Eco-friendly packaging focuses on whether the container holding the skin care formula is biodegradable, made from recycled materials or is recyclable itself. This can be a challenge as the products need to be kept safe, clean and undisturbed from the packaging. The materials need to maintain stability for products that contain water or oils. The reality is that the cosmetics themselves could start to prematurely breakdown the packaging and lead to a shorter shelf life.
In some ways, eco-friendly packaging can also help customers avoid certain chemicals if that's a concern. In recent years there has been some concern over whether the chemicals in plastic packaging can be harmful to our health. Think BPA and phthalates. These chemicals are thought to be endocrine disruptors and possible carcinogens,
The beauty industry is constantly reinventing itself; coming up with better, safer, and cleaner products every day. But when is the last time you took a close look at your beauty shelf and updated it to be as green as you could be?
What are Recycled & Biodegradable Packaging?
Making sure the packaging of your beauty products is "green" is one of the easiest ways to improve your footprint on the Earth. Biodegradable packaging breaks down in only 3 to 6 months which is a huge step forward compared to original plastics which can take several hundred years.
The best option is "no-waste" packaging, which doesn't necessarily mean a lack of packaging altogether. Technically ‘no waste’ is meant to refer to products where no portion is sent to landfills, oceans or incinerated. Packaging options that can be recycled include biodegradable paper or cardboard, metal containers and glass bottles and jars. The biodegradable paper is often used for the boxes and outer packaging of the products. Biodegradable paper is often coated with potato or corn (as opposed to plastic).
This kind of packaging made a boom in the late 00s and early 10s and is widely available in the beauty industry. Brands like Pravana, Onesta, Matrix Biolage RAW, AG and more have been produced in these more eco-friendly packages for years now. Some companies have now also made another large step forward by making the packaging out of recycled material and biodegradable. One company, for example, is the Matrix Biolage RAW. Every bottle is made from recycled plastic, is recyclable and the contents are formulated in a factory the is powered 100% by the sun. Now that is a green option for your shower! (Look for the symbol when shopping at BeautyCareChoices.com)
What else can you do?
Make the switch to multi-use products! Items like cleansing conditioners have come a long way in the last 5 years. They are a great alternative to having both shampoo and conditioner in your shower. If you aren't ready to make that big of a switch consider using your shampoo also as a body wash and your conditioner can double as a shaving cream. On your makeup counter use items like a tinted moisturizer as a base instead of sunscreen, primer, and moisturizer. Jane Iredale's Dream Tint is a great example. It carries SPF 15, Jojoba and Shea Butter for moisture and minimizes pore and lines like a primer. Bam! Used to use three products, now all found in this one!