Today is 'Plastic Free Beauty Day' (17th June 2021).
This is a relatively new event which pulls focus on the use of plastics, whether it be virgin, recycled or reclaimed plastics, in the beauty industry; all plastics contain harmful chemicals which are having a drastic effect on human development, and babies and children are most at risk.
This day calls on brands, consumers and retailers reconsider their use of plastic, in all of its forms. To include what products are contained in, but also the ingredients of the products too. As founder of Plastic Free Baby, I'm all for this initiative!!
Do you know what your beauty products and toiletries are made of, and what they contain?
Researcher Helen Lynn, who has worked on issues linking women, health and the environment at the Women’s Environmental Network where she initiated the Getting Lippy campaign on harmful ingredients in cosmetics, explains:
“Microplastics can be found in many different forms in the personal care products we use daily, including in powder or liquid form called polymers. Plastic ingredients are used in deodorants, shampoo, lipsticks, shaving creams, eye shadows, even baby care products. Their function in personal care products may be to form films, bind and bulk out products, deliver other ingredients to the skin, or control viscosity. While the amounts of plastic type ingredients in cosmetics can be at low levels, it’s the repeated, daily, low dose exposure that can affect our health. Plus, we may be exposed multiple times, not only when we use the products but when we dispose of them and they contaminate our air, soil and water.”
What changes can you make to avoid plastics and microplastics in your everyday cosmetics, beauty products and baby products?
1) Buy plastic free and with natural ingredients: I'm pleased to say that Plastic Free Baby offers some wonderful plastic-free baby and family toiletries, such as those from The Solid Bar Company. I use these on myself and my own child. Not only are they superb quality and actually WORK, but I can also be reassured that when I put it on my skin on my child's skin, there are no hidden microplastics in the ingredients, which could be harmful to us both.
2) Download the "Beat The Microbead" app: I'm a bit obsessed with this app! You can take any of your cosmetics and baby products, scan the ingredients on the bottle, and this app will tell you if it contains any microplastics. If it does contain microplastics, it'll let you know on a traffic light system how harmful those plastics are. It scans your product, and scans for more than 500 different types of plastics. It's quite good fun, and a little bit addictive, but crucially it'll help you really efficiently navigate your bathroom cupboard for safe and harmful products. Images below are from my scanning of The Solid Bar Company range which are totally free from microplastics!
3) Choose sustainable materials that can be recycled on an infinite loop: products which come in materials such as glass and aluminium are a good choice, because they can be recycled time and again. These Solid Bar Company range of balms, to include the Nappy Rash Balm, have no microplastics in the ingredients, and comes in an aluminium tin.
4) Repurpose: Because reducing and reusing is better sustainably speaking, Plastic Free Beauty Day suggest repurposing beauty packaging. I reuse my tins to make my own creams and balms, as well as using them to hold spare buttons in my sewing basket; making your own cosmetics is a great way to guarantee natural ingredients are used, and to avoid microplastics. On June 17th, inspire others by sharing your favourite repurposed packaging idea on Instagram via @plasticfreebeautyday and @plasticfreebabyuk
Have you downloaded the 'Ban the microplastics' app yet? Had some fun with scanning your products?
Happy Plastic Free Beauty Day,
Founder of Plastic Free Baby