5 Green Skincare Brands You Should Know About For Earth Day

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The $500 billion dollar beauty industry– despite “greenwashing” claims– is responsible for 120 billion pieces of packaging waste each year. Because of this, among other causes, the WMO issued a red alert last month after measuring the probability 2024 will hit record-high heat. As a result, the market for skincare with anti-pollution properties is expected to reach $1.4 billion by the end of 2031, with global warming threatening sun damage and premature aging

Today, Earth Day calls attention to the looming climate change with this year’s global theme highlighting Planet versus Plastics. Below, we rounded up 5 green skincare brands using eco-friendly packaging with sustainable ingredients.

“Sustainability was a key consideration as we made our packaging choices at epi.logic,” founder Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton tells ESSENCE. The Brooklyn-born clinical skincare brand– known for their simple, effective daily facial rituals– use active ingredients to address complexion concerns while neutralizing irritation. Their bestseller, a collagen growth factor serum named Master Plan, is an example of their eco-friendly glass while their fortifying peptide cream The Total Package demonstrates their recyclable aluminum.

Other products like Daily Dose (a vitamin c multivitamin defense serum) and Double Feature (containing retinol and AHAs) bottle up a formula known to fight sun damage, while also having an aesthetically-driven design. “Our design choices were made with the hopes that our customers would be inspired to keep their skincare empties and give the chic packaging a new life by upcycling them,” Dr. Jeanniton says, all transported in cartons produced in a carbon-neutral facility powered by wind.  

According to the World Food Program, climate change disproportionately impacts the BIPOC population including Pakistan, South Sudan, Madagascar and other African regions. In an effort to protect indigenous communities, Eadem chooses earth-friendly materials like glass and recyclable plastic to improve global circularity. Although only about 5% of plastics in the United States is actually recycled, the plastic cap and dropper bulbs in their packaging (like their Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum) can also be reused. 

Not just that, their cartons are produced with compostable paper and dyes accepted by most recycling programs. “It was important to us to make as many choices that would minimize the harm on the planet since the communities that are most affected by climate change are communities of color,” Eadem states on Instagram.

Other than ethical formulations, the Australian skincare brand has had a long-standing approach to sustainability since founded in 1987. In addition to their 100% vegan formulas, many of their product vessels are 97% recycled PET made of household plastic waste, reducing their carbon footprint through circularity. Customers at their QV and South Yarra locations can also partake in their refillable in-store trial, where glass bottles can be reused. In other locations throughout the globe refill options promote the reuse of non-recyclable pumps, backing their intention to become a fully regenerative business with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

“We believe that sustainability not only means addressing the long-term impact on our ecosystem but that we must also make products that meet the demands of everyday life,” Klur founder Lesley Thornton writes. As a self-funded, woman-owned skincare line, Klur is positioned in agreement with nature through their botanical formulations. From stories about our relationship with the Earth to products referencing it (cue the Skin Soil exfoliant) their infinitely recyclable and amber-lead-free glass packaging speaks to a similar sentiment. As for the outer cartons and boxes, they are made in the US using 50% recycled and 30% post-consumer waste or 100%-FSC certified recyclable paper cartons.

From BPA to microplastics, single-use plastic is known as the frontrunner of environmental waste emitting an estimated 1.8 billion tons of greenhouse gas per year. Which is why the organization behind Earth Day is calling for a 60% reduction of plastic production by 2040. Unlike other “clean beauty” brands, Humanrace’s skincare bottles are designed specifically to be reused crafted from over 51% post-consumer recycled landfill plastic.

“We partnered with our manufacturer to adopt a foil-sealing process that eliminates the use of over 1,200 single-use plastic caps per hour during production,” the brand writes on Instagram. In addition to their vegan, cruelty-free formulas made without 1,300 ingredients deemed unsafe by the EU, their most popular initiative reduces single-use plastics through refills. Meanwhile, the FSC-certified recyclable cartons are printed with non-toxic vegetable dyes.

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