Everything you need to know about zero waste ecological cosmetics

Our responsible desire of the moment? Adopt products that are as effective as they are ecologically correct to reduce our impact on the environment, while doing good for our skin. Instructions for use with Stéphanie Reymond, cosmetic formulation expert at Squarexpert and Nina Roos, dermatologist.

Today, you can lighten your beauty bag and protect the environment with solid products and eco-responsible washing powders, effective even for sensitive skin  !

Portable washing powders

Light, practical and easy to slip into a travel bag, they also have the advantage of being formulated without water (which avoids wasting it), and therefore without the usual (potentially irritating) preservatives that the presence of liquid requires. usually. As a result, they are well tolerated, even by  sensitive skin, and very concentrated (with 100% active ingredients!), for better effectiveness at lower doses and economical use.

How it works ?

Simply mix them with a little water in the palm of your hand before applying to the face, body or hair. Stéphanie Reymond, cosmetic formulation expert at Squarexpert.

But “a small downside for users, these powders turn out to be very volatile and they quickly absorb humidity, which makes them susceptible to bacterial contamination: be careful to protect them well  ,” continues Stéphanie Reymond.

Is it good for my skin and hair?

These products are convenient for travel, but relatively basic in terms of ingredients, warns dermatologist Dr. Nina Roos.

“While they may be suitable for normal hair , for example, they may not meet the needs of textured hair or hair prone to dandruff . On the face and body side, they are effective, but sometimes lack sensoriality, because they foam less than traditional products. Finally, regarding the formulas to be reconstituted, be sure to respect the quantity of water indicated  : not enough, they can become irritating because they are too concentrated; too much, they will lose effectiveness.”

And for the planet?

“We buy a bottle that we will reuse several times, and refills wrapped in paper or cardboard, so there is a real eco-responsible impact if we adopt them,” concludes Stéphanie Reymond.

Solid, long-lasting products

Shower gels, shampoos , treatments or makeup removers in bars contain no silicone, soap or sulfate, for a natural feel and protected skin and scalp. Portable and very concentrated, they last longer than classic formulas (one bar = around two bottles of liquid shampoo, for example).

How it works ?

As for cleansers, simply apply them directly to the face and emulsify with a little water before massaging gently to free the skin of sebum and impurities. The care formulas are also deposited on the skin and spread like classic creams.

For the shampoo, on the other hand, you must rub it in the palm of your hands before applying the foam to the scalp. Never rub bread on your head: residue and irritation guaranteed! Dr. Nina Roos

“And be careful not to let them stagnate on the edge of the bathtub  ,” adds Stéphanie Reymond. “If they crack and disintegrate, beware of the risk of bacterial proliferation…”.

Is it good for my skin and hair?

The solid shower gel has a slightly acidic pH, close to that of the skin. As a result, it washes without attacking and protects the hydrolipidic film. Good news for dry or sensitive skin ! As a bonus, there are often nourishing vegetable oils such as rapeseed or olive.

Concerning bar shampoo , certain formulas use a quantity of surfactants two to three times greater than that of liquid shampoos, in order to obtain more foam, which can dry out the fiber, or even irritate the scalp by leaving residue. sources of irritation.

And for the planet?

Sold without packaging, these products reduce environmental impact by eliminating plastic containers and excess packaging.

But be careful about their rinsability: they generate less foam and may cause you to use more water, because you will spend more time in the shower trying to get some. By applying too much product. Stéphanie Reymond.

Multi-use care

One product = several functions thanks to these Swiss cosmetic knives! With their limited list of ingredients, and therefore high tolerance, and their anti-waste spirit, they can also be used by the whole family. A minimalist trend called skip-care, which takes the opposite view of the famous layering, encouraging you to layer dozens of products on your face.

How it works ?

These are often simple balm- type galenics  which repair, soothe and care for, or multi-purpose oil , which leaves satin and velvety from the roots of the hair to the tips of the toes. “These simple products are perfect for daily use and a faster and considerably simplified beauty routine,” notes Stéphanie Reymond. “Their general formulas are often packaged in XXL bottles and designed for use by all members of the family, sometimes even including young children.”

Is it good for my skin and hair?

Multipurpose skincare products have shorter formulas, therefore potentially less aggressive and less irritating to sensitive skin.

