Sustainable Skin, Hair, and Body Essentials We Love

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Sustainable Skin, Hair, and Body Essentials We Love

Photo courtesy of Anna Dabrowski/The Licensing Project

From biodegradable packaging, glass jars, and reusable tools to the radical notion of no packaging
whatsoever, the clean beauty industry is working hard toward sustainability, with many hair, makeup, skin, and body
products that claim to be sustainable. A number of them are worth changing up your routine for.

As a brand, goop is moving full-steam ahead toward sustainability, as are many of the lines we sell. No one claims
to be fully there yet, but until they are, these are some of the broad categories within sustainable to
consider–along with the individual items we really love so far.

Plastic is the least sustainable option. Roughly 9 percent of the plastics that get placed in
recycling bins are actually recyclable, according to the EPA.

Every piece of plastic bears the widely recognized recycling triangle logo–thanks to plastic-industry-supported
laws–regardless of its recyclability. This shifts the burden of responsibility from the plastic producers to the
plastic consumers; we’re under the illusion that if we were just better recyclers, the plastic problem would go
away. But even if we managed to recycle every piece of plastic we interacted with, 9 percent is obviously nowhere
near enough. (Look up the recent Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for more on this–it’s incredible.)

Tip: To recycle many types of beauty product packaging (including single-use plastic), TerraCycle is the best solution we’ve seen.


Recycled Plastic

Creating containers from recycled plastic or resin gets us away from single-use plastic, which is
great, but recycled plastic often can’t be recycled, so there’s definitely a trade-off. Still, recycled plastic is
an infinitely better choice than single-use.

This rich, petal-pink balm feels incredible going on, and it leaves your lips soft, supple, and moisturized.

This groovy-looking shower gel smells like a redwood forest in Northern California.

This foaming scrub both exfoliates and cleanses, leaving your skin super soft.



Forgoing containers altogether makes the biggest difference in sustainability. With just paper or
cardboard around products like an amazing new shampoo and conditioner, or the bamboo that encases Kate McLeod’s
moisturizing stones, these are probably the most sustainable options out there to date. You can recycle, reuse, or
compost all of the elements in zero-waste packaging.

This nourishing bar leaves hair shiny and
healthy-looking, with zero plastic waste.

Try this incredible zero-plastic conditioning bar and you may never return to the stuff in the bottle.

This magical unscented moisture bar melts into a luxurious lotion-meets-massage-oil as you smooth it into
skin. It’s great for any skin type including sensitive, and it’s so easy to use.

Brooklyn-based Redoux’s bestselling brightening, sunset-colored cleansing bar lathers gorgeously and leaves
skin silky–without plastic packaging.



Glass is much easier and more cost-effective to recycle than plastic–its recycling rate is roughly 32
percent, according to the EPA. Negatives with glass include the extra weight, which adds to the fuels being used
to transport the product, and the fact that glass breaks easily, making it a liability in wet areas like the
shower. There are often plastics included with the glass (in the form of tops or applicators), so it’s important
to separate them out when recycling.


This whipped hydrating gel-mousse mask made of flowers transforms skin overnight, leaving it silky,
plumped, renewed, and glowy.


For a gorgeous sun-kissed glow, this ultraflattering bronzer is made with buriti oil.


This ultraluxurious active face oil leaves skin firmer, smoother, softer, more radiant, and moisturized–
(clinically proven) results blew us away.


This daily glow serum combines two skin-care powerhouses–vitamin C and hyaluronic acid–for skin that looks
radiant, moisturized, and healthy.


One of the prettiest scents ever, this is amazing as body oil and also as an incredible perfume.


This serum uses bakuchiol for retinol-like results, along with powerful peptides to increase skin’s
elasticity while reducing the look of lines and wrinkles.


A powerful essence that treats skin with thirty-plus active water-soluble botanicals, plus vitamin C and
hyaluronic acid.



Aluminum is also relatively easy and cost-effective to recycle; its recycling rate is approximately
35 percent, the EPA reports.

A moisturizing sun-protection balm made with only seven ingredients, with a cool, colored band around it to
keep everything together.

We keep this cooling balm in our first aid kit to soothe everything from sore muscles to bruises, and the
cooling sensation helps, too.



Another strategy that companies often combine with using recycled plastic or glass containers is to
sell the container only once, so customers refill it rather than throwing it away. It’s a concept that works for
this rich, turmeric-infused moisturizer; eye shadow; blush; and more.

Tinted a gorgeous golden yellow with antioxidant turmeric, this ultrarich moisturizer leaves skin supple (and
comes in a refillable tub).

These brilliant full-size refill pouches of the bestselling Rahua Hydrating Shampoo cut plastic use by 90
percent and deliver the same aaaaamazing formula.

Half of this chic, refillable compact (red edition or iconic edition) contains a creamy blush for a pop of
color, and the other half is a bronzy highlighter.

This hydrating gel-cream seals in moisture in the skin’s outer layers leaving it supple and renewed.



Whether it’s a reusable makeup remover to replace your face wipes or a skin-invigorating
face-sculpting tool, these can be used until they wear out and can replace less-sustainable elements in your

You need only water to take off all your makeup using this brilliantly soft cloth.

To wake up skin: the cooling, soothing power of rose quartz crystal.

Use this amazing tool to smooth, sculpt, and refresh skin–and it works with your favorite products for even
more noticeable results.

Use this gorgeous hand-cut jade comb for an invigorating gua sha massage for your scalp.


Biodegradable Plastic

Biodegradable plastic is made of organic materials (meaning nonsynthetic materials, not USDA
organic), according to the EPA. To qualify, they must be engineered to biodegrade at least partially.

Compostable plastics are also biodegradable but must be processed in industrial treatment centers with the
ability to decompose plastic, according to the EPA. Note that when biodegradable and compostable plastics are
recycled with plastics that are actually recyclable, the entire load is contaminated and likely taken to a
landfill, so definitely don’t try to recycle compostable and biodegradable plastics. Very few beauty companies are
using compostable or biodegradable plastic in packaging at this point, and currently there are no EPA-approved
methods of composting plastic at home; when the tech develops, we plan to put ours in our compost!

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