The tides are turning in the beauty industry, with the focus shifting from 'being green' to 'going blue', here's what that might mean for your face and your makeup bag.
If you're in any way au fait with the beauty scene, you'll be well familiar with the term 'green beauty' - a movement that encourages the transparency of ingredients, where ingredients are sourced, how they are harvested, manufactured etc.
However, you might be less aware of the term blue beauty.
What is blue beauty?
Blue beauty is a facet of green beauty, but it specifically supports ocean conservation, using reef-safe ingredients and moving towards zero-waste packaging, or packaging that is virtually plastic-free.
'Project blue beauty' was spearheaded by the founder of Beauty Heroes, Jeannie Jarnot, in an effort to create a better and bluer planet. Jarnot and Kapua Browning, the founder of Honua, a natural Hawaiian Skincare brand, hosted a beach clean up in Oahu, Hawaii, which resulted in a collection of a staggering 700lbs of plastic. During this time, Hawaii also banned two widely-used sunscreen chemicals — oxybenzone and octinoxate — in an effort to help the oceans.
Blue beauty initiatives, much like green ones, aim to educate consumers about the effects products have not only on their bodies but the planet, too via intentional actions that positively impact our businesses, our communities, our oceans, air and planet at large.
The harmful effects the beauty industry contribute to environmental risks go beyond plastic beads or unnecessary, wasteful packaging, although they both have proved highly damaging the ecosystem of the sea and the animals that inhabit it.
A number of common chemicals are known to be harmful culprits to marine ecosystems too. Often found in sunscreen, chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate are said to be contributing to coral bleaching when worn while swimming in the ocean. While wearing sunscreen should never be optional when exposed to the sun, there are ocean-safe options - we might just have to work a little harder to find them.
Brands such as Ren Skincare, Caudalie, Kevin Murphy Hair and L'Occitane have all shown big commitments to reducing the amount of plastic packaging that ends up in landfills and oceans, as well as doing what they can to keep the water (and all of its inhabitants) clean and safe.
It seems there's a real consumer shift, with people wanting to buy from socially conscious brands, rather than what would look best on our bathroom shelfies.
For Jillian Wright, the founder of the Indie Beauty Expo, it comes down to choice.
"Everyone has to make their own choices, but 'choices' being the operative word, we have choice," Wright says. If you have the privilege financially to make these choices, you can do your part to save the planet. "Conscious beauty is not a trend, it's a movement," she continues.
Your personal care is driven by awareness and intelligence and there is always room for more people to join in this conversation. You hold the power in the way you spend your money, so spend it on brands that do good.
Main image: Instagram @caudalie