The word sustainability is thrown around a lot now since everyone is trying to learn about how they can live a greener lifestyle. When people talk about going green, they mean they want to have a smaller carbon footprint so their routine doesn’t end up hurting the Earth.

Sustainability works along those same guidelines. It’s the practice of using or making products that were made with Earth-friendly practices and won’t do any damage to the planet once you’re done using them. People aiming to live sustainable lives will also often do things like grow their own food and use little to no electricity.

While you don’t need to go off the grid to work sustainability into your life, you can do some research to find out how to make your beauty routine more Earth-friendly. Read on for some tips about how you can ensure the products you buy are chemical-free. Your body will thank you, and so will the Earth.

Sustainability Means Good for Everyone

Many people think that if they recycle their plastic bottles and refrain from littering, they’re doing all they can to help the planet. That’s a good start, but there’s more to it than that. When you’re thinking about what you buy, you have to consider the production process from start to finish.

Beauty companies that want to make sustainable products will evaluate the long-term impact of their product on the environment before and after it’s made. They’ll look for things like natural materials and biodegradable packaging. Because they know people want products like these, companies make it clear through the design of their packaging that their products were made with sustainability in mind.

You can look up your current favorite brands to see if they’re promoting greener practices before you ever walk in the store. Typically companies will have eco-friendly mission statements or goals posted on their websites so you can see what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

Look for Labels

If you’re wondering if beauty companies could say they’re making products with the environment in mind but actually do the opposite, there are independently produced labels that make it clear advertised products are honest.When you’re in the beauty aisle comparing products, look for certifications that verify eco-friendly options. These labels will be slightly different depending on what country you’re in, but you can look them up online to ensure you know what to seek in the store.

A big label you can look for is the USDA Organic certification. If a beauty product has this on its packaging, it means it’s been tested and verified for 100 percent organic materials. Knowing about labels like these will make all the difference when you’re trying to find a sustainable brand to trust.

Read the Ingredients List

There’s a long-running joke that you shouldn’t consume any food that’s been made with chemicals you can’t pronounce, and the same could be said for cosmetics. If you look at the products you own right now, you probably don’t know most of what goes into things like mascara and foundation that you use every day.

You shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you don’t know about, especially since chemicals can harm the Earth once they end up in a landfill or are washed down your sink at night. The other struggle with ingredients is that it’s difficult to memorize all of them and learn their effects on both your body and the environment. Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to worry about doing that.

Instead, narrow down your eco-friendly beauty product options to what you might like to use. Then, look at the ingredient list on each one and compare them to natural skincare ingredients. You can use the internet to easily search each one to verify it’s a natural substance and learn how it can help you.

Making informed choices is the key to living a sustainable lifestyle. It requires more research and learning than going to the store and picking whatever product looks good or is on sale, but it’s worth it. You can minimize your impact on the environment and keep chemicals away from your skin. Once you’ve done your reading, you can use these tips to ensure your beauty products are always eco-friendly. 

Emily Folk: Conservation and Sustainability Writer. 

Conservationfolks.com