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Sustainability and the Cosmetics Industry.

December 1, 2009

Is our love affair with cosmetics sustainable? Is there more to sustainability than an organic’s sticker and biodegradable packaging? and What on earth is a “Fit Product”. Listen to the podcast above for some Realize Beauty sustainability musings.
Amanda is a cosmetic chemist and consults to the industry through the Institute of Personal Care Science. She also facilitates a sustainability workshop “Natural Personal Care” for the Watershed in Newtown, Sydney.

We would love to hear your views on the sustainability of the cosmetics industry. Let’s talk!

UPDATE: 14th December 2009.

Sustainability was the theme of a recent conference in Sweden (SCANCOS Malmo, 5-6th November) so I thought that I would share with you their findings.

Sweden and its neighbours use the Nordic Swan label as its label of choice for sustainable and green consumer products and many cosmetic brands have adopted this.  Up for debate was the place of Nanotechnology under the certification – a tricky one as this science has only recently taken off in the cosmetic arena meaning that environmental impact data is few and far between. So far it looks like Nordic Swan will allow nanoparticle UV filters (and they favour Titanium Dioxide over Zinc due to environmental impact) but only for sunscreen use. 

Parabens were also tabled by SCANCOS and a new report on the toxicity of Methyl Paraben was discussed. As usual, parabens were found to be perfectly safe due to them being rapidly metabolised by the body should they manage to enter it. However, SCANCOS like the rest of the world has given up trying to talk sense to the media, NGO’s and eco labelling people who are hell bent on removing Parabens from the cosmetic toolbox.

The full report from SCANCOS is available here and the Nordic Swan Criteria is available here. If you are a cosmetic brand trying to break into Scandanavia please read it thoroughly – the rules are a-changing!

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