentrated, they are also considered to be of higher quality as they contain ethically sourced ingredients. However, the higher the concentrate, the less product you will need to use and the longer it lasts. Some shampoo bars are equivalent in concentration and usage to three bottles of product.

Brands leading the way

Although waterless products are environmentally friendly, we do not have to eliminate water from our routines entirely – it is more about being mindful about the subject and how we can start incorporating certain elements into our regimes that are more sustainable. It is important to be conscious about the amount of water we use and to be aware that certain products like balms and oils may also have water footprints. Most importantly, using fewer products, in general, maybe the answer. Less is more.

With brands turning to waterless formulas there are alternatives within the beauty industry to help take care of our planet. Swapping liquid soaps and shampoos to solids is beneficial to our skin and the environment – there is a soap for every need, from our hands and body to our hair and facial cleansing.

Refillable Packaging

Refillable products are also becoming far more popular and readily available. Most products are recyclable, but it is not as easy as we would like to think it is. Only 8% of plastic waste is currently reusable. Body Shop has installed refill stations in its Bond Street store which allows us to purchase an aluminium bottle that can be filled and then refilled with their shower gels and creams. Charlotte Tillbury has also created a refillable lipstick option. We can switch up our look with their refillable shades available online and instore. Mac offer in-store recycling methods with reward schemes.

Smarter Choices

Swapping cotton pads for reusable pads or cloths is a simple and smart method to cleansing. Reusable cloths can be purchased from most retailers and brands, at affordable price points. Easy to remove makeup and to cleanse and tone, these clever tools can be machine washed up to 200 times.

Let’s rethink the traditional cotton buds. It’s estimated that 1.8 billion plastic stemmed cotton buds are used in England each year, 10% are flushed down toilets ending up in the ocean. Using bamboo stemmed cotton buds are far more environmentally friendly. Little steps and some consideration to how we select and use our beauty products, goes a long way to taking care of ourselves and our planet and protecting this for future generations.

We are committed to building sustainable brands for the future. If you are looking for support in developing a brand in the beauty industry or you have an existing brand and you are looking to reposition this, get in touch, we would love to hear from you.