3 Beauty Brands Dominating the Sustainable Packaging Game

Want to hear the scary truth? Experts from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimate that our current plastic consumption habits could lead to more plastic than fish, by weight, in the ocean by 2050. Not only is plastic polluting our oceans, but it ruins marine ecosystems and gets into the bodies of the fish we eat. Plus, plastic contains a variety of chemicals that can contaminate our water, agriculture, and air during production and decomposition.

The beauty industry consumes large amounts of plastic, especially larger beauty brands and corporations. I always knew this, but I wanted to get a feel for how bad this problem really is. So, I decided to take a walk through my local Target’s beauty section and take note of how much plastic packaging I saw. To my surprise...actually, I was not surprised. Plastic was everywhere! Nearly every single beauty brand I encountered used plastic packaging, even for products like mascara that already contain packaging around the item itself. What’s up with that??

It is never too late to become more aware of your plastic consumption. In light of my Target experience, I created a list of my top three beauty brands that use sustainable packaging. Check it out:

#1: Lush

You’ve probably already heard of Lush, a global personal care brand that produces everything from their iconic bath bombs to face masks. Lush was one of the first beauty brands to work toward zero-waste packaging for their products. Today, they sell a variety of zero-waste products, including body butter, deodorant, lotion, body scrubs, and more.

#2: Aether Beauty

On your next trip to Sephora, keep an eye out for Aether Beauty, a cosmetic company passionate about keeping their products clean. By clean, I don’t mean just using minimalistic design packaging and calling it a day, like many other beauty brands do. Instead, Aether Beauty does deep research into chemicals, ensuring they are safe for consumption.

Currently, the United States Food and Drug Administration only bans 11 chemicals and does not regulate ingredients in cosmetic products, while other countries ban hundreds. Rather than turning a blind eye and using potentially harmful chemicals because they can get away with it, Aether Beauty works to keep their products safe, simple, and actually good for you. From the formulas to the packaging, Aether Beauty’s products are sustainable! Check them out.

#3: Sappho

Canadian beauty brand Sappho does not fail to impress me with their passion for sustainability. Most of their products are packaged in glass and metal, which are reusable, rather than plastic which can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose, if it ever even does. Multi-use packaging could be the answer to stopping plastic pollution from beauty product packaging, so definitely explore their website the next time you’re looking for sustainable beauty products.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Although these are my top three sustainable beauty brands, there are tons more I absolutely adore. Just a simple Google search for “sustainable beauty brands” will turn up hundreds of results for you to check out, and I highly recommend that you do so!

Of course not every “sustainable” beauty brand is 100% sustainable, but they’re challenging the status quo and taking the first step toward a better future. At the end of the day, we should be pushing beauty companies to build circular economies, rather than solely praising them for doing so. However, it’s still a great start, and we need to start supporting sustainable brands if we want to see a difference in global plastic production and consumption.