Beauty

woman painting nails

Photo courtesy of Anna Dabrowski/The Licensing Project

Sustainable Skin, Hair, and Body Essentials We Love

From biodegradable packaging, glass jars, and reusable tools to the radical notion of no packaging whatsoever, the clean beauty industry is working hard toward sustainability, with many hair, makeup, skin, and body products that claim to be sustainable. A number of them are worth changing up your routine for.

  1. goop beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C +
    Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop, $125/ $112 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  2. Kate McLeod The Naked Stone
    Kate McLeod The Naked Stone goop, $45
    SHOP NOW
  3. KORA Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer Refill Pod
    KORA Organics Turmeric Glow
    Moisturizer Refill Pod
    goop, $46
    SHOP NOW

As a brand, goop is moving full-steam ahead toward sustainability, as are many of the lines we sell. No one claims to be fully there yet, but until they are, these are some of the broad categories within sustainable to consider—along with the individual items we really love so far.

Plastic is the least sustainable option. Roughly 9 percent of the plastics that get placed in recycling bins are actually recyclable, according to the EPA.

Every piece of plastic bears the widely recognized recycling triangle logo—thanks to plastic-industry-supported laws—regardless of its recyclability. This shifts the burden of responsibility from the plastic producers to the plastic consumers; we’re under the illusion that if we were just better recyclers, the plastic problem would go away. But even if we managed to recycle every piece of plastic we interacted with, 9 percent is obviously nowhere near enough. (Look up the recent Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for more on this—it’s incredible.)

Tip: To recycle many types of beauty product packaging (including single-use plastic), TerraCycle is the best solution we’ve seen.

1

Recycled Plastic

Creating containers from recycled plastic or resin gets us away from single-use plastic, which is great, but recycled plastic often can’t be recycled, so there’s definitely a trade-off. Still, recycled plastic is an infinitely better choice than single-use.

  1. This rich, petal-pink balm feels incredible going on, and it leaves your lips soft, supple, and moisturized.

    Saie Liquid Lip Balm
    Saie Liquid Lip Balm goop, $16
    SHOP NOW
  2. This groovy-looking shower gel smells like a redwood forest in Northern California.

    Bathing Culture Mind and Body Wash
    Bathing Culture Mind and Body Wash goop, $20
    SHOP NOW
  3. This foaming scrub both exfoliates and cleanses, leaving your skin super soft.

    Necessaire The Body Exfoliator
    Nécessaire The Body Exfoliator goop, $30
    SHOP NOW

2

Zero-Waste

Forgoing containers altogether makes the biggest difference in sustainability. With just paper or cardboard around products like an amazing new shampoo and conditioner, or the bamboo that encases Kate McLeod’s moisturizing stones, these are probably the most sustainable options out there to date. You can recycle, reuse, or compost all of the elements in zero-waste packaging.

  1. This nourishing bar leaves hair shiny and
    healthy-looking, with zero plastic waste.

    Superzero Shampoo Bar for Normal/Oily Hair
    Superzero Shampoo Bar for
    Normal/Oily Hair
    goop, $18
    SHOP NOW
  2. Try this incredible zero-plastic conditioning bar and you may never return to the stuff in the bottle.

    Superzero Conditioner Bar for Normal/Oily Hair
    Superzero Conditioner Bar for
    Normal/Oily Hair
    goop, $18
    SHOP NOW
  3. This magical unscented moisture bar melts into a luxurious lotion-meets-massage-oil as you smooth it into skin. It’s great for any skin type including sensitive, and it’s so easy to use.

    Kate Mcleod The Naked Stone
    Kate Mcleod The Naked Stone goop, $45
    SHOP NOW
  4. Brooklyn-based Redoux’s bestselling brightening, sunset-colored cleansing bar lathers gorgeously and leaves skin silky—without plastic packaging.

    Redoux Turmeric Bar Soap
    Redoux Turmeric Bar Soap goop, $16
    SHOP NOW

3

GLASS

Glass is much easier and more cost-effective to recycle than plastic—its recycling rate is roughly 32 percent, according to the EPA. Negatives with glass include the extra weight, which adds to the fuels being used to transport the product, and the fact that glass breaks easily, making it a liability in wet areas like the shower. There are often plastics included with the glass (in the form of tops or applicators), so it’s important to separate them out when recycling.

  1. MASK

    This whipped hydrating gel-mousse mask made of flowers transforms skin overnight, leaving it silky, plumped, renewed, and glowy.

    Tata Harper Nourishing Hydrating Floral Mask
    Tata Harper Hydrating
    Floral Mask
    goop, $95
    SHOP NOW
  2. MAKEUP

    For a gorgeous sun-kissed glow, this ultraflattering bronzer is made with buriti oil.

    RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer
    RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer goop, $28
    SHOP NOW
  3. FACE OIL

    This ultraluxurious active face oil leaves skin firmer, smoother, softer, more radiant, and moisturized—
    the (clinically proven) results blew us away.

