Have you heard of blue beauty? Image by Adobe Stock.
We’ve all heard about green beauty, but the latest movement sweeping the world is blue beauty. So, we investigated exactly what this sustainable beauty movement means and how we can get on board.
The beauty industry is one of the biggest contributors to the world’s pollution problem and single-use plastic waste, and our marine environments suffer the most – with a whopping 8 million tonnes of plastic waste entering our oceans each year, as well as 150 million tonnes of plastic waste circulating in our marine environments. While green beauty focuses on environmental protection, blue beauty focuses on how products, packaging and ingredients harm our oceans, as well as the harvesting of precious marine-derived ingredients such as seaweed and squalene.
Green beauty has allowed us to become more conscious of our lifestyle choices, such as eating clean, composting, recycling and avoiding chemicals and harmful ingredients. This green beauty movement has educated us and allowed us to make healthier choices for ourselves and the environment by opting for more natural and clean beauty products. However, now is the time to start focusing on blue beauty and the impact consumerism has on our oceans and waterways.
With more and more beauty brands becoming aware and making environmentally positive changes, there are small things we, as consumers, can do to make sure we are doing our part too. Such as, purchasing reef-safe sunscreens – Marine biologists have found that certain sunscreens contain chemicals that bleach coral reefs, which severely impacts the marine eco-system, putting reefs at risk of dying off. In fact, it is estimated that a crazy 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen end up in our oceans every year.
Another thing we can do is to avoid beauty products that contain microbeads, which are tiny plastic particles found in products such as exfoliators. Microbeads are not biodegradable and because they are so small, they cannot be filtered at wastewater treatment plants, so they end up in our oceans, rivers and lakes and while they are sitting there, they can soak up harmful toxins like a sponge and float around.
We can also avoid ingredients that have been harvested from the sea, such as seaweed and squalene – an ingredient that actually comes from shark’s liver and is touted for its hydrating properties in skincare. Finally, we need to make sure that the brands we are purchasing from have sustainable packaging – some brands are even going as far as to use recycled plastic packaging for their products that has been recovered from ocean pollution such as beauty brand – Ren skincare and haircare brand Kevin Murphy. While other brands opt to use biodegradable packaging for their products.
To find out more about how you can become a more conscious beauty consumer you can check out some more of our articles on this topic: