As we become more conscious about how our purchases affect our planet and the people on it, some brands are working hard to minimise their impacts on the world.
Many of those brands are in the beauty world, where companies like Milk Makeup and Nude by Nature are stepping up their sustainability efforts.
But why is sustainability such a big deal in the beauty world right now?
“While our shopping habits have remained fairly habitual, our approach to sustainable and ethical shopping has shifted, with 54 per cent of consumers actively seeking out brands that care about the environment,” says beauty expert Gemma Watts.
A study of 1,000 shoppers revealed that 39 per cent of people want to buy from brands with ethical values, while 38 per cent are looking for sustainably produced items.
A further 36 per cent prefer buying products that come in recyclable packaging, and they’re willing to pay for it.
On average, 25–34-year-olds spend a whopping $344 on beauty and skincare each year, while 35–44-year-olds spend a bit less, around $244 annually.
“Consumers clearly consider health and wellbeing – for both themselves and the planet – as vitally important,” the report said.
What does that mean? Basically, that “brands need to offer ethicality and sustainability to buyers at a good price point.”
In fact, even high profile shoppers are looking for more sustainable options these days, including some of Australia’s most beloved names.
Turia Pitt was recently photographed wearing the uber-sustainable Eye of Horus mascara, lipstick and eyeshadow.
Her makeup artist shared the look – and the products – on Instagram, so we know it’s celeb approved.
For those of us who want to embrace more sustainable beauty, it can be hard to figure out which brands to shop from and which products get us the most bang for our buck.
Fortunately, we’ve done all the hard work for you and tracked down some of the best sustainable beauty brands you can shop on any budget.
Eye of Horus
Eye of Horus is an Australian brand that Truia Pitt wears and it received several nods in The Clean + Conscious Awards, so you know it’s good.
Offering a huge range of beauty products on a very reasonable budget, sustainability is at the heart of this brand.
“The entire offering at Eye of Horus is cruelty-free, paraben-free, gluten-free and harsh chemical-free, setting the agenda for the beauty industry at large,” the website reads.
It also prioritises the use of sustainable and fair-trade ingredients, is working towards more Earth-friendly packaging and encourages a more inclusive community of shoppers.
Want to try it? Buy this: Eye Of Horus Goddess Mascara, $39, from AdoreBeauty.
Milk Makeup is all about “doing more to reduce overall impact on the environment” and markets itself as 100 per cent vegan, clean, and cruelty-free.
It’s already using more sustainable shipping and packagaing for orders, as well as using less plastic and offering more refills on their products.
As well as releasing new products in more sustainable packaging, the brand is also reinventing fan favourite products to be more environmentally friendly.
This year it relaunched the iconic Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30 with refillable cartridges, reducing plastic by up to 66 per cent when shoppers buy a refill.
The brand gets the ‘Clean at Sephora’ stamp of approval and has partnered with g2 revolution, a specialty recycling solutions program, to help reduce the amount of materials going into landfills.
Want to try it? Buy this: Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer, $59, from Sephora.
Looking for an Australian brand to buy sustainable skincare and beauty tools from? Sabbia co is the one for you – it was just honoured as a finalist in The Clean + Conscious Awards!
The brand was established “to help protect the Earth and the ocean while providing simple and effective skin care options” and has lived up to that promise with their reusable makeup pads.
“Did you know that 20 million makeup wipes are thrown away every single day? This makes wipes the third most wasteful product in the world,” the website explains.
By swapping your single-use wipes for the Sabbia co reusable options, you can make a massive impact in a small way.
The brand has also partnered with TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes to set up a packagine recycling system that helps lessen its contribution to landfill, and you can get discounts by opting in.
Want to try it? Buy this: Face It Face Kit (includes resuable makeup wipes), $49.99, from Sabbia co.
No beauty routine is complete without some SPF and Ultra Violette is one of our favourite sustainable sunscreen brands.
All of their products are cruely-free and all but two are vegan, which the brand explains on its website.
“The only exceptions are Extreme Screen which contains beeswax and Sheen Screen which uses beeswax along with sustainably sourced and cruelty free Lanolin.”
It gets the ‘Clean at Sephora’ stamp of approval and is comfortable for all-day wear, even under makeup, so it’s a great SPF option.
Want to try it? Buy this: Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF 50+ 75ml, $49, from Sephora.
Lük (pronounced ‘luke’) Beautifood is all about using toxin-free ingredients and 100 per cent natural colour in its makeup, which comes in recyclable packaging.
The cruelty-free brand was just named as a finalist in a range of categories for The Clean + Conscious Awards, and has even created its own modern beauty standard to keep all its products up to scratch when it comes to sustainability.
“The Lük Modern Beauty Standard sits at the nexus of our foundational pillars of clean, conscious and credible, to meet the needs of a modern woman who is looking for safety, efficacy and sustainability,” the website reads.
To get a better undersatnding of exactly what that entails, check out their beauty standard here.
Want to try it? buy this: Lük Beautifood Lip Nourish™ Lipsticks, $30, from Nourished Life.
It’s kind of in the name, but Fresh is the ultimate blend of natural ingredients and modern science in one sustainable little package.
The brand has been creating safe, effective skincare backed by science since 1991 and has a “forever fresh” commitment to working responsibly with communities where it sources ingredients.
That means partnering with the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), a non-profit group that promotes sustainably sourcing ingredients while also working to regenerate nature and secure a better future for people.
Basically, they work with the brand to ensure ethical sourcing practices for its ingredients, which is a huge win.
Fresh is also setting targets to reduce its carbon emissions, using more eco-packaging and encouraging shoppers to be more mindful of sustainability.
Want to try it? Buy this: Fresh Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence 50ml, $50, from Sephora.
Australian-made, clean and cruelty-free, Alpha-H Skincare is totally committed to sustainability.
All of the brand’s tubes, bottles and packages are recyclable, its liquid waste is diverted to land rejuvenation projects and it prioritises using recycled matrials wherever it can.
“We know we can’t save the world overnight, but collectively we can strive to minimise our footprint and safeguard the environment for the sake of future generation,” the website reads.
Did we meantion it also uses solar panels to help power its factory and head office, as well as supporting supporting local producers and suppliers in Australia?
And it’s totally cruelty-free… what more could you want?
Want to try it? Buy this: Liquid Gold Exfoliating Treatment with 5% Glycolic Acid 100ml, $70, from Sephora.
Nude by Nature
Nude by Nature is an Aussie brand creating beauty products with 100 per cent natural ingredients, as well as being cruelty-free and PETA Certified.
The brand sticks to natural formulas without synthetic ingredients or preservatives, and is vehemently against any kind of animal testing.
Most of its products are also vegan, and the few that aren’t are still sustainable.
“The non-vegan products in the range may contain beeswax and or lanolin, which are both ethically sourced and no animals are harmed in the production of these ingredients,” the website reads.
Want to try it? Buy this: Nude By Nature Flawless Foundation, $39.95, from AdoreBeauty.