Going green with your skin care routine

I was thrilled to be contacted recently by the gorgeous Sam Crosby, founder of Western Australian skin care company Ayana Organics. With a passion for amazing organic products and a healthy vegan lifestyle, Sam is a guru on all things green – and a perfect new contributor for www.oliveonblonde.com – Welcome! In her inaugural post, Sam shares her Top 5 tips on greening up your skincare. 

Have you made the decision to “green up” your life, including your skin care products? You may be finding the array of so called natural, organic and eco-friendly products overwhelming. Here is a quick check list of my top 5 things to help you determine if a skin care company is truly passionate about being environmentally friendly.

1) Natural ingredients

It is logical to assume that products labelled as ‘biodegradable’ are environmentally friendly, however, chemical ingredients will also biodegrade, however they may break down into harmful chemicals, so the key when choosing skin care products is to select the ones that contain 100% natural ingredients (or as close to 100% as possible) As a general rule, if it sounds like a chemical, it probably is.

2) Packaging and printed matter

A company that is committed to environmental issues will use packaging that is recyclable or recycled. Some will offer a jar refilling service. PET plastic and glass are the sound choices. Keep a look out for packaging made from recycled plastic or from plant based materials. Similarly, check out the company’s gift bags and gift boxes…are they recyclable or recycled? If you tend to order skin care products online, have a look at the packing material that they are using. Packing materials such as corn starch are non toxic and biodegradable, whereas polystyrene is most certainly toxic! If a company labels their products as environmentally friendly, but has their very glossy leaflets on display on a non recyclable plastic stand, you may wish to question their commitment! Look for companies that print all of their marketing material on 100% PCW recycled paper.

3) Organic ingredients and organic certification

Organic ingredients will have been grown without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers so are both better for our bodies and the planet. Buying products that are certified organic or with a high percentage of certified organic ingredients is logical. There are numerous products on the market that say the word ‘organic’ on the label, but actually reveal themselves to be comprised of one or two organic ingredients in a largely chemical laden, cheap and nasty base product (usually petroleum). Take the time to read all of the ingredients rather than making a purchase based on marketing claims on the label.

4) Palm oil 

As many of us are aware, palm oil sourced from Borneo or Sumatra continues to cause deforestation and destruction of orangutan habitat. It has been predicted that orangutans will be extinct in the wild within 20 years if the current rate of deforestation continues unabated (palmoilaction.org.au). Palm oil is commonly used to produce soaps, so look for soaps that utilise soy bean oil or coconut oil or something similar. Palm oil can be listed in skin care, hair care and food as ‘vegetable oil’ obviously making it difficult to recognize, so if in doubt look for companies who clearly state ‘no palm oil’ or who state on their websites that they do not source palm oil from either Borneo or Sumatra.

(To learn more you can read the Blonde Olives previous posts about what palm oil is and how to avoid it)

5. Animal ingredients 

By far the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions are the meat, egg and dairy industries. Together they account for a staggering 51% of all greenhouse gasses. This is 3 times more greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation worldwide (51percent.org). As well as taking this statistic into account when shopping for your food, it is useful to be aware that a huge number of products for hair and skin contain unnecessary animal ingredients. Buying products free of animal ingredients (vegan products) will slowly decrease the need for products that use animal ingredients.

If you would like to see products that tick all of these earth-friendly boxes, then please see Sams website – Ayana Organics. Your body (and the earths) will thank you!

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