Sustainability in the skincare routine

Author - Ignae

A more sustainable skincare routine depends on the products we choose, the way we use them, and how we manage their waste and packaging.

The sustainability of the cosmetics industry is an increasingly popular topic, with a growing importance in consumer choices. Therefore, there are more and more brands committed to communicating their efforts to improve the impact of their products on the economy, society and the environment. But do we know which factors contribute to the sustainability of a brand? And how consumers can have a more positive impact?

How to have a more sustainable skincare routine?

In addition to understanding the product life cycle, there are other ways to have a more sustainable skincare routine:

  • Prefer multifunctional products, that allow you to reduce the number of products used in your skincare routine without losing its effectiveness.
  • Favor products with local and renewable raw materials, reducing energy consumption during transport and the impact of harvesting on ecosystems.
  • Prefer brands that are committed to biotechnology, as it is an infinitely renewable process, with low energy costs and reduced polluting emissions.
  • Dispose packaging correctly, by respecting the manufacturers' instructions and the waste treatment policies from your country.

The product life-cycle

The sustainability of a skincare product must be evaluated throughout its whole life cycle [1], which can be summarized in 3 phases:

Raw materials and packaging

It is important to ensure these resources are renewable whenever they are obtained from natural sources. On the other hand, raw materials and packaging that must travel thousands of kilometers to the processing units should be avoided. When using ingredients and packaging of synthetic origin, priority should be given to production strategies that do not emit solvents, gasses and other residues with a negative impact on the environment. In this regard, the use of green chemistry is particularly relevant [2]. On the other hand, raw materials with biotechnological origin are advantageous, since they consume few resources and generate less waste [3]. Regardless of the source of raw materials and packaging, it is important to ensure the communities involved in the harvesting, processing and production processes are fairly rewarded, thus ensuring a more positive impact on the society and the economy.

Production and transport

The production of cosmetic products is carried out in industrial units. In addition to raw materials, it consumes energy, water, and generates waste for the environment [1]. The energy used to manufacture cosmetic products should preferably come from renewable sources, and the waste released into the environment should be innocuous. The same reasoning applies to transport, which is responsible for a considerable impact of this industry on the environment. Once again, it is important to balance the environmental impact with the impacts on the economy and society.

End of life

When the product reaches the consumer, it is important to ensure that the formulations are beneficial both for humans and the environment, while the packaging is easily recycled [4]. For this, the legislation on cosmetic products from different countries must be respected, and the product labeling must clearly indicate where to place empty packaging.


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