We are SO delighted to see ethical consumerism coming into discussions among our online community all year round, and even more so with the Black Friday sales. As awareness of ethical consumerism moves to the forefront, our environment and future will flourish (hooray!). If you’re like us and have a list of ways to ethically consume in all aspects of your life, your skincare routine is definitely on that list!
So, we sat down with Orit from our team to hear all about her sustainable skincare journey, with the hope to gain a few tips for ourselves along the way too!
When I first started at Retreatment Botanics, I became increasingly aware of my environmental footprint as a consumer… Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely one to slip into the mindset of “whatever I do won’t make a difference” and for a long time I fell into that trap. But the values of the Retreatment Botanics brand slowly started to sink in, inspiring me to ask questions and focus on what I could change in my daily life to help make a difference.
This is a summary of the journey I went on to transform my skincare routine into a more sustainable one… I hope you can benefit from these tips too!
First and foremost, I delved into all the skincare brands I was using to find out what their values were. If their morals didn’t align with mine, or they didn’t have the certifications I look for, then chances are they wouldn’t be sustainable… SO, it was time to spend my money elsewhere. As a rule of thumb I always look out for these certifications:
Vegan & cruelty-free (to ensure no animal testing is carried out).
Australian made (to ensure my money is helping to grow an Australian brand and put money back into our economy).
Palm oil free (to help protect critically endangered Orangutans and their rainforest habitats)
I hadn’t really thought too much about what my skincare product packaging was made out of before I embarked on this journey… But it didn’t take long before consuming products that were packaged in glass bottles became super important to me. Where glass bottles weren’t possible, I chose to only consume plastics that I could recycle. The best thing about glass bottles is that I can reuse them time and time again (practically or aesthetically). For your plastic bottles, check out programs like TerraCycle when looking into recycling your plastics - there’s almost always a way!
I wanted to ensure I only consumed products that didn’t contain harmful toxins (for the planet AND for the sake of my skin!), but I soon discovered that navigating the ingredients list on products can be tricky… The easiest way to ensure I only consume products without toxic ingredients was to create a list of ‘NO-GO ingredients’ on my phone, which allowed me to quickly check the list of ingredients before purchasing. These are the key ingredients that I always avoid:
Other ingredients to stay away from are Palm Oil derivatives, however, this one can be tricky to identify as ‘palm oil’ is rarely listed on the packaging (it is hidden in over 200 different ingredient names!). Your best bet is to only purchase products that have a Certified Palm Oil Free logo on pack.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
As I have come to realise, eco products and biodegradable don’t come cheap. They usually cost more to produce, as they use better quality ingredients and are generally manufactured in smaller quantities. I started realising that if I spend my money on higher quality products, I could cut down on the steps in my routine - It’s a win-win! If you’re using a natural skincare range that has nourishing and active ingredients, you’ll find all your skin concerns can be addressed with fewer products whilst being just as and in some cases (as I’ve come to realise) MORE effective too!
Look around your bathroom
You might not think about other products in your bathroom… But imagine how many toothbrushes, hairbrushes, makeup sponges and razors get thrown out every year? If you want to up your sustainable efforts, consider looking into sustainably sourced wood or bamboo tools that are biodegradable. Oh, and definitely ditch those makeup wipes if you haven’t already! Switching to a cotton cloth for face-washing is a no-brainer!
Changing habits long term
Becoming sustainable doesn’t happen overnight. It took me a little time to understand and change my behaviours. Admittedly, working for Retreatment Botanics made it A LOT easier for me because I was constantly reminded of why these ethical values were chosen. I can’t possibly reiterate enough that baby steps are better than no steps at all!! Take your time, make gradual small changes so you can stick to them long term. If we all become more conscious of the products we consume, we will heal ourselves and in doing so, heal the planet.