How sustainability and climate change are shaping the beauty industry

How sustainability and climate change are shaping the beauty industry

We're amidst a global climate crisis, a fact that's hardly breaking news. You're likely weary of hearing the endless chatter about the necessity for change. Yet, consider this: what concrete actions are we taking? Adopting reusable shopping bags and opting for paper over plastic straws are seemingly minor adjustments but should be considered crucial. It's these small shifts that wield significant power in the long run. But of course, there is more that can be done.

Due to the throwaway culture that has catalysed since the creation of the plastic bag in 1979, it has rapidly filtered into every industry. According to the British Beauty Council, the global cosmetic industry produces 120 billion units of packaging every year. The UN Environment Programme also said “If current levels of consumption continue as it is, by 2050, there will be 12 billion tons of plastic in landfills” - that is around 17,500 Burj Khalifa’s!

As the UAE continues on its road to zero waste, the war on single-use plastic is a key element. As was announced in March of this year, Dubai is on a mission to ban all single-use plastic from June 1, 2024. This is all a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focusing on economic and social evolution with a spotlight on environmental sustainability.

With governments backing the end of single plastic usage, it is time industries take notice and implement the required infrastructure to uphold this need for sustainable change. One thing though, is for certain, this can only be achieved through the continued support of consumers. It is clear sustainability and climate change are becoming none negotiables when it comes to how consumers shop, especially with the rise of Gen Z’s spending power. In the renaissance of sustainability, the beauty industry is getting a much needed makeover whilst still providing the quality expected when it comes to skincare, makeup and everything in between.

The future of clean beauty is going back to basics. Before the plastic age, chic ceramic bottles and glass vials turned bathrooms into beauty apothecaries. These originals held a sense of elegance and easy luxury, with a natural respect for Mother Earth. Keepsakes that would last a lifetime, forever replenished. So, let’s pay homage to this golden era and switch up the auto-pilot buying behaviour of single use plastic to recyclable, refillable and reusable. Allowing us to reduce the amount of resources used and help towards a more sustainable future.

We also need to take a deep dive into the formulas we are using to treat our skin concerns. As our climate changes we are exposed to more intense pollution in the air and UV rays, which leads to more intensified skin aging and skin damage. Therefore, we should be looking at more natural methods of skincare to balance out these harsh chemicals as opposed to applying even more chemicals and toxins to our skin.

Here are five things to look for when shopping for natural sustainable beauty products:

1. Vegan & Animal Cruelty-Free

Opting for beauty essentials that boast both vegan & cruelty-free credentials isn't just about skincare; it's a statement of refinement and ethical sophistication. By selecting these exclusive formulations, you're aligning with the highest standards of integrity, showcasing a discerning taste that values both opulence and compassion for the planet and its creatures.


2. Reuse, Refill, Recycle

Indulge in the ultimate luxury of sustainability by choosing products offering refillable or recyclable packaging. Which in turn, will minimise the amount of resources used and free up landfill space. It's all about cutting down on waste, being a superhero for the environment, and supporting a cool circular economy vibe where nothing goes to waste.


3. Natural Ingredients

Naturally derived antioxidants improve skin tone and texture, whilst gently providing essential nutrients for healthy skin. As opposed to chemical-based skincare products that can contain harmful toxins and harsh chemicals that can lead to allergic reactions, irritation to the skin, skin sensitivity, and disruption of the skin barrier. Opting for natural also exhibits low levels of toxicity and are biodegradable, so little to no damaging effects on the environment. Natural for the win!


4. Organic Formulas

Elevate your skincare regimen by going organic! It's all about ditching those pesky pesticides and chemicals and giving a big shout-out to sustainable farming practices. Plus, you’ll be helping keep our soils healthy, our biodiversity thriving, and those natural ecosystems doing their thing.


5. Transparency & Accountability

By selecting brands that embrace openness in their sourcing and production processes, you're making sure they're playing fair. It's like shining a spotlight on the good guys and saying, "Hey, keep up the awesome work!" Plus, it's a sneaky way to make sure they stay accountable for their sustainable practices.


Luckily, it’s not just NOVU Rituals who are implementing these practices and leading the change with clean, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients, brands like The Body Shop & Lush also adhere to similar clean beauty values. Sephora and Charlotte Tilbury are also joining the movement by focusing on reducing throwaway culture with chic packaging and refillable solutions. Each initiative signifies a collective desire for a sustainable future, emphasising that beauty extends beyond the surface—it's in the choices we make.

As consumers, our choices wield immense power, shaping not just our individual routines but the broader landscape of the beauty industry and its impact on the environment. By embracing sustainability in our beauty rituals, we become agents of change, advocating for a more responsible and conscientious approach to self-care. In this era of heightened environmental awareness, let us seize the opportunity to redefine beauty as a force for good, where indulgence meets integrity, and every purchase becomes a statement of our values. Together, let's embark on a journey towards a more sustainable and beautiful future. Skincare is selfcare is worldcare, and it's a cycle worth repeating.

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