The process of choosing the right skin-care product for you involves a lot of considerations—and not just when it comes to the health of your skin. The production and disposal of personal care products can have a huge impact on the environment. From the chemicals used to manufacture them to the plastic bottles they are packaged in, conventional skin-care brands often contribute to pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change.
Fortunately, many brands are taking a stand against the needless waste produced within the industry. The British line REN Skincare, for example, has been committed to making clean products since its founding in 2000, which means their cleansers, moisturizers, and oils are made exclusively with natural ingredients and are free of parabens, sulfates, petroleum, and synthetic colors and fragrances. While this certainly contributes to a cleaner environment, the company is taking their commitment to eco-friendly practices a step further: By 2021, the brand will be completely zero-waste.
This new goal is part of the company's Earth Day celebrations for this year. Ahead of the date (April 22), REN is partnering with the Surfrider Foundation, an organization that’s committed to protecting our beaches and oceans, to launch an initiative called Clean to Skin, Clean to Planet aimed at bringing awareness to the importance of access to clean water and unpolluted beaches. In the first part of this campaign, REN plans to encourage customers, retailers, and employees to take part in beach cleanups across the U.S. and the U.K. There are over 300 cleanups taking place, all of which are sponsored by Surfrider.
The larger initiative, however, is to go waste-free by 2021, an ambitious goal for a company in such a plastic-dependent industry. In fact, cosmetics companies are considered a major contributor to the epidemic of plastic in the ocean, which sees 19 million pounds of plastic make its way into our waterways every year, a figure that is expected to double by 2025.
REN is hoping to be part of the solution. The company has pledged to remove all unnecessary packaging from its line. In addition to making all packaging completely recyclable, the company will use recycled plastic for its bottles. It will also allow buyers to choose whether they’d like their products to come in refillable or reusable packaging, adding an element of grassroots participation.
"Since REN Clean Skincare launched in East London in 2000, we have embraced our role as beauty industry activists and have never stopped looking for ways to improve the efficacy of our clean skin-care products and to reduce the environmental impact of our brand," Arnaud Meysselle, CEO of REN, said in a press release. "Our passion for the health of the planet and our fearless approach to innovation empowered us to take the next important step for our company — extending our Clean to Skin mission to include Clean to Planet."