Sustainability in Makeup Products: Zillennial Pink Turned Green
By: Megan Eusey
We are still somewhat locked down, so perhaps it is finally time that I update my beauty routine and convert it into something more sustainable. I know what you’re thinking, ugh could this girl sound more Zillennial? What difference can her beauty products realistically make on the environment? Realizing that my outlook was extremely Zillennial, and frankly predictable, I still proceeded to “make my makeup bag green.” I started by putting my faith in ever-reliable Google and searching my daily product’s sustainability ratings. I had never been extremely invested in clean beauty products, but after learning about the hazardous chemicals in the ingredients and the impact they have on our environment, my priorities quickly realigned.
Following my deep dive into my personal care products’ sustainability, I took another deep internet dive into finding cleaner alternatives. The issue that I found, however, is that more sustainable products are far more expensive. For example, the makeup remover I currently use is $6.50, but it has high hazard concern ratings. When I went to find a cleaner product, everything suggested was over $20. That being said, if the products we use now are so unsafe, but the alternatives are so much more expensive, then what does is the average working-class American expected to do?
Zillennials are known for complaining about expensive things and creating new products to compete with the high prices that consumers dislike. With this in mind, I continued forward on my internet quest. Then, I happened upon reusable products. The reusable products certainly kill two birds with one stone; consumers only have to make a one-time purchase, and they continuously use (hence the “reusable”) the product, decreasing the consumer’s daily waste. Now, to find the most trusted brand.
There are hundreds of companies that are continuously generating and promising the same thing: clean, sustainable production. However, just because the packaging may look recycled or the marketing of the product appears “green,” it does not guarantee that these products are living up to their promises.
ImseVimse is a Sweden-based, eco-friendly company that is known for its honest, sustainable products. The best part of this company, however, is its dedication to providing clean products at an affordable price. They understand that not all consumers are able to afford to double or even triple the price of their beauty budget.
After perusing their website, the I was most excited about their reusable cotton rounds. They are most similar to the traditional throw-away cotton rounds because they are made of completely organic cotton. This is important because it implies that the cotton was grown without the use of pesticides nor fertilizers, which is far better for both the environment and the consumer’s skin. ImseVimse also makes it easy to wash this product by providing a mesh bag to toss the rounds in and clean in the washing machine.
As a whole, this experience was very revealing for me. I found that the products I am using are not only bad for the well-being of the environment, but bad for my own physical health, as well. The number of ingredients deemed “hazardous” in the products that I use on a day-to-day basis was shocking. I am glad that I was able to identify that and begin my search to find alternative options. I do wish, however, that sustainable beauty products could be made easier to find. It took me over an hour to decipher between truly sustainable companies and those that are scheming with “green marketing.” In the end, I was able to find products that I can now trust and adapt into my daily beauty routines. Harp on the Zillennial generation all you want, but the Earth is appreciating my purchase almost as much as my skin is.