Environmental Impact of the Beauty Industry

Jun 5th 2019

I follow a lot of beauty industry blogs and news sources and this article popped up in one of my feeds today.

Oh boy. I have opinions. 

"Your favorite beauty and skin-care products, from shampoo to sunscreen, are poisoning the ocean."

This is so very true. Many conventional, and even "natural" brands, have a significant impact on our environment and specifically the ocean. Frangipani has only plant-based ingredients. Everything in Frangipani already exists in nature. Nothing is synthetically introduced into our environment. In terms of packaging, all bottles, jars, caps, and pumps are recyclable. More on that later...

"That’s because both product residue washed down drains and packaging tossed into the trash is making its way out to sea at astounding rates, and the first warning signs that the ocean is in peril have already surfaced." 

It's important to think about what ingredients you are putting on your skin. But it is also important to think about what you are washing down the drain. If you don't care about what you are putting on your skin, do you at least care that those ingredients are getting into our water supply? We all should. There is no worry about washing Frangipani ingredients down the drain because they are already exist in nature. 

"Spurred by consumer outrage over the industry’s role in the climate crisis and widespread plastic devastation, some brands are stepping up with real, meaningful solutions that could revolutionize what our products look like in the next few years, but there’s a catch: Brands consider this beta mode, which means it’s only going to catch on if consumers both genuinely embrace environmentalism in beauty, and also continue to pressure for brand transparency."

It's only going to catch on if consumers demand it. One more time. It is only going to catch on if consumers demand it. I can't say it enough. Frangipani doesn't have a product for every part of your body. When buying those other products, demand those companies pay attention to environmental concerns.

"...humans have created more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics — and 91% of it hasn’t been recycled. What’s more, 70% of plastic waste is estimated to end up in the ocean or in landfills, where it takes over 400 years to decompose. That all means that by 2050, there will be more pounds of plastic in the ocean than fish."

I get sick to my stomach when I read statistics like this. 91% hasn't been recycled?! It is on us to demand that it is! 400 years to decompose?! Think about that the next time you buy something plastic that isn't necessary to your survival. More plastic in the ocean than fish?! Well, that one might make me cry. 

"...it’s become harder and harder to stand out, so brands often wrap, ship, and display products with unnecessary materials like paper, plastic, glitter, stickers, and bags."

Yes, it's true. Any body care aisle is a sea of different products. All trying to get your attention. I get suggestions on Frangipani's packaging from time to time and sometimes those suggestions are "Put it in a box." BIG FAT NO. Frangipani will never be in a box when a bottle holds the product just fine. Why does it need a box? That is extra trash and provides no extra value to the customer. End of story. When you are overwhelmed in that body care aisle, you should say to yourself, "What doesn't have extra packaging?" And all that extra paper, glitter, and stickers? You will never see any of that in your Frangipani order. When you are buying a product as amazing as Frangipani, you don't need all of that. 

"The industry also manufactures bottles in bright and dark colors, knowing full well they will never be recycled simply because of the color, all in the name of branding. That’s right: Even if you toss your colorful or black cosmetics containers into the recycling bin, they have a negligible chance to end up anywhere except the ocean or a landfill."

This is another frustrating statistic. Full size Frangipani products are packaged in amber brown glass bottles to protect the product best.  31% of glass containers produced in the United States are amber brown glass and it is the most common color of beer bottle. It can be endlessly recycled into more brown glass for all that beer that no one is going to stop drinking. Demand recycling!

"For example, to capitalize on the green beauty trend, a brand might create a nature-inspired formulation of shampoo by simply adding a few drops of an organic extract so it can add the words ‘natural origin’ or ‘botanical’ to the label. Then, it might make the bottle blue and add pictures of crashing waves or flowers to drive home the “natural” message, when in reality it very well may end up further littering the very environment it was inspired by."  

I think anyone who brought this particular topic up to me in person would be highly entertained by my response. Haha! I can get pretty animated about this one! Nothing in the beauty industry makes me angrier. I saw a new shampoo/conditioner brand on the store shelf recently. It does a great job on the front telling you the bottle isn't plastic. It is paper-based and you can plant the seeds that are implanted in the bottle when you are done with the product. Hmm. (You might want to make sure the seeds are appropriate to plant in your area and aren't invasive species that do harm! But anyway...) Then you turn the bottle over and look at the ingredient label. And then, if you are me, you put the bottle back on the shelf and roll your eyes and your blood pressure might spike because the ingredients are nonsense. The brand is now showing up all over social media being promoted by natural beauty bloggers. I couldn't be more disappointed with this brazen level of marketing lies. And it happens all the time. 

"...tiny plastic fragments often invisible to the naked eye, called microplastics, are showing up in dead larval fish."

No plastic in Frangipani. None. The beads in the Exfoliating Face Gel are jojoba beads. They don't scratch your skin and they also don't hurt fish. 

"...experts estimate that 90% of all reefs will be dead by 2050, and sunscreen could play a huge part in that on top of climate change and other stressors."   

"Even wearing a chemical SPF at the pool in the middle of the country could have negative impacts on the oceans. Dr. Felton explains that most chemicals are not eliminated in treatment plants after they’re washed down the drain, so they end up joining waterways or in field irrigation..."

Again with the sick stomach inducing statistics. Zinc oxide is the only way to go with sunscreen to save our oceans. Don't sacrifice our oceans for your convenience.

Now I will just say...End rant.