Eco-Friendly Cosmetics: The Packaging Matters, Too!

Eco-Friendly Cosmetics: The Packaging Matters, Too!

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Cambria Bold
Mar 25, 2010

It really shouldn't come as a surprise that beauty enthusiasts interested in natural makeup say the product's packaging and how eco-friendly it is (or is not) is a serious part of their decision when buying makeup, according to a recent market research study.

And beauty companies are starting to take notice.

The beauty industry has started to respond with new products and packaging methods made of eco materials like bamboo and paper (Physician's Formula), or a face cream jar made of recycled glass (Aveda's Green Science Firming Face Cream)…

...soap wrappers embedded with seeds that sprout when planted (Pangea Organics' bar soap), or makeup pencils certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and brushes made with bristles composted of 30% natural flax fiber and recycled resin packaged in a biodegradable plant-based cellulose bag (Aveda).

But it's not easy. For example, Tata Harper said it'd be great not to have to use a plastic pump for her natural face cleaners, but because her products contain no preservatives, they risk getting contaminated if people have to stick their fingers in the jar to get the product..

The next wave of packaging could be in bioplastics and bioresins, material made from corn and sugar substances that are renewable resources. (Cover FX's foundation, Mineral FX, comes in a biodegradable corn resin jar.) But the materials are so new that it's uncertain how well they'd hold up.

For now, some companies are simply trying to recycle their containers: consumers can drop off empty bottles, tubes and jars from any brand to any Origins store as part of their Return to Origins recycling program.

What do you think? Is your makeup's packaging important to you? Do you try to recycle your cosmetic containers?

Read more at The New York Times.

Image: Chester Higgins Jr. for The New York Times

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