Can Makeup products or Skincare really be Zero Waste?

Every day it’s like a new makeup product is born. Companies small and big recognize that skincare is a lucrative industry, and when packaged right, their makeup can be the next bestseller. Some products are surrounded by hype from the get-go, while others continue to be a hit, giving them some credibility.

Because of the presence of these new and improved skin care products every so often, consumers, of course, are tempted to buy them in their shiny new packaging. What most people don’t think about is the trash that comes with the product they use to beautify their skin. There is some improvement, but can skincare really be zero waste?

Slow Progress

The skincare products we enjoy today come with all the bells and whistles: they can hydrate, moisturize, brighten, exfoliate, clarify, whiten–all at the same time. You’d think they’d eliminate the need to buy other products, but unfortunately, that’s not how consumerism works. The staples, such as a moisturizer or facial cleanser online shops offer in bulk, have earned their place, but everything else is competing to get a place in one’s skincare table. Others have taken on the challenge of turning skincare zero waste–for the wrong reasons. They do it because it’s what a good portion of consumers want. In a way, it works, and we now have products with recyclable packaging, but we can still do so much more.

On the Part of the Consumer

It’s not just a task for product manufacturers to reduce the trash generated by their products. Consumers also need to think about every purchase they are making, and they should make each empty tub, tube, or sachet count for something. To be zero-waste, it does not mean one should just turn away from skincare completely; but to be conscious of your environment, it wouldn’t hurt to recycle the packaging or support brands that offer reusable or plastic-free packaging. Just as manufacturers are making their move towards greener manufacturing practices, consumers must do their part in contributing to less trash after each product use.

The In-between

You can have an eco-friendly manufacturing process and a zero-waste consumer, but in the middle, the logistics that brings the product to the consumer can still be wasteful. For instance, if the product is wrapped in additional packaging by the delivery company, that generates unnecessary trash. Furthermore, if you buy products such as facial cleanser online, the vehicle that takes the product to you should maximize its use of fuel by delivering as many products in the same route as possible. On the consumer’s end, this means it’s better to buy more so that the energy used to deliver each item is minimized.

Those who pay close attention to the waste they generate are worthy of praise. They are thinking of the future generations and the practices we are leaving behind for them. However, it’s not too late for those who are still new to zero waste or waste segregation. As long as you are willing to learn and make an effort, you can contribute to waste reduction.