What are Sustainable Cosmetics?

When I first came into the Industry the terms Organic, Natural, Green and Sustainable kind of jumbled themselves into one niche group, of next generation products. We have previously taken a look at Organic cosmetics and Natural cosmetics, so what about Sustainable?

Sustainable is the synonym of GREEN which refers to manufacturing processing as opposed to Natural and Organic ingredients that are categorized by agriculture, originating source or the lack of synthetic ingredients. These pronounced differences provide more opportunity for growth in Sustainable products than Natural and Organic products in the years to come.


As I understand, Sustainable and Green practices were defined by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). I took the following statements directly from their website:

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability has emerged as a result of significant concerns about the unintended social, environmental, and economic consequences of rapid population growth, economic growth and consumption of our natural resources.

Today EPA aims to make sustainability the next level of environmental protection by drawing on advances in science and technology to protect human health and the environment, and promoting innovative green business practices. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. The goal of the EPA to promote innovation and Green business practices are outlined in the Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry “Also known as sustainable chemistry -the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, and use.”

Please click on the link below for the list of the 12 Principles of Green Chemisty.


Compared to Organic and Natural products, Sustainable products have a more desirable appeal overall. Organic and Natural are limited to a narrow group of ingredients used in a formulation, but Sustainable allows you to choose what part of your product contributes to the goal of sustainability — ingredients, the process of production, packaging, shipping, and anything else that may fit in the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. Due to innovative processing and the reduction of waste and energy, the savings incurred are passed on to the customer. Unlike Natural and Organic Ingredients that drive the cost of goods up, Sustainable ingredients can actually SAVE money and who does not like to save???

EVERYONE! Not only is it Cost saving, but a greater variety of ingredients exist on the market…synthetic ingredients included, that contribute to ease of formulation and performance. Let us do some simple math: Environmentally friendly + Cost Effective + Performing Formula = Happy consumer that has helped the environment, saved money and looks and feels good emotionally and physically after purchase and use.


There are many ways to incorporate sustainable practices in your formulations. Cold process formulations save time and energy. Source ingredients and purchase from companies that have adopted Green practices at their plants. Formulate powdered active products that require customer’s to simply add water and/or purchase powder or dry raw materials instead of extracts in carriers. This saves on shipping costs since water and carriers are heavy, use more energy to store, and do not have as long of a shelf life as freeze dried or powdered materials.


Obviously after our simple math equation we see the idea of sustainability not as a trend to fit a niche group, but a movement, a mind set in innovation that encompasses more than the Cosmetic and Beauty Industry. The philosophy and agenda to etch the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”, preservation of the Earth and resources on our conscience, subconsciously has us looking for ways to integrate this in our everyday lives. As a society we have gone from recycling paper, aluminum cans and plastic to LED light bulbs, reusable grocery bags, solar panels, etc as they have come available. So, having the continuation of this philosophy available in our Beauty and Personal Care products speaks to the periphery of the customer.

~Beakers up! ~ Dandizette` Beaute`

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