Blue Beauty: Everything You Need To Know About The New Sustainable Beauty Movement
There's always progress to be made when it comes to making our beauty regimes more sustainable. We've ditched the microbeads, switched from make-up wipes to cleansing with muslin cloths and reduced our cotton usage but there's still more to be done.
The newest clean beauty trend to get on board with? Blue beauty.
Unlike other clean beauty movements, such as the Green beauty trend, Blue beauty has a very focused agenda on what it wants to help and how brands can work towards achieving the end goal.
Here's how we can all channel our inner David Attenborough and do what we can to help the cause...
What is Blue Beauty?
According to WWF, one dump truck full of plastic waste enters our ocean every minute, this is the equivalent to 8 million tonnes of plastic every year which is having a huge impact on our sea-life.
Founder of the movement, Jeannie Jarnot explains, 'A lot of people associated blue with ocean-friendly. And that is a part of it, but there’s more to it. Blue Beauty brands are making sure their products are safe for the environment – which includes being ocean safe as well as sustainably sourced, minimising carbon footprint etc. – but are also looking at ways their practices are contributing back to and having a net positive effect on the environment.'
Blue beauty is all about limiting our plastic wastage, making it easier for us to recycle and protecting our oceans from chemicals found in our beauty products, such as suncreams.
'More than 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging are produced globally every year, a lot of which is not recyclable', explains Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF-UK. 'The answer isn’t necessarily to switch to products in alternative packaging as all materials can have negative environmental impacts.
'The key is to identify beauty products where the packaging is refillable or reusable for another purpose; support brand and retailer initiatives who encourage the return of packaging for recycling purposes and ensure that where packaging is unavoidable, it contains recycled materials as this can reduce the overall carbon impact', says Chin.
What's the difference between Blue Beauty and Green Beauty?
Unlike green beauty, blue beauty isn't just about using clean, sustainably sourced ingredients. It revolves around the impact packaging has on our marine life, as well as water wastage and limiting the damage we inflict on our oceans.
'They both play a crucial role in the fight against global nature loss and climate change. The ocean can provide solutions that take pressure off land-based sources of production and, if restored, the ocean can be a true hero in feeding us and providing natural climate solutions', explains Alec Taylor, Acting Head of Marine Policy at WWF-UK.
It's essential that we keep doing what we can for both beauty movements as ultimately everything has an effect in our environment.
'Clean beauty is generally equated to non-toxic beauty, as in non-toxic when being applied to our skin. But we need to think of what happens to the synthetic fragrance and silicones that are washed down the drain from our shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant, make-up – everything.
'These ingredients are still very prevalent in everyday products, and tons of them are being washed away every day without realising the impact they have on the environment, marine life and planetary health' says Jarnot.
What effects do our beauty products have on marine life?
Terrifyingly, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, which means we need to make a huge change.
Chin believes that, 'Plastic pollution is the most visible sign of the environmental crisis we’re facing. Eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped in our seas every year killing precious wildlife in every corner of the oceans, from local beaches to the frozen arctic.
'Businesses, governments and individuals all need to play their part in eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic from our lives, using our planet’s precious resources more efficiently and taking greater responsibility for the waste we create by reusing and recycling where possible'.
This is why it's crucial we look for refill options of our favourite products when they're available and making sure we recycle all parts of used up products if we can. Brands are starting to introduce PCR (post-consumer plastics) in their packaging which means no new plastic is being produced, giving the environment a helping hand.
If your products aren't recyclable, it's time to get creative. Why not turn an old moisturiser into a plant pot?
One of the biggest threats to the coral reefs is suncream. Although it protects us from damaging sun rays, it's causing damage to marine life ecosystems. Hawaii was the first US state to ban suncream containing coral-harming chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which comes into effect January 1st 2021.