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Beauty & Skincare: Your Sustainable Shopping Guide

Each of us has a daily skincare and beauty routine.

Whether you’re using a 35-in-1 product that somehow works as both a shampoo and foot cream, or you have 12 different steps to your morning and nighttime skincare rituals, these daily habits have a huge impact on the environment.

As consumers, it's up to us to decide whether that impact is positive or negative.

You want it to be positive?

Great. So do we.

That’s why we want to tell you all about how you can make sustainable beauty and skincare shopping choices.

What to look out for when shopping sustainably:

Greenwashing & Kindwashing

As the demand from consumers for sustainable alternatives to their daily cosmetic products grows, so too does the responsibility on businesses to meet this demand, and ditch unsustainable practices from their production and operation.

But whilst some businesses are making these changes for the right reasons, driven by a motivation to protect people and planet, some are doing it just to capture this change in consumer behaviour, and ultimately to make more profit.

How can you tell the difference between the two?

By looking out for obvious signs of greenwashing and kindwashing.

Businesses that greenwash and kindwash will fill their marketing materials with sustainable beauty buzzwords such as ‘clean’ and ‘conscious’, but won’t actually back these claims up with evidence to prove that they’re practising what they preach.


Product packaging creates one of the biggest impacts on the environment, with 91% of packaging ending up in landfill. The health and beauty industry plays a significant role in this, with a staggering 95% of packaging needing to be thrown away after use. Ditch the unsustainable practices, not the packaging, and keep an eye out for brands that claim their packaging is:

  • Made from recycled materials.

  • Made from recyclable materials (there’s a difference between the two!)

  • Reusable or refillable

  • Biodegradable or compostable.

‘Cruelty Free’ Loopholes

Animal cruelty is one of the unkindest practices in existence on the planet, let alone within the beauty and skincare industry. Many leading brands such as Lush, The Body Shop and Superdrug are leading the way, imposing blanket bans on animal testing and animal cruelty within their product lines. Although it might feel like there’s an abundance of brands in opposition to animal cruelty, not all of them follow through with this in practice, and are still guilty of perpetuating this horrific means of production.

Even if brands say ‘we don’t test on animals’, this could just mean that they’re hiring other people to do it for them instead!

How can you make sure that the beauty products you’re buying are truly cruelty free?

Look out for the authentic cruelty free logo, not an imitation or copy of it.

Kind Businesses you can make sustainable beauty & skincare swaps with

Now that you know what a kind beauty and skincare brand SHOULD look like, we’d love you to meet some of our vetted and approved Kind Businesses that provide sustainable and ethical alternatives for your skincare and beauty routines.

They make natural, vegan soap and skincare products in Scotland, and are passionate about using plant based ingredients, even growing some of their own to keep down their carbon footprint. They also donate soap to good causes, as if they weren’t already doing enough kind sh*t!

Zenoté consciously creates vegan soaps, shampoos and bath products with the environment very much at its heart. Wife and husband team Andrea and Neil make everything in small batches always vegan, plastic & palm oil free and only using the purest essential oils.

They make natural cosmetics, hand crafted, small batches, using as many organic products as possible. The main focus in kiibok is to go back to ancestry knowledge of working in synchronicity with our body and the planet. Go back to the principles of natural ingredients, adapting to the eccentricity of the technology, like the extract of essential oils. Their natural deodorant comes in aluminium tins, and they promote reusing or recycling them.

Awesome Botanical was founded by Natalie Dawson, and now they’re on a mission to help people take the self-care time that they deserve, using products that help to restore, energise, and calm.

All of their luxury products are handmade by Natalie in Gateshead, and with each product she creates Natalie wants her customers to feel that wow feeling to bring that much needed boost to their wellbeing.

Altruis Living provides natural, ethical wellbeing products with personalised, prescriptive advice. Using their holistic therapy background, they match the correct products to your condition or emotions, taking away the guesswork and overwhelm of choice and give you natural, enjoyable solutions to provide results.



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