A week ago; the 8th of August 2016 was Earth Overshoot Day 2016. This means that we’ve use up all earth’s resources for this year… and we’ve got 5 months to go. We’re at a point now when we can’t only rely on politicians and institutions to sort out the climate. We as individuals need to change our attitudes as well. We’ve got no choice.
Looking at the beauty industry much can be done to reduce the CO2 footprint and make the industry sustainable. One of these is to reduce the use of mineral oil, one of the most common ingredients in the industry today. Why is it so popular? Simple, it’s cheap, easy to use and the end products can be stored for years without going rancid.
I never formulate with mineral oil. For starters the benefits for your skin are minimal compared to natural oils. (If you want to learn more check out my page on the subject.) Also there are such a variety of oils that it’s easy to create truly personalised skin care to suit your skin and preferences. However there’s also the bigger picture – sustainability.
Mineral oil isn’t sustainable. It’s a residue from the petroleum industry and not renewable. When we need more mineral oil we need to extract oil from the ground and refine it. Once the oil is out of the ground, we’ve added more carbon to our eco system, which will eventually end up as additional CO2 in our atmosphere.
Natural oils are different. Since it’s extracted from nuts and seeds it’s renewable. If we need more of a certain oil, we need to grow more of that particular plant. This means that we’re only using elements (most importantly carbon) that’s already in our ecosystem. As a bonus, plants and trees lock in the CO2 and breaks it down into carbon (which is used as the plant’s building blocks), oxygen and water.
From a business perspective I could simplify and use the cheaper mineral oil. Not only will the raw materials be cheaper, I would also produce larger batches since the shelf life would be longer. (This would significantly reduce the costs ). But that’s not the way I do business – I’m not interested in short-term gains at Mother Nature expense. My key goal is to provide personalized skin care based on nourishing natural ingredients and I will always choose the sustainable solution – because the there are no real alternatives, even if they seem cheap in the short run.