Sustainability is trending big time, and for good reason.
It is critical that we take better care of our planet by producing products that provide benefits to our environment, and add back more than we take away.
But does a product labelled as sustainable mean the product actually takes care of your health? Or the environment, for that matter?
When it comes to cosmetics, many brands are using the sustainability factor to justify their use of synthetic ingredients, with the argument that they are not over-consuming unreplenishable resources. But some of the sustainably produced ingredients used in cosmetics are actually derived from fossil fuels - definitely not sustainable - many are not biodegradable, and many are linked negative health effects in humans and animals.
In addition, some production methods may actually have a greater net negative impact on the environment than harvesting and production of plant extracts.
That can be hard to swallow.
While the over-harvesting of some plants has been problematic for the cosmetics industry for many years, there is a strong move toward organic and biodynamic farming practices, and utilising species that are faster-growing, or using deadwood and other parts of the plant that can more easily regenerate.
This is necessary.
We are all responsible for ensuring the products we create and use care tenderly and tread lightly on our planet.
But using sustainability as a reason to avoid the use of natural ingredients simply lacks transparency, and doesn't tell the whole story.
When you are choosing products for their eco-credentials, look at the whole story.
And support brands that have the care of the planet and your health at the heart of everything they do.