Why is everybody now talking about 'carbon neutral' beauty?

Thanks to our brand partner, Sukin

So, if anyone is a Youbie like me, you would’ve no doubt heard about carbon natural beauty.   

But what does this actually mean? Is it a new tagline that the beauty industry is trying to use to boost their sales? Or is this the future of beauty products and something we should be thinking about? 

I’m here to do the work, and help you understand exactly what this movement involves. And I’ve called upon our good friends at Sukin to help us out. 

From cleansers to oils, moisturisers and clay masks, Sukin is one of those affordable brands that is easy to access and just... works. And who knew they've been carbon neutral for 13 years and counting?

Heck, you read that right. 13 years. Yet, this carbon neutral beauty movement is only coming to the forefront of the beauty industry now, more than ever. 

This term is so much more than the packaging that our products come in, so let us unpack shall we?

What actually is carbon neutral beauty?

Carbon Neutral is essentially the way business can work on reducing their climate impact to net zero. 


This is no easy feat and a heck of a lot of work goes into creating this sort of change to reduce environmental damage. So it's quite a milestone for a business to claim they actually achieved this, globally. 

Looking at how Sukin ticked this off their 'save the planet' to-do list, they made the conscious decision to be carbon neutral back in 2008. Since then, they've offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon.

Woah. That's the equivalent to the greenhouse emissions of 4,400 trips around the world.

In order to continue their zero-carbon footprint, Sukin managed to offset each carbon emission that they produce globally as a company: as in, from the emissions made when transporting their products to store, to the packaging and products themselves, it’s all offset. 

The machines that are used every single day to make their formulas? Yep, they’re all offset. Even the electricity that keeps the lights on and computers running within their offices is all offset. That’s commitment to the cause. 


Wait, why is it important again?

Why is this such an important innovation on their part? Well, our carbon footprint (as in, how much carbon dioxide we produce) is extremely important, as CO2 as well as other greenhouse gases trap the sun’s radiation inside the earth’s atmosphere (stay with me), causing the earth to heat up. And that's global warming, my friend.

So I’m sure if the environment could talk, they’d be yelling thank yous at Sukin. But we do need more brands on board.

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How do these eco choices impact the beauty industry and our products?

If you think about all the beauty buys we each individually purchase every single year, it’s a whole lotta product. And with product comes packaging, plastics and often a bunch of delivery waste if we don’t reuse (where we can) or recycle. 

Now, without sounding too scientific (there's a reason why I didn’t take up advanced science in high school many moons ago), biodegradability is something more brands should be implementing.

If packaging is biodegradable, then, given the right conditions and presence of microorganisms, fungi, or bacteria, it will eventually break down to its basic components and blend back in with the earth.

It makes total sense. If we go back to the products we use, the packaging that we love in our beauty collections because it looks so cute, how much waste does this also contribute to the environment? 

Sukin have really taken charge to leave a zero-carbon footprint globally in everything that they do. So, it's really a holistic approach we need to be expecting of more brands in this booming environmentally conscious beauty sector: biodegradable or recyclable packaging (to reduce waste) natural ingredients and formulas (so we don't have to stress about what's going down the drain) and sustainable practises (so they, as well as everything else, can help reduce carbon emissions). 

How can I make a difference? 

Like most Mamamia readers (and You Beauty listeners) like me, I too am a sucker for a cult beauty product. I will admit, I haven't always checked or taken notice of the impact I may make to the environment in supporting it with my purchase. 

But today can the day to start to be more conscious of their buying decisions, and here's where we can collectively look at ways to improve our impact. Here's exactly how I propose we do this:

1. Research your products

It's from my research that I stumbled across these awesome sounding masks: 


And you know I love to see it: hello, biodegradable beauty. Each of these Sukin sheet masks is made with 100% natural cotton fibres that will biodegrade 6 months after use. 

If we seek out more biodegradable options in the products we already love to use, then that's a small change in our day that'll add up to a rather huge difference. (Also don’t they just sound GLORIOUS?)

2. Make sure a brand's values align with your own

Our dollars are the ultimate indicators of which beauty companies we show our solidarity for; not only to support their products, but their actions too. A conscious habit we can adopt is to make sure we look further into the values and actions of brands we buy with, to ensure they align with our own.

Particularly with their impact on the environment.

You might ask yourself: Do the brands I want to support with my dollars have recyclable, or biodegradable packaging? Do they talk about the steps they're taking in the carbon neutral beauty movement? Are they transparent in how they're improving their own environmental impact, or minimising their waste?


Plus, even questions like: Do these brands showcase body, cultural and age diversity when showing off their products? Do they test on animals? Is this brand vegan-friendly? 

While some of these even go broader than a brand's environmental impact, they're still useful checkpoints for you to gauge whether a brand is working to leave the earth (and the people in it) better than they found it.

3. Cut down on what you throw away 

Aim to give your beauty buys you're not loving to someone else. Have a cleanser that your skin might not be a fan of? I’m sure your partner or friend could use it! Bought a lipstick but it’s just not your colour? You mum or sister could love it. Using a moisturiser that doesn’t sit as well with your sunscreen? Use it on your body instead.

Let’s aim to all do a little bit better with our beauty habits, and imagine the impact it could have. Who’s with me?

Sukin continues to champion the environment, giving us peace of mind that the Sukin products we use will not negatively impact on our precious planet. Read about their carbon neutral promise here and shop the range here.

Feature: Supplied/Instagram @sukinskincare

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Sukin was born in Australia from a need to ‘say no’ to puffery, chemicals and marketing spin. The vision was clear, create a skincare brand for everyone, free from synthetics, animal cruelty and environmental impact, that makes you feel special, nurtured and protected.

We believe that everything needed to make our products can be found in nature. So at Sukin, that’s what we use. No hidden surprises, no harmful processes, and no compromise on results. Just ingredients from nature that work.

It’s what we leave out that makes us special.

Discover the world of natural, visit the Sukin Journal.