5 Mins Read
According to eco-campaigners Zero Waste Week, in 2018, the beauty industry was responsible for over 142 billion units of packaging that eventually made their way to landfills and the oceans. Apart from this, the industry has been criticised for torturing animals when it comes to testing as well as deriving ingredients from them for these products.
However, in the midst of all this, a few artisanal beauty brands are consciously and deliberately working to not only make their products cruelty-free but also completely vegan. The natural ingredients used in these products have been known to not only be beneficial for our skin but also keep in mind the interests of the planet, ensuring their packaging is as plastic-free and reusable-friendly as possible. Below we roundup five sustainable Asian beauty brands that are making a difference one product at a time.
This Singapore-based brand was launched by Teresa Foo, born out of a mother’s love for her son. Famous for its lip balms and facial oils, each ingredient has been carefully sourced. The brand uses ingredients native to Asia like ginseng, goji berries, moringa, amla, perilla, gac as well as reishi and shiitake mushrooms. One of its famous products, Awakening Skin Tonic claims to enhance the skin’s shine and glow along with making it smoother.
Many of the ingredients used by Balm Kitchen are certified organic and all the brand’s products are packaged in glass where possible, though some products do come in BPA-free recyclable PET and glass containers.
Founded in 2014, Purito is a Korean beauty brand whose products feature ingredients derived from nature. Purito eschews animal testing of any kind and takes this a notch ahead by contributing a portion of the profits to the Best Friend Animal Society. Their sunscreens are also notably lacking oxybenzone, an ingredient known to be harmful to coral reefs.
Purito also focuses on wrapping its products in environmentally friendly recycled plastic packaging.
Back in 2018, Prasanthy Gurugubelli founded Daughter Earth, an Indian brand that makes use of traditional herbs fused with innovative scientific techniques. The team utilises taila paka vidhi (a process used to prepare ancient essential oils) with sneha kalpana (a pharmaceutical procedure where oleaginous medicines are concocted). It also employs the use of kashayas (Ayurvedic beverages) through supercritical extractions and cryogenic methods.
One of its best selling products, Serum Absolut, is made using natural retinol (a plant-based alternative) and blue-light rescue actives that have been bottled into a multi-correctional formula along with 46 high-performance ingredients.
The vegan and cruelty-free brand works with glass and aluminum packaging, recently going a step further and launching refill packs for their products. The refill packs are made from recycled and biodegradable kraft material.
Started in Hong Kong, this natural clean beauty brand develops products using coconut oil. On the website, Diane van Zwanenberg, the founder has mentioned that she gives extreme value and priority to fair trade and organic, virgin coconut oil that provides livelihood, and improved well-being for the rural Solomon Island communities.
The brand has an extensive range of clean beauty deodorants, lipsticks and lip balms, soap scrubs, and body balms.
This sustainable beauty brand uses glass jars and tins that require customers to clean and reuse. The tube for lipstick and lip balm as well as the deodorants are biodegradable. It also ships its products in biodegradable packaging and fillers.
Founded in Singapore. Bhuman’s products are waterless. This natural, vegan, and cruelty-free brand is inspired by ancient wellness remedies from Asia where all the raw material is natural and effective. For centuries, anhydrous formulas i.e powder formulas without water have been used in Japan (rice, matcha green tea), India (turmeric), and Myanmar (thanaka).
The brand’s unisex face wash is one of its most sought after products that claim to instantly remove dirt & oil as it is lab-tested at pH 5-6 making it usable for all skin types.
To activate the products, users can just add water. And with its refills, the brand has said さよなら (Sayonara in Japanese meaning goodbye) to single-use plastics as the refills are available in aluminum bottles.
As consumers, we too need to embrace these natural techniques of creating conscious and planet-friendly beauty products. This will further push the need for ethics and accountability in the beauty industry driving several brands to start investing in sustainable products.
This trend is only likely to grow and with this thoughtful approach towards our skin and the planet, the beauty industry will drastically reduce its waste as well as the existing damage towards animals.
Lead image: Face Wash Powder, courtesy of Bhuman.