But in terms of results, don't expect as much performance as with a treatment formulated to meet a specific need, which targets a problem and whose combination of active ingredients + texture is optimized for a defined result. Dr. Nina Roos.

 It is impossible to fade spots, firm the skin or smooth fine lines with this type of all-purpose cosmetic, which nevertheless proves effective in hydrating and nourishing the skin. It all depends on your expectations! ".

And for the planet?

This simplified version of our beauty rituals not only saves time and money, it is also more respectful of the planet since fewer products also mean less packaging and less waste.

Smart, long-lasting refills

Good news for purchasing power and the environment, refills cost less and are offered in formats that are both larger and easier to store than traditional products. Often based on formulas used by the whole family, they allow a sustainable, ecological and economical purchase.

How it works ?

To fill your reusable bottle, which you buy once and for all, simply pour in the contents of a Doypack, this ingenious eco-refill sachet made of flexible film, lighter and easier to transport than a bottle. As it is also 100% recyclable and its manufacturing requires 80% less plastic and 50% less water, compared to a bottle of equivalent capacity, it's hard not to agree!

Even if, Stéphanie Reymond procrastinates, "the best would still be to eliminate the Doypacks and to refill your bottle directly in store, as proposed by the Pharma Recharge Consortium (alliance of 5 major players in the sector, the Expanscience laboratories, Garancia, La Rosée Cosmétiques, Bioderma/NAOS and Pierre Fabre). By giving their customers the opportunity to come and resupply at the pharmacy, pharmacists are positioning themselves at the forefront of more responsible consumption.”

Is it good for my skin and hair?

No change compared to the formulas contained in traditional bottles, but a strong representation of dermocosmetic products: when we switch to refills, we therefore have a good chance of using more shower gels, body and face treatments from major pharmaceutical laboratories . With better tolerance and safety validated by clinical tests.

And for the planet?

Products offered in refill format make it possible to save between 60 and 65% of plastic, but also to use less glass or aluminum and to spend less energy. Stéphanie Reymond.

As a bonus, refills cost less than the classic product, and many brands now offer very designer glass or aluminum bottles, to keep in your bathroom and refill endlessly. You buy your container only once, and some brands, like L'Occitane or The Body Shop, even offer to fill them directly in store. When it comes to perfumes, for example, choosing the Lancôme Vie est Belle refill means making a gesture for yourself and the planet with - 50% glass, - 46% plastic and - 46% cardboard.

Upcycling makes something new out of something old

Upcycling or “ recycling  ”  refers to the process of giving a second life to materials, products or packaging by recycling them to make new ones.

For more responsible production, the cosmetics industry is starting to transform agri-food waste  : the Pulpe de vie brand uses, for example, in its care, damaged or poorly calibrated fruits or vegetables, while Nivea offers a second life to marc of coffee by extracting the oil it contains and integrating it into a day cream, or that Mustela recovers maracuja seeds discarded by the fruit juice industry to transform them into 3 beneficial active ingredients for the skin.

Long live reusable accessories!

  • For makeup removal  : according to consoglobe.com, we use on average 6 cotton pads per day, or more than 2,100 per year! Replacing them with washable cotton squares helps reduce waste while consuming less, or even no, makeup remover. They also inspired reusable eye patches, which decongest and boost the absorption of eye contour care;
  • To exfoliate your face  : gently, replace the scrub with an exfoliating brush;
  • And again... We replace cotton swabs with oriculi and we use recyclable bamboo toothbrushes, now easy to find in pharmacies!

For perfumes: what is the Flor-Index?

This is the only tool that is, to date, capable of measuring the environmental and societal impact of perfume formulas at all stages of their development cycle. It is also the only tool whose relevance and transparency have been audited by Afnor Certification. Concretely, it makes it possible to analyze 38 indicators (from the supply of raw materials to the end of life of the perfume, including production and transport), in order to evaluate 8 criteria including:

  • The weight of responsible raw materials;
  • The weight of fair trade raw materials;
  • The unnecessary solvent content;
  • The energy required for production;
  • The impact of transport:
  • The biodegradability of a formula;
  • The measurement of its toxicity on the environment and health.

After weighting these elements, the tool assigns the perfume a grade from A to E , working on the same principle as the Nutri-Score. Starting this year, we will be able to discover the new juices produced taking into account the Flor-Index  !