“Sustainable” is the beauty industry’s favorite new buzzword — but it can be tricky to figure out what companies really mean when they use the term. Or to put it another way: there’s a lot of BS out there. Brands tout themselves as environmentally conscious, green, and eco without any data to back these claims up. Even as a beauty editor, I had no real clue how deep the “good-for-the-planet” rabbit hole went in terms of jargon and misinformation.
To help me wade through it, I spoke with licensed esthetician, brand founder, and skin care truth-teller Charlotte Palermino, who’s done her fair share of research in the sustainable beauty department (she’s the co-founder of Dieux, the skin care brand that blew up on TikTok for its reusable Forever Eye Mask). Two hours later — we’re thorough, what can I say? — and I had a better grasp on what exactly makes a product “eco” and “sustainable.”
While I’ll spare you the 120 minutes worth of knowledge I now possess, I will hit you with the honest takeaway: “The truth is, nobody has it figured out completely,” Palermino says, “but there are brands who are doing their due diligence and helping to do the work on minimizing their carbon footprint and overall waste, and who pivot when research shows there’s a better option because science does change.”
So, after a lot of vetting, here are a few of my favorite products and companies that I think are doing amazing things in the beauty and home product space — a.k.a producing top tier products while simultaneously helping to minimize our impact on the planet.
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An Eye Mask With The Earth In Mind
Since I spoke to Palermino in depth about her brand’s efforts, I’ll start with her company, Dieux: Their viral Forever Eye Masks, $25, are reusable, meaning they’re made of a non-porous silicone so you’re not tossing sheet mask after sheet mask into the trash. To use them, simply apply your favorite eye cream or serum, let the formula get a little tacky, and apply in the usual manner — they work to hug the formula close to your skin for maximum penetration. After doing a life cycle analysis of packaging options available, Palermino and her two co-founders will be transferring the packaging of the brand’s other products to 100% recycled aluminum by 2023. “For me, it’s like, how do I offer you a great eye mask from Dieux with a fun decal on it that you want to take a selfie wearing, but simultaneously make sure, on our company’s end, that we’re doing our part to protect the planet and be transparent in the process when it comes to cost and sourcing?” adds Palermino. “That really should be every brand’s thinking and responsibility.”
An SPF That’s Kind To Our Oceans
One of my favorite SPFs — Kinship Self-Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen Zinc Oxide SPF 32 — is also doing its part when it comes to the planet. Both the tube and cap are both made from post-consumer recycled plastic. Did you know that only 9% of plastic actually gets recycled? So props to companies like Kinship that aren’…….