    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil
    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One
    Super Nutrient Face Oil
    goop, $98/$89 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  4. VITAMIN C

    This daily glow serum combines two skin-care powerhouses—vitamin C and hyaluronic acid—for skin that looks radiant, moisturized, and healthy.

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C +
    Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  5. BODY OIL

    One of the prettiest scents ever, this is amazing as body oil and also as an incredible perfume.

    Balmyard Beauty Romantic Call Body Oil
    Balmyard Beauty Romantic Call Body Oil goop, $82
    SHOP NOW
  6. CREAM

    This serum uses bakuchiol for retinol-like results, along with powerful peptides to increase skin’s elasticity while reducing the look of lines and wrinkles.

    Beautycounter Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum
    Beautycounter Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum goop, $79
    SHOP NOW
  7. SERUM

    A powerful essence that treats skin with thirty-plus active water-soluble botanicals, plus vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

    Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence
    Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence goop, $225
    SHOP NOW

4

Aluminum

Aluminum is also relatively easy and cost-effective to recycle; its recycling rate is approximately 35 percent, the EPA reports.

  1. A moisturizing sun-protection balm made with only seven ingredients, with a cool, colored band around it to keep everything together.

    EIR NYC Surf Mud - SPF 30
    EIR NYC Surf Mud – SPF 30 goop, $24
    SHOP NOW
  2. We keep this cooling balm in our first aid kit to soothe everything from sore muscles to bruises, and the cooling sensation helps, too.

    EIR NYC Cooling Butter and Arnica
    EIR NYC Cooling Butter and Arnica goop, $24
    SHOP NOW

5

REFILLS

Another strategy that companies often combine with using recycled plastic or glass containers is to sell the container only once, so customers refill it rather than throwing it away. It’s a concept that works for this rich, turmeric-infused moisturizer; eye shadow; blush; and more.

  1. Tinted a gorgeous golden yellow with antioxidant turmeric, this ultrarich moisturizer leaves skin supple (and comes in a refillable tub).

    KORA Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer Refill Pod
    KORA Organics Turmeric Glow
    Moisturizer Refill Pod
    goop, $46
    SHOP NOW
  2. These brilliant full-size refill pouches of the bestselling Rahua Hydrating Shampoo cut plastic use by 90 percent and deliver the same aaaaamazing formula.

    Rahua Hydration Shampoo Refill
    Rahua Hydration Shampoo Refill goop, $30
    SHOP NOW
  3. Half of this chic, refillable compact (red edition or iconic edition) contains a creamy blush for a pop of color, and the other half is a bronzy highlighter.

    Kjaer Weis Flush & Go
    Kjaer Weis Flush & Go Dual Color goop, $40
    SHOP NOW
  4. This hydrating gel-cream seals in moisture in the skin’s outer layers leaving it supple and renewed.

    Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer Refill Pod
    Tata Harper Water-Lock
    Moisturizer Refill Pod
    goop, $62
    SHOP NOW

6

REUSABLE

Whether it’s a reusable makeup remover to replace your face wipes or a skin-invigorating face-sculpting tool, these can be used until they wear out and can replace less-sustainable elements in your routine.

  1. You need only water to take off all your makeup using this brilliantly soft cloth.

    Face Halo The Modern Makeup Remover - Pro
    Face Halo The Modern Makeup Remover – Pro goop, $22
    SHOP NOW
  2. To wake up skin: the cooling, soothing power of rose quartz crystal.

    goop Beauty Rose Quartz Soothing Face Massage Roller
    goop Beauty Rose Quartz Soothing
    Face Massage Roller
    goop, $45
    SHOP NOW
  3. Use this amazing tool to smooth, sculpt, and refresh skin—and it works with your favorite products for even more noticeable results.

    Shen Sculpt and Lift Facial Tool
    Shen Sculpt and
    Lift Facial Tool
    goop, $56
    SHOP NOW
  4. Use this gorgeous hand-cut jade comb for an invigorating gua sha massage for your scalp.

    Act + Acre Scalp Gua Sha Comb
    Act + Acre Scalp Gua Sha Comb goop, $40
    SHOP NOW

7

Biodegradable Plastic

Biodegradable plastic is made of organic materials (meaning nonsynthetic materials, not USDA organic), according to the EPA. To qualify, they must be engineered to biodegrade at least partially.

Compostable plastics are also biodegradable but must be processed in industrial treatment centers with the ability to decompose plastic, according to the EPA. Note that when biodegradable and compostable plastics are recycled with plastics that are actually recyclable, the entire load is contaminated and likely taken to a landfill, so definitely don’t try to recycle compostable and biodegradable plastics. Very few beauty companies are using compostable or biodegradable plastic in packaging at this point, and currently there are no EPA-approved methods of composting plastic at home; when the tech develops, we plan to put ours in our compost!

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