Thanks to online shopping, we have more choice around what beauty products we buy than ever before. Similarly, we have access to more information allowing us to make more informed choices about the things we buy. The makeup you choose to purchase not only helps you look good, it can also reflect your ‘personal brand’ and the business that you choose to support. In this post we look at five of the biggest things to think about when choosing the makeup you buy.
1. The ingredients in makeup products impact your health, the environment and even human rights
We are seeing the emergence of more and more vegan and eco makeup brands, but how aware are you of what animal extracts or chemicals actually go into your favourite products? The European Union have taken steps to ban chemicals used in makeup products known to contain chemicals harmful to the environment and even human health, but it always pays to know what’s in the products you are putting on your face and body.
However, chemicals and animal products are not the only concern. We all know how annoying it is to get rid of glitter, but as we become more aware of the effects of plastic on the environment the use of biodegradable glitter is on the rise.
Paying more attention to the list of ingredients in your makeup can not only benefit the environment but your long term health too.
2. Packaging can have a huge impact on the environment
There has been a seismic shift in what consumers think about packaging. In the past, the prettier and more extravagant the packaging, the more appealing it was to customers, but now the opposite may be true. Excessive packaging is often called out on social media by beauty watchdog Estee Laundry.
When choosing your makeup and particularly buying online, be mindful of the packaging the brand uses. Can it be recycled? Is it biodegradable? Could the products be packaged ‘naked’? Are the brand known for excessive use of plastic? Makeup is a huge industry and it has the power to make a significant difference to the amount of plastic waste we produce, so choose mindfully.
Did you know that air travel is one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis? Rather than ordering online, and having your makeup sent to you from halfway across the world, you can shop at a local store instead. This reduces the carbon footprint of your makeup bag and saves you money at the same time. A bit of extra exercise never does any harm either!
4. Choose brands that align with your ethics and causes
With the environment and animal rights often at the forefront of responsible cosmetics production, we are sometimes not as educated about the ethics and supply chain of the brands we choose. For example, natural mica is often the product of child labour – with many companies having a hard time keeping track of the ingredient in their supply chain. Finding out more about the products and brands you choose and their human rights and modern slavery policies is vital in forcing brands to comply on a global scale. Some brands are leading the way in this regard: ASOS, for example, have created an online training program on modern slavery for their employees as part of their wider commitment to tackle human rights issues.
Brands that sell their products in China have also come under fire as a result of the Chinese requirement that cosmetics products be tested on animals before they are put on the market. Brands can often be deceptive when it comes to this requirement – but at present, if a company is selling in China, this means that their products have been tested on animals.
5. Consumer behaviour can cause a change in the beauty industry
As a consumer, the choices you make can have a great influence on brands. Without their customers, cosmetics businesses wouldn’t survive and so it’s important that they listen to what customers want. Brands are increasingly creating new formulas to take the above considerations into account, quite simply because customers are becoming increasingly mindful of their makeup purchases.