What do Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Miranda Kerr have in common when it comes to their choice of cosmetics? They chose to go green.  No, they are not turning into The Hulk, Yoda, or Kermit the Frog. They simply found a fabulous way to stay beautiful and radiant while helping the environment through the eco-friendly ingredients of their cosmetic products.
Top beauty brands like Garnier, UpCircle, and Love, Beauty & Planet have taken initiatives to make a complete and holistic approach to sustainability. They have committed to reducing or neutralizing environmental impact from sourcing raw materials and formulation all the way to packaging and processing. 
In 2015, the United Nations adopted a global sustainable development framework that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is safeguarding the environment through sustainable production and consumption.  The beauty and personal care industry has since launched many initiatives to advance this objective.
By using green cosmetics, you are elevating your beauty standards with an environmental purpose just like your favorite celebrity beauty mavens.
Here’s why going green is the perfect choice to beautify yourself and the world.
Green cosmetics are formulated with ingredients that come from renewable sources. These are mostly plant-derived such as natural oils, extracts, and bioactive metabolites, marine sources such as microalgae, by-products of the food industry, or bacterial sources like pro-biotics and post-biotics. The formulation is also biodegradable, which means that it will not linger in the environment, making it safe for marine species and other life forms. Ingredients are also sourced sustainably, where social, ethical, and environmental factors are being considered. One example of this is the sourcing of palm oil where it must follow the 'No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation' (NDPE) commitment, to ensure sustainable sourcing. Moreover, the formulation and any of its ingredients are not tested on animals.
Manufacturers of green cosmetic products and ingredients apply the principles of Green Chemistry to reduce environmental impact. Green Chemistry is defined as the "design of chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances".  Another aspect of manufacturing green cosmetics is to lower carbon emissions, water use, and energy consumption.
Packaging plays a vital role in product protection, preservation, and esthetics. For a product to be green, its packaging should all be recyclable or at least comes from recycled materials such as a post-consumer resin (PCR), which is plastic that has already been used and is being repurposed. Other materials that are used to reduce plastic consumption are glass, aluminum, paper, and bamboo. Green packaging initiatives are also done through the adoption of reusable and refillable packaging, biodegradable packaging such as bio-based plastics, and if applicable, having no packaging at all. Printing with natural inks such as soy-based inks instead of using the traditional petroleum-based inks also lessens environmental impact.
4. Safety and Efficacy
Green cosmetics are perceived by consumers to be safer and more effective. This misleading perception is one of the drivers of consumers' intent to purchase green products.  However, in general, all cosmetic products that are legally placed in the market, whether made from synthetic or natural ingredients, should be safe for consumers when used and applied correctly and appropriately. A comprehensive safety assessment in all aspects of product development, manufacture, and sale is required under regulations to ensure consumer safety. The same is true for product efficacy where brands are required to support their claims with experimental data.
The usage of a cosmetic product also determines whether it's green or not. In principle, even if the product is made from natural or organic ingredients, if used in excessively large quantities, can still end up polluting the environment. In this case, products that can deliver a certain benefit for a lesser amount of the product to be used are better. In the same way, products that generate lesser waste/water when used also reduce environmental impact. Examples of these products are dry shampoos, no-rinse cleansers, and low-foaming cleansing balms.
So, the next time you purchase any cosmetic products, choose green. Because as a consumer, you hold great power and responsibility to care for the environment.
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