Green Cosmetics for Women

April 3, 2012

Green cosmetics and personal items for womenDo you want to start off the spring season with a new look? Do you want to make it a “green” one? Take a look at which cosmetics can help brighten your look without casting an ugly light on the environment.

Considering all the chemicals that go into personal care products, it’s hard to keep both the environment and ourselves looking our best. Fortunately, the cosmetics industry has been making strides producing entire lines of products that are safer for the environment and our own health. Read more to find out what makes products today environmentally dangerous and which lines are green alternatives.


1. Bath and Body

Using healthy, organic soaps improves environmentUsing vegetarian or castile soaps (vegetable oil-based) is one way to make your hygiene routine more eco-friendly. Stay clear of chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban that damage aquatic ecosystems. Organic soaps clean your body without dirtying the environment. Check out bath products from Dr. Bronner’s , a decade-old line company famous for its castile soaps that use only natural ingredients. Pangea Organics is another company dedicated to eco-friendly bath and body products. Producing an array of award-winning products, Pangea is not only known for its all-natural ingredient base, but it has been recognized for its environmentally-friendly packaging system by Delicious Living Magazine.

2. Nails

Non-toxic nail polishes improve environmentMany nail polish removers and nail polishes are loaded with chemicals like acetone, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, ethyl acetate and toluene that contaminate the air and water. Finding products that nix these chemicals is getting easier—as long as you read the labels.

The first company to offer non-toxic nail polish in the U.S. is Butter London. It hosts a line of toxic-free and waterless nail polishes as well as eco-friendly nail polish removers like “Powder Room” that are acetone free. RGB is another sustainable nail product company that makes its products in the U.S. Its nail polishes are free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin and camphor and tend to be the nail polish of choice for many magazine covers!

3. Hair

Green cosmetics for women like sustainable bath and body products helps environmentSodium laurel sulphate (SLS) and its relative sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are two chemicals responsible for the “foaming up” property in a lot of shampoos. As studies show, this “foaming up” action might have negative impacts on the environment—and our health. Aside from causing skin irritation and hormone imbalance, these chemicals also contribute to nitrate contamination in water, increasing the levels of nitrate beyond Federal standards.

Aveda is an international favorite among households and spas a like for hair, skin and other beauty essentials. Founded in 1978, Aveda uses ingredients strictly from plants and flowers and purchases its ingredients from farming communities. Burt’s Bees is also known for its eco-friendly hair problems and was named one of Elle magazine’s top five natural shampoos. Its hair products are sulphate, paraben, phthalate and petrochemical free and are not tested on animals.


Green cosmetics for women like eco-friendly makeup helps environmentPetroleum by-products are among the top substances you should avoid when looking for environmentally friendly makeup. Paraffin or mineral oil, propylene glycol and ethylene are some of these chemicals.

Physician’s Formula Organic wear is the first organic makeup line certified by EcoCert, an organic certification organization. Its products contain 100 percent certified organic ingredients and are packaged in “environmentally conscious” wrapping that features 93 percent less plastic than traditional makeup products. Cargo Cosmetics is another company dedicated to sustainable makeup that features packaging made entirely of corn and makeup products that are free of parabens, phthalates and other chemicals.

After considering what goes into the beauty products you use, consider how these ingredients affect the environment. With a little research, you could give yourself and the environment a makeover no one will regret.

Also, be on the lookout for our piece on green, personal products for men.

-Alivia Ashenfarb

Photo Credit: Flickr/teammarche, Flickr/B.G.Oodwin, Flickr/Katie Brady, Flickr/milk a deal, Flickr/Nature’s Basin