Sustainability Tip #15

Sustainable Skin Products.

Jojoba plant

Remember – What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body as if you ate it.

Natural, non-synthetic products are likely going to be more environmentally friendly. For instance, look for reef safe, chemical free sunscreens. 

Also, be mindful of the containers and packaging. Look for containers made from paper/cardboard, glass, metal, or post-consumer plastics.  Is the container refillable? 

Are ingredients sustainability sourced? Organic, not tested on animals? 

This is a partial list of unfriendly, if not outright toxic ingredients, found in topicals in the USA. The EU has stricter rules and has banned some chemicals still allowed in the USA. Avoid these ingredients as much as you can (nail polish has some of the worse ingredients) – nanoparticles (which can end up in our mitochondria, brain, and our ecosystem), parabens, artificial dyes. formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), triphenyl phosphate, aluminum, DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine), DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl, mineral oil, petrolatum, PEG (Polyethylene glycol),  Siloxanes, Synthetic fragrances , oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone, animal fats, Phthalates, Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT), etc. This list is not extensive nor complete. Different countries have different regulations.

Ingredients of a typical skin lotion

Topical serums and oils packaged in glass jars, are usually the most natural and sustainable ingredients. A product that is readily available and meets the above criteria is Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis). It is a sustainable oil that resembles our own sebum. The Jojoba plant, a drought- tolerant shrub, grows in the Southwestern desert.

Bottle of jojoba oil

According to Healthline, it is

1. Moisturizing.

2. Antibacterial

3. Antioxidant

4. Noncomedogenic

5. Hypoallergenic

6. Controls sebum production

7. May help promote collagen synthesis

8. May help speed up wound healing

9. May help soothe eczema, psoriasis, and other drying skin conditions

10. Soothes sunburns

11. May help acne

12. May help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

13. May help minimize the appearance of scars

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