Your face and the planet will thank you for it.
13 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the ocean each year.
Plastic pollution – a needless endemic which is killing wildlife and destroying the earth – is a direct result of the surge in popularity with regards to all things beauty in recent decades.
While this has turned the cosmetics industry into a booming multi-trillion dollar industry – and allowed fans to express themselves and hone crafts in self-expressive and artistic ways – the aftermath is producing more toxins than we'll ever be able to count.
Enter, conscious beauty.
The thriving sustainability industry is marrying the world's love of luxe products with good, clean and biodegradable packaging.
Here are some we recommend, wholeheartedly.
The gorgeous British-based beauty duo behind Babe Balm boast sugarcane-derived bioplastic tubes that are both recyclable and biodegradable. Their products are also 100% natural, certified vegan and cruelty-free (they have the coveted Leaping Bunny stamp of approval) and are delivered using carbon-neutral methods.
Their best-selling Babe Balm contains no essential oils so it's suitable for sensitive skin, pregnant women and even babies.
They also send you your products in an eco-friendly and reusable BYBI bag. We're hooked.
2. Lush Naked range
The single best way to be more eco-conscious while also treating yourself – no packaging!
You may have heard of fan-favourite Lush ditching their outerwear in favour of 'naked' products – well now, they're here and selling out of stores everywhere. The solid products boast the beautiful Lush aroma which made them famous, but also commit to the cause in a big way.
Their face serum and shower gel, especially, will change the way you think about packaging. The deodorant – we felt – needs a drop of water to deem is usable on colder days, but it smells beautiful and definitely does the trick.
3. REN skincare
The team at REN are all about clean beauty. Clean for skin and clean for the planet. Their goal is to be waste-free by 2021, by creating 100% recyclable packaging (some of it can even be dissolved in water), refillable solutions and bottles reclaimed from ocean plastic via their continuous stream of beach-cleaning.
They've also introduced a partnership with LOOP—the first-ever waste-free shopping platform, designed to change the world’s reliance on single-use packaging. You can't really get any better than that.
Their stuff is also perfect for sensitive, delicate wind-and-rain-beaten skin. We'd recommend the Hot Cloth Cleanser – which is a great dupe for Liz Earle's – and the Vitamin C Cream.
4. Elate Cosmetics
Attempting a full make-up range while also committing to values which have long been tricky to manoeuvre in the beauty world is equal parts impressive and admirable.
Managing to do that while also producing products that actually work and would warrant repurchasing? Incredible.
Elate is a multi-hero-product range which uses solely healthy ingredients and sustainable practices.
Their compacts, tools, and palettes are made from bamboo, every refill purchased is enclosed in seed paper (which can be planted afterwards) and their cruelty-free ingredients boast ethical marketing and sustainable practices.
Also, their range is killer. We'd recommend the mascara and lipgloss which is the least sticky gloss we've ever used.
5. JO BROWNE
Carlow based natural solid perfume business Jo Browne was founded by reflexologist and Holistic Therapist Joanne Browne.
The naturally nourishing Jo Browne Facial Cleansing Balm has both beauty and healing benefits, thanks to the use of organic camellia oil, nature’s miracle oil that naturally reduces inflammation and promotes collagen production.
Handmade in Ireland, the cleansing and nourishing balm effectively removes eye makeup, as well as foundations and daily grime. And, with a combination of eight fragrant essential oils to protect and deep clean, it smells absolutely divine.
6. The Skin Nerd Mitt
There are many reasons why you shouldn't be using face wipes - and saving the planet is one of them. The Cleanse Off Mitt quickly removes all makeup naturally with just water, no cleanser needed.
Once your makeup is removed, pop in the wash and use time and time again.
7. Sculpted by Aimee Connolly
No matter how wearable each shade in a palette may be, there will always be one that hits pan ahead of the rest. When that happens, you bin that palette with plenty of product to only go out and buy the entire palette again - not anymore.
Sculpted by Aimee Connolly offers a refillable palette. Choose your own pans, fill as you please - it's that simple.
8. NUNAIA Nourishing Radiance Serum
It's labelled COSMOS Organic, Vegan Society certified and Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free. Can't get much better than that.
9. Dr Hauschka
A pioneer in this field, the 50-year-old brand uses biodynamic farming methods to grow its ingredients, and green electricity wherever possible. Most of its high-quality, plant-based offering (the beautiful Cleansing Milk and iconic Rose Day Cream, for example) is packaged in glass and aluminium jars and tubes; what plastic remains has begun the transition to PCR, saving 65% of raw oil in the process. Side hustles include work with the World Hunger Project.
One of their most popular products – used frequently by MUA to the stars Nikki MakeUp – is their bronzing tint. Adding a believable sunkissed glow to any face, this bottle will see you through the long, long Irish winters.
Main image by @cailinrusso