Zero waste cosmetics: a sustainable and eco-responsible option

By Nuria Iribarren *

At the beginning of our civilization, cosmetics were inseparable from medicine and food. They formed a great whole where humans used and shared orally the wisdom and resources of nature.

With our crazy lifestyle habits and the marketing waterfall we're exposed to, we seldom consider this origin in common, and forget that those creamy, super-white substances ever came from Mother Earth's gifts.

We can say that we are the first society in the history of humanity to choose conscientiously the commercial and marketing before the healthy. Our lack of interest in our health and in the planet, demonstrated by the advancement and growth of so many industries that intoxicate us (among them the cosmetic industry), are of great historical and genetic importance for our species.

(You may also be interested in: Greenwashing and bunnywashing: marketing that haunts the cosmetic industry)

We have created a “guinea pig generation”, where we allow them to experiment with us with commercial objectives, where the result is more than evident: increased commercial profits to the detriment of our public and environmental health.

According to a World Bank report, if urgent measures are not taken, in the course of the next 30 years the generation of waste worldwide, driven by rapid urbanization and population growth, will increase from 2010 million tons registered in 2016 to 3.4 billion.

Considering this panorama, dreaming of a 100% clean and natural Earth and human life is practically a utopia. However, it is urgent that, as a minimum, we make every effort we can to try to reverse the situation, and that we become aware of the importance of each step we take (big or small) towards a more sustainable life.

Zero waste cosmetics

Natural cosmetics and "Zero Waste" is an invitation to actively participate in this change, since it proposes the production and consumption of products with noble ingredients, little processed and 100% biodegradable, which practically do not generate waste before, during and after its use.

How is this accomplished? Prioritizing the preparation and consumption of products in solid format that do not need bottles, pots, jars, or any other type of packaging for their marketing and use.

The famous solid shampoo, which has gained popularity around the world for some years now, is a great example. But you can also make or buy conditioners, balms, deodorants, makeup and many more products, with this practical and sustainable format. These products do not need more than a paper that wraps it or at most a box (which can be made of recycled cardboard, wood or glass) to keep it at home or take it on a trip.

For starters, you can approach producers in your area and try their solid cosmetics. You can also make them yourself in the comfort of your home. Thus you will contribute your grain of sand, taking care of yourself and caring for the environment.

Learn how to make your own cosmetics

Another way to get started on the path of natural cosmetics and zero waste is to make your own products, with 100% natural ingredients. If you want to learn more, you can take the Kalimiel online course. Find it in the Bioguide Courses section, in the cosmetic category. There is an exclusive 10% discount for you!

* Nuria Iribarren is a naturopath specialized in natural cosmetics. She is the director of the Kalimiel International School of Natural Cosmetics, where she offers online courses related to natural cosmetics, and is the host of the television program "Natural Cosmetics".