Are you putting sheep sweat on your face?

Sustainable Beauty Tips

Author(s)
Amelia Lucas
Topic
Are you putting sheep sweat on your face?
Pledge
Research Eco-Credentials

Brand Partners

Little Suds Soap Company
Novapure Naturals

The beauty industry continues to grow as the average Brit spends roughly £400 on beauty products and services each year [1].

Using BEIS data, this would equate to a carbon footprint of 150kg of CO2e per year. Even starting with small habits:

Not using your hairdryer for a year is the equivalent emissions of taking the train from London to Athens!

Additionally, the beauty industry is notorious for its negative impact on the environment as it contributes to the draining of natural resources, cruelty towards animals and severe amounts of plastic waste through packaging.

So... what can you do to cut carbon in your beauty routine?

Body Wash vs Bar Soap- which is Greenr?

Liquid soap has 10x the carbon footprint of bar soap for three reasons. [2]

  1. Chemicals: Liquid soap typically contains a lot more chemicals to keep the product in suspension or gel-like than bar soap, making it significantly more energy-intensive and therefore using more CO2.

  2. Water: Liquid soaps contain 60 to 90% water. This means that they will run out much quicker than bar soaps and increase your consumption of shipping, packaging and plastic.

  3. Packaging: liquid soap is packaged in leak-proof plastic containers requiring more energy to produce than solid soap packaging (typically made of paper or card), not to mention the fact such bottles will take centuries to decompose!

There are over 1 billion bottles of body wash thrown away each year and left in landfills [3].

Bar soap is better for the environment and companies like Little Suds Soap take sustainability one step further by creating bar soaps that are not only eco-friendly and vegan, but also 100% plastic free. Julia, the creator of Little Suds Soap explained how she recognized that “The cosmetics and toiletry industries have been huge contributors in the growth of single use plastics” and therefore “wanted to produce an everyday soap and an everyday shampoo that didn’t require a plastic bottle. Little Suds products are left as naked as possible”.

little suds soap.png

Animal-derived ingredients are hiding in your makeup!

Whether you are vegan or not, it is always important to know what is hiding in your makeup or creams.

There are lots of common cosmetic ingredients that come from animal-derived by products. If the product isn’t promoted by a vegan brand, it can be difficult to figure out what is actually in your makeup.

Here are three common ingredients that are typically derived from animal products:

Collagen

Collagen found in lip-plumping glosses and anti-aging creams. Collagen is often used as the non-surgical option for fuller lips or to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Whilst it may plump your pout, Collagen is a fibrous protein derived from animal tissue, specifically bovine, fish or porcine sources.

Retinol

Retinol is the main ingredient in many “anti-ageing” products and a type of Vitamin A. Again, this product is often derived from animals, specifically from dairy products and fish. Some retinol sources are vegan, derived from cantaloupe, carrots and pumpkins so definitely worth checking! One of our favourite brands, The Ordinary, prides itself on having a 100% Vegan beauty range.

Lanolin

Lanolin is in most lipsticks and makeup removers, due to its emollient and conditioning properties, helping your skin retain water and feel hydrated. However, this oily/ waxy ingredient is derived from the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing mammals, i.e. sheep sweat. So, when using products that contain Lanolin, you are basically putting animal grease directly onto your face! 🐑 (Ewe)

When a product is free of animal produce, it naturally has a lower carbon footprint. When shopping vegan, not only are you thinking of animals, you are also thinking of the planet!

Our top tip is to avoid the risk of having animal products in your makeup by opting to support vegan beauty brands. For example, one of our sustainable brand partners NovaPure Naturals has created a wonder product that is natural and completely vegan/cruelty free. Novapure Naturals powder has multiple uses which range from alleviating nappy rash, to reducing the size and redness of acne- it is the definition of multipurpose!

Asset of Novapure Naturals

To check whether your beauty products are vegan and cruelty-free, check the label. The leaping bunny logo is the gold standard for cruelty-free cosmetics and skincare! You can check out a list of cruelty free brands here.

Leaping Bunny Logo

Take a break from the heat!

At Greenr, we are always looking for small steps you can take to save the environment and the pennies in your pocket!

That’s why reducing the use of your hairdryer, straighteners and other electric powered products is a great way to cut carbon emissions in your beauty routine. Using less power equates to less money spent on electricity and consequently, fewer green house gasses being released into the atmosphere.

Here is a worked example:

Say you use a low-powered hair dryer everyday for 10 minutes; this would equate to around 73 kWh over the course of a year. However, if you stopped using a hair dryer completely, you’d save around £13 off your energy bill whilst also reducing the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere by around 26.8 kg. That’s the equivalent of travelling 3000km by train - or from London to Athens!

Sources:

[1] Stats on British Women’s Make-up Use

[2] Comparing the Environmental Footprints of Home-Care and Personal-Hygiene Products: The Relevance of Different Life-Cycle Phases

[3] Reduce Plastic Waste

[4] 10 Common Cosmetic Ingredients That Are Derived From Animal Products

[5] How much does it cost to use a hairdryer?