Leaps and bounds are being made in the sustainable beauty sphere but it seems that one sector is trailing behind: self-tan. Here, we explore the world of sustainable tan and speak with Bondi Sands co-founder, Blair James, on the efforts being made.
When it comes to sustainability, the beauty industry is one of the first to blame. According to Zero Waste Week, the beauty industry is responsible for producing more than 120 billion units of packaging which were mostly non-recyclable. What's worse, of the small percentage of packaging that we can recycle, half of us don't. Research from Garnier found that over 56 per cent of people in the UK (that’s 4.5 million people) don’t recycle bathroom products because of the inconvenience.
And although leaps and bounds have been made in the beauty industry with new sustainable brands entering the market and old brands changing their ways to become more eco-friendly, there is one major sector of the industry that is trailing behind in its sustainability efforts and that's tan.
If you can easily pronounce and identify every ingredient in your lipstick, deodorant, and nail polish, then you should be able to do the same for your self-tanner. While most products on the market do still include chemical tongue-twisters and non-recyclable packaging, beauty brands are now rising to the challenge of environmentally friendly self-tans.
Take Australian self-tan brand, Bondi Sands, as an example. Since its conception, the brand has championed cruelty-free and vegan-friendly products making each of their formulas PETA accredited. Now expanding its eco-friendly efforts once more, the brand has launched its new Pure tanning range.
This launch is a world first in self-tanning. PURE is the brand’s most conscientious range yet, packaged with ethically sourced, 100 per cent recyclable packaging, to limit the impact on our environment and make recycling easier for consumers.
What's more, it's just as good inside as it is on the outside. The Pure range includes a bunch of skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration, vitamin C for radiance and vitamin E for repair, and importantly, is fragrance, dye and sulphate free. The range is dermatologically tested making it suitable for all skin types including the most sensitive of skin.
"Our Pure range wasn't just about innovating in the self-tanning space through product formulation, but also through our product packaging," explains Blair James, co-founder of Bondi Sands, in an exclusive interview with IRISH TATLER. "A key focus for us has been around sustainability, with one of the major factors to environmental damage being plastic production. With this in mind, we wanted to create an innovative and effective self-tanning product that was available in 100 per cent recyclable packaging." Not only is the packaging now 100 per cent recyclable but 30 per cent of the packaging contain PCR plastic meaning it doesn't rely on new materials to create the products. "It's the first step of many for us, Pure will lead the way for our remaining packaging to follow," Blair adds.
The creation of 100 per cent recyclable packing for a tanning brand is a massive step in the right direction. What makes self-tanners unsustainable is their packaging. Often housed in hard unrecyclable plastic bottles with metal pumps or dispensers, they are next to impossible to recycle fully. Even the ones with recyclable plastic bottles will still contain metal mechanisms for the dispenser meaning you have to remove the pump before chucking in the green bin – something a lot of us fail to do and therefore make the entire bin's contents unrecyclable. "Unlike traditional foam pumps, where a metal spring is a key component to create foam texture and distribute product, the foam head applicator in the new Pure range has been engineered to work in conjunction with the air space inside the bottle to do just that," tells Blair. "The 'pump' mechanism is instead replaced with 'squeezing' the bottle to produce a foaming formula." This innovation is a first-to-market creation. The replacement of metal inside the bottle makes it 100 per cent recyclable meaning you can simply place it in the recycling bin when you've finished.
And it's not just the planet that this new range helps, it's your tanning regime too. "The spring-free foam head doesn't require any pumping mechanism to produce the product, simply tip the product upside down and squeeze directly onto the skin," says Blair.
As technology and innovation evolve, Bondi Sands hopes to see other brands follow suit in being more sustainable, whether that means recyclable products or simply educating their communities on the importance of taking sustainable steps in their personal lives.
OUR TOP PICk:
The new Pure range is made up of five products: self-tan foaming water, a gradual tanning lotion, a self-tanning sleep mask, a self-tanning face mist and self-tanning drops. While each product delivers on shade and wear, our must-have item from the collection has got to be the self-tanning drops. Priced at €20.99, simply add 1-2 drops (depending on your preferred shade) to your moisturiser and be golden and glowing in just a few hours. Achieving a bespoke self-tan shade suitable for you has never been easier. You can shop the Self Tanning Drops and the entire Pure Self-Tanning Range at selected pharmacies nationwide including McCauley pharmacy and Meaghers pharmacy or shop online at Cloud10 or Millies.ie.
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Main image by @kelclight on Instagram
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