Is it possible to be a beauty junkie who is also ecoconscious?

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Is it possible to be a beauty junkie who is also ecoconscious?
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Environmentalists and scientists have often rallied for people to view our impact on the environment as something that affects everyone personally, instead of a distant threat. The beauty industry, in particular, is a large polluter, and it’s hard to ignore the waste and carbon footprint generated in producing skincare products.

How then can we care for the environment, without having to give up our favourite creams and serums?


Being environmentally conscious doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the newest or latest creams, but being mindful of your purchases helps. Aside from applying it to meditation or yoga, practising mindfulness when it comes to shopping for skincare and makeup helps you take notice of the amount you’re buying, how much you’re using and whether you’re generating more waste than necessary.


Everyone can play a part in the movement for sustainability and fair trade, but the bigger players have the most impact on the environment due to the volume they produce. Brands like The Body Shop involve local farmers from Gebana, Brazil to produce the soya oil used in their Roots of Strength range. Kiehl’s also has a number of sustainably sourced ingredients like the Amazonian White Clay in their Rare Earth Pore Minimizing range, as well as the coconut oil found in their Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 25.


You might not give much thought to product packaging, but these boxes and cellophane wraps turn into trash the moment you unpack your product. Recognising this, Dior has taken to revamping their packaging to reduce waste. Their Hydra Life range removed unnecessary packaging like the leaflet, corrugated card and plastic wrap, while adopting the use of less glass for their jars, and inks of natural origins. Consumers can also reduce the packaging waste by purchasing refill packs like the ones Astalift offers for many of their products, including their signature Renewal Jelly Aquarysta.



This term is not regulated, which means even if a product is 80 per cent synthetic, with 20 per cent of their ingredients derived from plants, brands are able to declare the product as natural.


Organic products usually have a seal printed on their packaging to certify that its ingredients are organic, but the percentage of organic ingredients required to be certified varies from country to country.


Indicated by a bunny logo on the packaging, “cruelty-free” products mean they haven’t been tested on animals. However, all beauty products made in China are required by law to conduct animal testing, which means a lot of brands still practise it.


Products labelled “vegan” do not contain any animal byproducts. However, these products may contain synthetic alternatives in place of animal byproducts.

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New Lease Of Life

A little goes a long way – these are the brands that spearhead the eco-friendly movements like recycling and environmental conservation in Singapore.

Innisfree has an environmentally-friendly program where customers can earn membership points by recycling their empty bottles.
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Water forms a large part of the LANEIGE brand identity and every year, they promote green initiatives focusing on water scarcity and protecting clean water supplies.
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Not everyone knows about the Back to M.A.C Program, but bring in six empty containers from M.A.C to their store and you can exchange them for a lipstick.
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Kiehl’s recycling program allows you to collect stamps every time you recycle an empty bottle or use a tote bag when shopping at their stores. These stamps allow customers to redeem products.
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During the month of April, Origins has an in-store recycling drive to encourage customers to bring in their empty bottles and jars, even if they are not from the brand.