ingredient sustainability

SUSTAINABILITY, + MORE, ZERO WASTE

Thoughts on Conservation, the Environment and Natural Beauty

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Perception is a funny thing. - everything we see and perceive as reality is only based on our experiences. Sometimes we think we are doing good but we are actually causing unseen harm.

I see this in the natural beauty sector. It's easy to assume that because something is labelled 'natural', 'environmentally safe' or 'vegan' that it's automatically a safe choice. Most of the time this is true, and we cannot expect everyone to invest time out of their busy days to investigate labels (trust me, I don't want to do that either -_- ), but creating a basis for understanding our environment can help take the guess work out of being sustainable.

What is "Sustainable", well it's being able to use a resource without infringing on its natural habitat or using so much of it that it becomes endangered (i.e. rosewood, etc).

Here are some key points in determining a products sustainability:

  1. Are the ingredients quick growing? Do they grow quickly like rosemary, orange, lemon, peppermint, lavender or eucalyptus for example. Slow growing, hard wood trees like Sandalwood , Frankincense and Rosewood are not sustainable, despite labels claiming that they are "verified sustainably farmed" - think about it, any tree that takes many years to develop has the potential (and usually is) illegally overharvested and bought from a black market.
    Bottom line: do we need to cosmetically use ingredients that harm the earth? No.

  2. Don't assume vegan is better for the earth. For example BEESWAX!!! I know, vegans think beeswax is wrong because it's an animal product. That determination is wrong because nature is not that simple. Beekeepers live and breathe for the safety and health of their bees, and the extraction of beeswax is a carefully managed procedure that does not harm or kill bees in anyway shape of form. Vegan waxes such as soy, palm, and carnauba wax is extremely unsustainable. Palm and carnauba come directly from trees that aren't sustainably grown - why use them? Beeswax comes from a caring farmer that values bees and the resource is 100% sustainable, whereas vegan waxes are not.

  3. Plastic containers or excessive packaging I always prefer to buy products that have a reusable or easily recyclable in your location.

These are just some quick and easy beginner tips to sustainable cosmetic choices! I'll be discussing this topic in a more depth in future blogs so stay tuned!

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SUSTAINABILITY

Glitter is Taking Over the World.... In A Bad Way

But really - we've come to realize that micro-plastics have seeped into every crevice of earth - including the inside of the fish we eat... well, glitter is a micro plastic. Microplastics have the potential to damage our environment severely, and because of their size, they are extremely difficult or impossible to clean up. 

Plus - don't you hate that you can never get glitter off of you after you apply it? I do..

National Geographic 2017

National Geographic 2017

An article from National Geographic "To Save the Oceans, Should You Give Up Glitter?" explains this best, here are some quotes:

“All glitter should be banned because it’s microplastic and all microplastics leak into the environment,”

"Glitter is made from plastic sheets and used in a wide array of products, including cosmetics. When washed down the drain, glitter becomes a subset of marine plastic litter known as microplastic. Microplastics, which measure less than five millimeters in length, are found throughout the world’s oceans, from the surface to the deep sea floor. They are consumed by plankton, fish, shellfish, seabirds, and other marine life. Plastic bits collect in birds’ stomachs, where they can cause them to die of starvation. Scientists have become increasingly concerned about its effects on fish and other marine life."

This is a HUGE bummer to glitter lovers everywhere, but there are other options. Mica, a mineral dust / powder that is a natural shimmer is great replacement for glitter. Ny'Ala Shimmer Oil + Shimmer Bronzer Stick were originally, and still are, formulated with natural + unaltered bronze Mica powder - because we never supported using plastic on your skin.

Why do companies use Glitter rather than Mica? Because glitter is cheaper (it's a manufactured plastic), there is a wider variety of color since it's physically made, it's a bigger particle size and has a more bold appearance. Mica is smaller in particle size. 

For us at Ny'Ala, mica is a more natural glow / shimmer / highlight, and it's safer for the body and the environment.

If you're looking for alternative shimmering cosmetics, you can shop our Shimmer Bronzing Oil + Shea Butter Bronzer Stick! 

Let's all try to commit to making the world a better, healthier place for all by finding alternatives to damaging products.

.... it doesn't seem like your single cosmetic choice can make a difference, but it does.