Plus a list of the best products to try.
We're almost certain you've heard this before, but let us reiterate a terrifying fact: There could be more plastic than there are fish in the ocean by 2050. This includes plastic water bottles, plastic shopping bags, and, of course, plastic household packaging that individuals use on a daily basis. As beautiful as the beauty industry is, it is also alarmingly vile in its packaging production. According to Allure, over 7.9 billion units of rigid plastic were produced in the U.S. for beauty products alone in 2018. Yes, that is *billion,* with a B, units of plastic packaging made in a single year. Given that plastic can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose, most of those plastic bottles are still intact, floating around the ocean waiting to degrade. In fact, that takeaway cold-brew cup with its plastic straw that you had two years ago is also still alive today, taking up space amongst the coral reefs and the marine life living there.
Of course, these facts may drive you to a place where you'd rather never repurchase a single serum, but thankfully, there *are* brands creating alternatives to the traditional wasteful packaging that is a detriment to our environment. Entering the beauty industry is a new form of packaging: blue beauty.
So what is blue beauty? In short, blue beauty brands make it their mission to use packaging that is safe for the ocean and safe for the environment (since sometimes these bottles end up in landfills). While green beauty focuses on gathering sustainable sources for the ingredients you put on your skin, blue beauty takes it a step further. Blue beauty uses biodegradable packaging, Ocean Waste Plastic, and easily recyclable materials, like glass and paper, wherever they can. Plus, the same way one who is keen on using green beauty products would never put a harmful chemical onto their skin, blue beauty brands make it their goal to create products with ingredients that won't cause damage to the environment.
Yes, it costs more money to create packaging that is safe for the environment than it is to put a shampoo into a rigid plastic bottle, which is why many large corporations are turning a blind eye to the unequivocal and evident statistics that show how harmful plastic packaging is to the environment. So, as consumers, we must be diligent about choosing to support the proper companies that do not use hard-to-recycle plastic bottles. As part of this, we also need to be mindful of supporting companies who "blue-wash" their beauty lines by donating a portion of their sales to ocean clean-up organizations yet still use materials that are damaging to the environment.
If you are interested in supporting the blue beauty movement, here are a few brands that make it their mission to protect the environment while amping up the efficacy of our routines:
Jill Turnbull creates its formulas free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, making this hair serum great for our tresses as we search for hydration that will deliver a high shine. Additionally, all of Jill Turnbull's products are cruelty-free, vegan, and 100 percent biodegradable, making it great for the environment, too. Jill Turnbull works closely with farms and labs to ensure that sustainability is at the forefront of everything from the products' production to the moment it is time to dispose of the empty packaging.
Carta's founder, Heather D'Angelo, is an ecologist and perfumer with a goal to deliver breathtaking fragrances that lead us to tears while doing everything in her power to preserve the environment with her sourcing and packaging. Carta works closely with small farms to source their essential oils and uses 100 percent glass and cork packaging, making this fragrance completely plastic-free.
If you are big on getting squeaky clean, yet are quickly put off by the idea of using bar soap, consider giving Plus a whirl. When wet, this body-wash sheet lathers and melts completely to provide you with a luxurious and moisturizing lather while in the shower. These sheets come in single-serve sachets that are 100 percent dissolvable and safe to go down the drain.
One of the simplest ways to minimize the amount of plastic packaging in our beauty routines is to reduce the number of beauty products we purchase. The Nue Co. sources their ingredients sustainably while reducing the number of products necessary for a person to purchase by having many ingredients, such as pre-, pro-, and postbiotics, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acids, all in one glass bottle.
If you are a self-proclaimed skin-care expert, you likely already know how unique marine ingredients are for the skin. Unfortunately, however, extracting such ingredients from the ocean depletes marine life, making life quite difficult for the fish and coral reefs living below the sea level. One Ocean Beauty uses blue biotechnology to reproduce natural ingredients extracted from marine microorganisms in a lab through biofermentation.
What's more waste-free than no waste at all? Superzero creates shampoo bars with ethically sourced ingredients and zero packaging to ensure that what goes down the drain is safe for the environment while taking the guesswork out of disposing of any bottles or jars when the product is complete.
Top photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@jillturnbullofficial
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