Environmental Benefits of Simple Skincare Routines
Having a simple routine not only saves you time and money but it can also help save the planet! Using a routine that is product heavy can not only destroy your skin barrier, but it can also do some serious damage to the planet.
These are the environmental benefits of adopting a simple skincare routine.
Fewer Products = Less Waste
Go into your local Sephora, Ulta, or Target. How many products utilize plastic packaging? With the global personal care industry bringing in about $500 billion per year, that is a lot of plastic. And as the beauty industry’s revenue has grown, so has its plastic footprint. According to National Geographic, “The amount of plastic packaging on U.S. products (not just on personal care items) has increased by over 120 times since 1960—with almost 70 percent of that waste piling up in landfills. Globally, the packaging industry for beauty and personal care products, which primarily reflects plastic packaging, makes up nearly $25 billion in sales.”
The boom of plastic packaging started in the mid-20th century. This is because plastics can be shaped into packaging that is light, flexible, and sturdy. When a product is packaged in a heavy glass it makes it more difficult to transport successfully and is typically more expensive to produce.
When you have a simple routine, you are using fewer resources and not generating as much plastic waste. Especially if you are buying products that are stored in glass or recyclable packaging!
Did you know that the United States federal government does not require any health studies or pre-market testing to be done on personal care products? That means that product manufacturers pretty much have free reign on what they include in their beauty products. And this is a very broad category used by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which includes everything from make-up and deodorant to lotions and mouthwashes.
So who decides if the ingredients used in these products are actually safe? They are typically reviewed by a manufacturer-controlled safety committee called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel. However, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), “89 percent of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA, nor any other publicly accountable institution. The absence of government oversight for this $35 billion industry leads to companies routinely marketing products with ingredients that are poorly studied, not studied at all, or worse, known to pose potentially serious health risks.”
Many beauty and personal care brands use chemicals in their products, even those that claim to be “natural.” And this isn’t always a bad thing! Chemicals like preservatives are what gives a product the ability to sit on a shelf or in your medicine cabinet for months without going bad. And this can be a very good thing for the product and potentially for us (who wants to use an expired or moldy product on their skin?). But it can be damaging to the environment. These chemicals help preserve our products but unfortunately, this also makes them difficult to breakdown and they end up accumulating in our ecosystems. So while they may not be causing any damage to our faces (for the most part), they are once they get washed down the drain. Once our products are rinsed off our faces and into the sink, they go into our lakes, streams, rivers and public water systems, which can cause potential damage to wildlife and plants. And if you remember learning about the water cycle in elementary school, you know that water evaporates into the atmosphere where it gathers in clouds, returning to our soil during rain and snow. Chemicals related to cosmetics have been found in agricultural soil and household dust particles.
When you use a simple skincare routine, you are putting fewer chemicals into your body and into the ecosystem. Not only should you be mindful of how many products you are using, but also what is in the products you are using. Pay attention to the ingredients and do some research on how those chemical compounds impact our environment. You may be surprised at what you find!
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to simplify your skincare routine! Invest in products that have multiple uses and are stored in glass packaging like the Radiance Facial Oil from Dr. Steve Wang Skincare!
Father and son duo Steven Wang, MD and Gui Wang, LAc have over 60 years of combined experience helping patients utilizing both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and modern medicine. We believe that accessing the knowledge of both worlds can lead to true breakthroughs in the field of dermatology.
After years of focused testing, we are proud to offer a family of skincare products inspired by our love of holistic healing techniques. We offer products that are natural, effective, and never tested on animals.