Is there such a thing as green makeup? Why, yes, there is. And it comes in many different colors too. Confused? You shouldn’t be. Green makeup is just another name for environmentally friendly cosmetics. And I promise you they won’t make you look like Shrek.

Environmentally-friendly makeup, also known as eco makeup, is makeup that enforces eco-friendly practices in order not to harm the environment. Manufacturing makeup can be just as harmful to the environment as manufacturing a car. It causes pollution, creates massive amounts of waste, and uses a lot of toxic chemicals.

Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to look bad to be eco-friendly. A lot of brands such as Aveda, Bare Minerals and MAC are doing their part to help the environment. We just need to be a little bit more aware of what we’re buying, putting on our faces and bodies, and what we’re releasing into our planet.

Here’s a basic breakdown of how you and your makeup can go green:

Non-Chemical Makeup

Conventional makeup is usually processed with a high number of chemicals. Some of these chemicals contribute to skin problems and are linked to different types of cancers. These products usually contain SLS, parabens, petroleum derivatives, synthetic colors or fragrances or propylene glycol. Instead of using petroleum-based lip gloss, go for ones made with beeswax. Also, did you know that the fragrances in products are used to mask hundreds of chemical ingredients which are naturally stinky?

Reading the labels on products is so important. You should recognize actual descriptions such as “no artificial fragrances or dyes” rather than vague terms such as “natural” or “hypoallergenic”. Always search for Organic or Natural certification on labels.

Against Animal Testing

Eco-friendly makeup prohibits the use of cosmetic testing on animals. Brands such as The Body Shop and Origins do not contribute to harming endangered species or cause animal suffering. One of the things The Body Shop did was to pioneer a cruelty-free way to derive the scent for their popular White Musk fragrance, instead of using the conventional method that gathers it from deer.

Look for the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) label on products to determine if they are strictly cruelty-free. It is the world's only international standard for cosmetic or toiletry products that are not animal tested and they have strict guidelines to follow.

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

Consumer product packaging contributes to approximately 1/3 of all daily landfill waste. Imagine!

Reduce your use of disposables such as makeup wipes and use the good old soap and water method. Or if you prefer using wipes, use organic cotton wipes and sponges that can be washed and reused.

Look for packaging that can be recycled. MAC has a good recycling policy in Kuwait. For every 6 containers you want to dispose of (lipstick tubes, nail polish bottles) they will trade them with you for a new lipstick. Origins has also started a brilliant incentive. They accept empty cosmetic tubes, bottles and jars, regardless of brand, to be sent to a location where they will be recycled or reused.

Finally…

See? That wasn’t so hard was it? While doing some research for this article, I learned a lot about many makeup companies and found many online eco-friendly suppliers as well. If you are really interested in learning more about your favorite brand, go online and see if they’re doing their part in helping the environment. And finally, the next time you go makeup shopping, notice the packaging that the product is contained in. Was it recycled? Can you recycle it? Does it look harmful? Now think twice before buying it.

– Alya Al-Othman. Sources: So Organic, Origins, AC

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