These confronting stats will change how you think about your beauty regime

Exfoliate the waste and cleanse the clutter.
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In a world where phrases like “global warming” are thrown around as commonly as “fancy a cuppa?”, it should come as no surprise that the sustainability movement is more important than ever.

In fact, the rise in sustainable initiatives, be it from ditching plastic bags to investing in reusable coffee cups, has increased ten-fold over recent years.

But there’s still a long way to go – particularly in long-standing industries where tradition and legacy trumps modernised views and ethics.

Enter cosmetics, a mass producing industry creating products that are consumed daily by billions of people.

And with an unwavering popularity and consistent demand for beauty products, it’s no wonder the amount of waste being produced from it all is at a distressing peak.

Meghan Markle is a big advocate for natural and sustainable products. (Image: Getty)

We don’t say that lightly – every year, the cosmetic industry creates billions of tonnes of non-recyclable plastic.

In fact, according to, up to 120.8 billion tonnes of plastic waste can be sent to landfills in a single year.

To think about this amounting year on year is, quite frankly, eye watering.

That’s why being sustainable doesn’t just cover the plastic bag and takeaway coffee cup realm – it extends right to your daily beauty routine too.

Luckily for us, there are some brands out there that are making it very easy for us to switch to a more sustainable beauty regimen.

WATCH: A recap of War On Waste. Story continues after video…

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Kiwi makeup company Karen Murrell is one of many exemplary brands that have made an active effort to be sustainable from day dot.

Speaking to Now To Love, owner and founder Karen Murrell herself said women use up to a kilogram of lipstick over their life time (that’s a kilogram each FYI…). With this in mind, sustainability was key when it came to her business model.

“Every ingredient in our products can be sourced from the raw source – and I think for everything it’s important to know where it has come from,” Karen explains.

“So even down to things you put on your lips – you should be able to know exactly where that’s come from.”

So why buy sustainable?

13 years ago, when Karen first started her lipstick company, there were very few resources to create a sustainable and natural product – but her belief in staying environmentally-friendly never wavered.

“I’ve always believed it, coming from rural New Zeland I grew up with natural and sustainable ethics and I took that through to my products,” she said.

What’s more, there are also health benefits when it comes to buying products that are not only packaged sustainably, but are filled with natural, raw ingredients that don’t damage the earth when mass produced.

In fact, after years of use, some synthetic cosmetics have been reported to cause eye damage, acne and premature ageing, according to Acme Hardesty.

Yep, that’s convinced us to switch to natural products too…

There are plenty of benefits when it comes to using sustainable makeup products. (Image: Getty)

Where can I buy sustainable makeup products?

In Australia, we’re treated with a plethora of sustainable makeup brands that are at our finger tips, but it hasn’t always been that way.

“When we entered the category of natural lipstick we were kind of the only ones [12 years ago],” Karen explained.

“Now, there’s a whole heap out there, it’s just grown and grown which is a great thing.”

What’s more, these brands are completely affordable, with many falling in the same price category as less-sustainable products.

Keep scrolling as we outline some of the best sustainable makeup brands available in Australia.

Karen Murrell

Karen Murrell lipsticks are made from natural ingredients in recyclable canisters – so you’re doing good things for your lips, and the environment.

With prices ranging from $27 – $32 and coming in a variety of colours from pink to the brightest rouge, you can’t really go wrong.

The 03 Pink Starlet, $32 from Karen Murrell.

The Body Shop

An Australian stalwart in the beauty-sphere, this company stays front of mind for a good reason.

The company itself is ever evolving in trying out new sustainable ingredients and revealing their benefits. The newest collection features a range of products including key natural ingredient Shea Butter, which has nourishing properties leaving skin feeling smooth and hydrated.

What’s more, the mainstream brand now claims 70 per cent of its total packaging does not contain fossil fuels, with a goal to be entirely fossil-fuel free by 2020.

Shea Nourishing Body Lotion, $18 from The Body Shop.


Another iconic Australian natural skincare company, Sukin is also cruelty-free and vegan – making good use of natural ingredients that make our skin look and feel good.

The company also utilises recyclable packaging with carbon-neutral formulations.

What’s more, they offer products well within budget, with many falling below the $15 mark – winner!

Facial moisturiser, $11.95 available from Sukin.

RAWW Cosmetics

A slightly newer addition to the Austrian market comes in the form of RAWW Cosmetics, which goes further than plain natural ingredients and uses superfood goodies like acai, goji berries and kale.

The brand is also certified cruelty-free, and Australian made – count us in!

Fruit Fusion Lip Oil, $24.99 available from RAWW Cosmetics.

Want more on sustainability? Check out the stories below!

Sweat, but make it sustainable: Here’s the best environmental and sustainably-minded activewear brands in Australia to shop right now

Wearing & caring: Here’s 10 sustainable fashion brands in Australia that won’t break the bank

Conscious cossies: We found 9 of the best sustainable swimwear brands in Australia

Rough n’ tumble, but make it earth-friendly: The best sustainable kids clothing brands in Australia

Get sippin’: These are the best reusable straws available to buy in Australia – we want them all

The simple tricks that’ll help you stop water waste

These gorgeous sustainable gift ideas are sure to impress your eco-conscious loved ones, and make you feel good too

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