Spreading Clean Beauty

Environmentally-friendly makeup: why and how brands should embrace it

Sustainability, ethics, and minimizing environmental damage are no longer abstract concepts: they’re important values increasingly embraced by consumers, who demand companies to take action to develop sustainable products. As a consequence, environmentally-friendly makeup is not a niche claim, but a global, wide-reaching movement that can boost a company’s branding and market share.

Can companies develop environmentally-friendly makeup while, at the same time, generate an attractive narrative that encompasses their efforts for sustainability? We suggest a few tips.

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Beyond environmentally-friendly makeup: A comprehensive look at sustainability

There are a number of trends that are redefining what consumers expect from beauty brands: from the beauty tech revolution to the clean beauty movement. However, a broader movement permeates all these trends: today’s consumers want sustainability to be a brand priority. For instance, 83% of adults would like to see more innovative sustainability ideas from big beauty brands, according to a study by Mintel in 2020 in Malaysia.

The idea for environmentally-friendly makeup is born in this context. But what, exactly, does it mean for a BPC brand to practice sustainability? There are a number of factors that turn a beauty product into an “environmentally-friendly” one:

  • Ingredient sourcing. This trend is intertwined with the search for effective, natural or botanical ingredients, a now established trend confirmed by recent figures (for instance, a 2020 Mintel survey found out 54% of adults think it’s important for their personal care products to be natural or organic in Canada). 

However, the use of natural ingredients will not be sustainable unless it guarantees sourcing practices respect biodiversity and environmental conservation.

Sustainability is also increasingly linked to working conditions for farmers as well as equitable taking when traditional knowledge of native communities is used.

  • Environmentally-friendly packaging and waste management programs that embrace circular economy models.
  • Energy consumption is minimized, throughout all of the product’s lifecycle.
  • Brands provide transparency throughout all these processes so that consumers can have a clear understanding of a product’s environmental, social and ethical impact. 

Thus, brands that are embracing sustainability today must understand sustainability as a holistic process and perform extensive research on the ingredients they’ll be using as well as their production operations. In order to do so, they must find reliable, knowledgeable partners that provide trustworthy ingredients. 

At the same time, taking action towards developing environmentally-friendly makeup represents a compelling opportunity for BPC brands to appeal to today’s consumers and stand out, becoming one of the keys to succeed in the current market.

Inspiration for environmentally-friendly makeup: Our suggestion

When developing a new formula for environmentally-friendly makeup, at Provital we decided that sustainability isn’t necessarily opposed to fun and feel-good products. This is why we created the Shine On Me Face Stick, a ready-made formula for brands to be inspired.

The formula is a quick, easy, makeup-meets-skincare product that adds a hint of sheen and rich moisturization, generating an extra radiance through a fun-to-use format that consumers can take on the go.

But going beyond the easy and fun to use formula, this product provides the right answer to environmentally-friendly makeup, as it makes use of Provital’s innovative new multi-purpose ingredient ETHICSKINTM.

This multifunctional active offers preventive aging benefits, provides skin elasticity and firmness, smoothens the skin surface by reducing the number and area of wrinkles and, as a consequence of these multiple cares, it will give the skin its glow back. It also provides 120 hours of moisturization thanks to the inclusion of our HYDRAFENCE™ active.

When it comes to sustainability, ETHICSKINTM  is not only a cosmetic ingredient, but an awarded and internationally-recognised eco-ethical initiative developed and produced in Querétaro, Mexico. 

The success of this initiative starts with Heterotheca inuloides, a plant native to Mexico and traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Scientific research has corroborated its traditional applications, revealing anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects (Gené, R. M., et al. 1998), as well as its antioxidant efficacy

Because of this particular sourcing, at Provital we wanted to take action to guarantee sustainability. This is why we generated what is now one of our flagship sustainability initiatives: Mujeres y Ambiente (meaning ‘Women and Environment’). 

Through this program we’ve contributed to establishing a legal framework to protect biodiversity and to fairly compensate rural producers for their labour and inherited knowledge.

As a result, ETHICSKINTM is the first worldwide IRCC* under the Nagoya Protocol for a cosmetic ingredient, which recognises our efforts to ensure that the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources and their associated traditional knowledge are shared equitably. Other certifications associated with this ingredient include a 100% natural origin according to the ISO 16128 standard, being Vegan and China-compliant and Cosmos-approved. Other ingredients in the formula are also COSMOS-approved (e.g. cucumber and lemon extracts).

Mixing all these characteristics means the Shine On Me Face Stick provides an explicit example of what environmentally-friendly makeup can be and the possibilities to innovate in this field.

Additionally with the Shine On Me Face Stick, which presents a 99% natural origin according to the ISO 16128 standard, brands can approach important sustainable trends such as those favouring solid formats in an attempt to reduce packaging waste.

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