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Looking after your skin can be a tricky and frustrating task, without the added difficulty of making sure that you’re products are sourced and produced ethically. There are reams of confusing ingredients, misleading labels, and not to mention, an overwhelming selection of products to choose from. I don't blame you if you haven’t ventured into the world of ethical skincare just yet!
However, that’s why I’m writing this guide: to highlight the issues within the beauty industry and to offer up alternatives. Ethical brands are increasing in number and showing up in high street stores, which is brilliant. But remember, skincare isn’t all about buying products! Confused? Then keep on reading...
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to ethics and the beauty industry. We’re all aware that animal testing for cosmetics is totally inhumane and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it’s time for us to leave this cruel, outdated practice behind. But did you know the sheer amount of living creatures that undergo this unnecessary torture? There are millions each year, and among these millions, around 500,000 die during the testing processes.
Sadly, the beauty industry is not just responsible for the abuse of animals, but the mistreatment of humans, too. Many mainstream brands are sourcing their natural ingredients (such as shea, cocoa, and palm oil) from workers that are subjected to nothing short of slave labour and child labour. The beauty industry is profiting off of the hard work from people in countries such as Ghana and India. Brands need to be held accountable, and they need to start being more transparent about where they source their ingredients.
The beauty industry also puts a massive strain on natural resources while majorly contributing to pollution levels. Most beauty products are non-recyclable, and even the products that do come in recyclable packaging end up in landfill because it’s simply more convenient to throw them away.
I promise you. You can have a beautiful, glowing complexion without having to give your money to unethical brands.
Many of us are wanting to lead more ethical lives and companies are listening! The more we buy from brands that care about the environment, humans, and animals, and the less we buy from the brands that don’t, we will change the world. We’re already witnessing big brands making an effort to do better, so let’s keep supporting the companies that share our vision of a positive future. Here are a few recommendations:
We’ve heard it all before, water is the elixir of life and keeps your skin looking young and supple. It’s also the cheapest and most simple skincare tip to adopt, so why not?! You might not see results right away, but your future self will honestly thank you for getting in your 2 litres a day.
Water is an expert skin moisturiser that works from the inside because it flushes out toxins and keeps you hydrated. Like with any beauty tip, you may come across counter-arguments online that suggest there’s not enough research to prove water’s good for your skin. But it certainly won’t hurt to start drinking more water. The only way of truly knowing is by trying it out yourself!
You can eat your way to achieving your desired complexion, too. Sometimes we get caught up in the world of exciting and expensive beauty products that we forget to nourish our skin from the inside. Skin-friendly foods tend to include those that are high in antioxidants such as nuts, berries, and leafy greens.
If you’re someone that has particularly sensitive skin, I’d recommend looking into making your own skincare. Rather than spending hours searching for the right products and looking up what the various, perplexing ingredients are, you could make your own concoction. That way you’ll know exactly what you’re putting on your skin!
People often believe that homemade skincare isn’t as effective as store-bought products, but that isn’t true! Beauty products don’t need strong, complex ingredients in order to work wonders on your skin—the more natural, the better.
Once you get started, DIY skincare isn’t challenging whatsoever, in fact, it’s quite therapeutic. You can use ingredients that are found around the house, such as cocoa powder, ground oats, fruit, and even tea leaves!
Sunscreen is not just for summer or holidays, we should be using it even when the weather is overcast, and we should be using at least factor 30 to protect us from UV rays. Unfortunately, many conventional sunscreen brands include harmful chemicals that cause significant damage to the environment. As much as 14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the oceans each year, which damages coral reefs, having a knock-on effect on important ecosystems. Choose from ethical vegan sunscreen brands that sell ocean-friendly products such as Green People.