The world of cosmetics, full of controversy, always a source of debate. It is true that a lot of commercially available cosmetic products are bad for the environment; a friend commented today that most exfoliants contain micro particles of plastic that end up in waterways, some cosmetics are still tested on animals, contain potentially harmful chemicals or are just packaged badly, using huge amounts of resources just to look good (see here for a case in point). But, does that mean that in order to be “green” we have to sacrifice looking good, treating our bodies, our little bit of pampering?
In an ideal world, maybe, we could all be content with washing with unpackaged soap, moisturising with olive oil and washing our hair with a rinse of vinegar or bicarbonate of soda. I know many people who do all those things. For the rest of us, though its a case of finding the middle ground. If I wash with soap I feel like my skin has been tucked behind my ears, the changes in temperatures at this time of year leave my skin dry and uncomfortable, I like to wallow in a scented bath, scrub myself to within an inch of my life and slather myself in sweet smelling moisturiser. It makes me feel good, it helps me unwind and it makes my skin healthier.
So what can we do? Well for a start, think about which products you really need to use and keep it to a minimum.
Look at the ingredients – are they natural, sustainable ingredients, for example it is possible to get exfoliators with no plastic in, in recyclable tins such as this one here
Can you make it yourself? See here for how to make your own bathsalts! If you search the internet you will be amazed at how many products you can make cheaply and easily in your own kitchen!
What sort of packaging is it in? Do you really need one in a plastic bottle, in a plasticated cardboard box inside plastic film? Or is there an alternative in sustainable packaging? Lush Cosmetics, Neals Yard Organics and Wikaniko are all companies that use minimal packaging in their toiletries.
It’s mostly common sense – just think, is this product costing the earth?