Health & Beauty Products: Good for You and the Environment

Health & Beauty Products: Good for You and the Environment

By: Sarah Zitin

Why is it vitally important to use eco-friendly and sustainable health and beauty products? Health products are obvious, but many users don’t realize that beauty products have numerous toxic ingredients in them which are absorbed into the body through the skin, which is our largest organ. These chemical toxins affect our bodies in a negative way, causing illnesses such as cancer and other autoimmune problems. Green beauty refers to beauty products that are sourced, produced, and packaged in an ethical and sustainable way that’s harmless to the planet. 

What Makes a Beauty Product Sustainable?

In terms of the cosmetics industry, “green” and “sustainable” cosmetics are cosmetic products using exclusively natural ingredients produced from renewable raw materials. They do no harm to the environment and sentient beings. Sustainable beauty products generally do not include potentially toxic and harmful ingredients such as parabens, which research suggests may be carcinogenic and hormone disrupters, and formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

9 Eco-Friendly Skin Care Routine Tips:

  1. Always read the Ingredients Label.
  2. OPT For Vegan and Cruelty Free.
  3. Opt For B Corps.
  4. Utilize Minimal Packaging.
  5. Finish Your Health and Beauty Products.
  6. Recycle or Upcycle Your Empties.
  7. Converse with Brands about their Products.
Health & Beauty Products: Good for You and the Environment

The Beauty and Skincare Industries Have a Notoriously Negative Impact on the Environment:

They contribute to pollution and affect the planets’ natural resources in a number of ways. Many of these corporations also have questionable business practices with unethical practices and human rights abuses, and are more concerned about the bottom line than about sustainable products. 

6 Cosmetic Ingredients That Are Harmful to the Environment:

1. Oxybenzone and Octinoxate

You’ve probably heard of oxybenzone and octinoxate. They both contribute to coral bleaching and are thought to be one of the biggest factors in coral reef destruction. Choose one of these reef-safe sunscreens instead.

2. Parabens

Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics and are banned in Europe but not the U.S. Researchers have found parabens in the tissues of marine animals, like dolphins and sea otters. According to the *Environmental Working Group, parabens have been linked to environmental harm. They can kill coral reefs and may cause reproductive issues in animals, possibly in humans, too.

3. Triclosan

Another ingredient to be aware of is triclosan. This ingredient is commonly found in toothpaste, face washes, shampoos, and more. It’s been linked to environmental degradation and deemed harmful to algae and dolphins.

4. Fragrance

Beauty and hair products that contain artificial fragrances have long-lasting effects of toxic waste. They’re increasingly appearing in waterways, where they’ve been cited to cause long-term damage to marine animals.

5. Sulfates

It’s also wise to avoid sulfates. SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), for instance, is what makes products like toothpaste, shampoo, and shower gel foam. Studies have shown it can be toxic to all living things.

6. Microplastics

They are a kind of plastic toxin often used in exfoliating products. Fish and birds often mistake these tiny plastic beads for food, which can kill them. Microplastics have been found in numerous aquatic animals and birds.

8 Side Effects of Wearing Makeup Regularly

If you’re experiencing one or more of the side effects listed below, it’s time to do something about it.

1. Clogged Pores

If you’re using makeup on a regular basis and not washing it off, there are chances that your pores get clogged. Clogging pores doesn’t allow your skin to breathe, making it prone to acne, bumps and other facial skin problems

2. Dry or Oily Skin

Makeup products that do not suit your unique skin type can make your skin drier or oilier. Find out what skin type you have, and buy your eco-friendly makeup accordingly.

3. Breakouts

Regular usage of makeup can trigger more frequent breakouts. Skin experts agree that those with acne-prone skin should limit their makeup usage. Applying less makeup can improve your skin’s health and reduce blackheads. 

4. Color Changes

Wearing makeup everyday has side effects. Sleeping with makeup through the night can cause serious damage to your skin. Free radicals can affect  collagen which weakens your skin and leads to changes in skin color.

5. Eye Infections

*The area around your eyes and your eyelid is thin and delicate. Any kind of irritant in your eye makeup can cause severe harm to your eyes, and can  lead to an eye infection.

6. Premature Aging

One of the important things you can do to maintain your skin’s health is protecting it from sun damage. When you forget to apply sunscreen before applying makeup, you expose your skin to sun damage. Leaving makeup on for a longer period of time can result in premature aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. 

7. Allergic Reaction

While some makeup products look similar, ingredients vary from one brand to another. Products with harmful chemicals like paraben and SLES can cause allergic reactions. 

8. Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Ingredients like formaldehyde, coal tar, arsenic, silica and chromium are known to be carcinogenic.

How To Prevent The Side-Effects of Makeup:

1. Buy Smart

Every skin type is unique. Learn about your skin type and buy products that suit your skin and do not cause an allergic reaction. Check the label – If you’re unsure, do a patch test using a tester product.

2. Moisturize

Those with oily skin may think moisturizing makes their skin oilier but such is not the case. Moisturizing helps you maintain the protective barrier on your skin. This can save you from toxins, dryness, redness and flaky skin.

3. Use Sunscreen

Sun damage causes early aging of your skin. Apply sunscreen before you apply any makeup product. If you’re not comfortable with sunscreen, use a moisturizer and foundation that provides sun protection.

Be Safe

  • If this isn’t enough to convince you to protect your skin with eco-friendly and sustainable products, then you haven’t done your homework. The science is real, and the toxins are known to cause harm. Be safe, be wise, be smart. The environment needs your help, and this is one of the ways in which to protect our precious Mother Earth!

*The Food and Drug Administration advises checking ingredients before using any eye makeup. Avoid using harmful chemical-based products. Eye make up products can also trigger dark circles if they are not removed before bed or if worn for a long period of time.