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Sustainable Beauty – Why Is It So Important?

This article is a paid partnership with HerCampus.com.

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We all know sustainability is important, whether that means recycling, saving energy, green building practices, or ecological transportation. But what falls on the backburner are the day-to-day practices that make a huge difference for respecting ourselves and the earth – namely being more mindful of what habits and ingredients are going into our beauty routines this back to school season!

Global standards could definitely stand to be improved both by brands and consumers. To combat any damage done, we’re spreading the message to beauty responsibly (AKA be conscious of waste production, reuse and recycle product bottles, and use naturally-derived ingredients whenever possible). Below, we give you the complete rundown of how to bring your beauty A-game by incorporating some green into your routine as you head back to school!

Basics of Greener Beauty

Sustainable beauty is all about action, especially because there’s a planet and society to consider during product purchases. That’s why from skin care to hair care, Garnier is here to help change human impact on the environment – and they need your help, the aid of young women (and men!) everywhere, to see the plan through.

While beauty companies should obviously aim to improve their sustainability practices, at the end of the day it’s on us as buyers to shop green retailers and initiate change. The goal is the make the tiniest amount of negative impact possible. What does that look like put into action? For the planet it means using naturally-derived ingredients and eco-conscious packaging, and for you it means paraben-free products and formulas to bring out your best this school year.

What you do at the end of a product’s lifecycle matters – namely how you treat the bottles and waste accumulated. All those bottles of body wash and mascara tubes add up. Fact: only 1/2 Americans recycle their old beauty products. That’s it. It’s unreal. When you pick up a product in the store, read the label and find out how to recycle it. (Psst, Garnier and TerraCycle have a handy guide here if you’re not familiar with how to recycle beauty packaging!) Shampoo and conditioner caps, body wash caps, skincare lotion dispensers and tubes, lipstick cases, eyeliner pencils, eye shadow cases, concealer tubes, foundation packaging – all of that and more should be in your green beauty plan, so step one begins with accountability to be responsible for your waste.


Products to Explore

Are your skin care and hair care routines sustainable? If not, here are a few products to start with to make the change, overhaul your beauty cabinet, and commit to going green.


Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1

Micellar water cleanses AND removes makeup (yes, even waterproof!) by breaking down debris. It’s often used by beauty-obsessives and makeup artists 1) for the sheer cleansing power and 2) because it is gentle on your skin - which means the water is friendly for all skin types, even sensitive skin. The multi-tasking powers mean you can use just one product to refresh your skin instead of wasting multiple bottles. Feel good about the skincare cleanser you’re using this year!


Soothing Facial Rose Water Mist

With 99% naturally-derived ingredients, this mist is ultra-soothing for your skin and ultra-good for the planet. Rose water works to calm (perfect for back-to-school season when you’re recovering from summer sunburns!), while also cleansing and hydrating for the ultimate refresh. Sprits the most on during AM, PM, or really just whenever your skin needs a nurturing boost.


Fructis Sleek and Shine Shampoo & Conditioner

If you’re looking for a new staple in your shower, this shampoo and conditioner set are a winning combination. With fairly and sustainably sourced Argan Oil from Morocco, this holy-grail pair keeps your hair healthy, silky and frizz-free without needing additional product – just remember to recycle the caps or reuse the bottles after!


Fructis Style Smooth Blow Dry Anti-Frizz Cream

Want a salon-worthy blowout at home? This paraben-free formula – also with fairly & sustainably sourced Argan Oil – can help you get a smooth and long-lasting look. Just apply to damp hair before a blow dry to protect against heat damage and give shine. We’re all about creating a cleaner and greener future while simultaneously achieving an easy blowout!


Whole Blends Honey Treasures Hair Care

Looking to tap into the power of natural ingredients? This paraben free formula blend is truly a *treasure* for repairing damaged hair. Whole Blends Honey Treasures is enriched with a natural blend, which helps restore the health and natural beauty of hair with every use. The bottle is also made of recyclable PET plastic with 30% Post-Consumer Recycled waste, so you can give a little extra care to your hair and the world around you.


Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme

Switch up your color for back-to-school with a gorgeous Nutrisse shade (the medium gold brown #53 is lovely, btw). Nourishing is the name of the game since this creme is enriched with grape seed and avocado oil for extra shine. While many dyes can lead to damaged hair, this color works to promote hair health while tinting your shade, so you can feel refreshed and new without dry texture or broken ends. For extra care, don’t forget to indulge in the Repairing mask treatment as well!

Are you feeling motivated to go green yet?! Same! After you move in to your dorm or apartment, take stock of your medicine cabinet and shower to come up with a disposal plan. If you want to flex your DIY skills while also promoting sustainably beauty, craft a cute and creative recycling bin that you and your roommates can use to keep recycle with or store your reusable beauty empties in. If a bottle is just too adorable to part with, upcycle pots and tubs into little plant pots for herbs, succulents, or cactuses.

As you head to campus, be part of the solution. Recycling, diverting the bottles from landfill, and helping transition the waste into something beautiful makes the planet looks just as radiant as you do.

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