Sustainable Living

How Many Lives Could You Save – With Lipstick?

The Truth About Ethical Beauty No One’s Telling You

Ethical beauty. Ugh. Not all that self-righteous hippie hokum – not today when you have bills to pay, babies to feed, and a dentist appointment.

In 5 seconds, you can think of half a dozen reasons not to bother with all that weird organic nonsense and just get on with your busy life.

It’s expensive, right? I mean, have you seen the price difference?

It also takes a ton of effort to research what brands are decent, whether or not titanium dioxide is toxic, and what the Leaping Bunny logo actually means.

Aside from that, who has time for all this? You’re busy enough as it is, so you just grab your favourite mascara and that cute shirt and get back to work before your boss realizes you’ve taken an extended lunch break again.

Honestly, you don’t even want to think about ethical beauty – because it means thinking about child labour, animal cruelty, and climate change. Which means you’ll just get depressed, overwhelmed, and need to self-medicate with another beauty bargain binge.

The Little Known Truth About Your Beauty Habits

But the truth is, ethical beauty isn’t an all-or-nothing venture. It’s not the us-verses-them division where the bohemians wear hand-knitted ponchos and everyone else is one bottle of carcinogenic chemicals away from dissolving the ozone layer.

Ethical beauty is tiny choices, made every day, that lead to something bigger. Choices made by you. By your colleagues. Friends. Real people, capable of making genuine, lasting difference – and not simply because they’re a famous blogger or making some grand political statement.

Ethical beauty – sustainability, green living, conscious consumerism, whatever you want to call it – is a series of small steps toward a higher purpose. It’s a journey and a process of finding connection to the way you experience and express your version of beautiful.

Ethical Beauty Made Easy

Instead of getting bogged down by what you must do, should do, haven’t done, and could never do, simplify. While this may seem like a step towards complacency, it’s the opposite. Humans are hardwired to resist change and focus on the negative. It’s why so many folks simply dismiss the idea altogether, in favour of what they’ve always known.

In order to combat the feeling that you simply can’t afford, don’t have the time for, or are overwhelmed by the idea of responsibly sourced Q-tips or Fair Trade face cream, take a step back from the bigger picture.

While it’s noble to want to save polar bears from melting ice caps, spare yourself the mental exhaustion for now, and focus on what you can do.

The Difference You Can Make Today

Start small. Even a single tube of organic lipstick can make an impact. While it may seem far too tiny a thing to make any sort of real difference, that simple action, that one choice, has the potential to effect positive change in the lives of literally hundreds of people and the planet we share.

You see, one tube of organic lipstick requires many ingredients, processing, space, people, and resources; that pretty coral pink pigment represents a positive impact on jobs, livelihoods, families, health, wellness, water, air, and soil – for everyone.

One little choice.

As time goes on, perhaps you can add in some sustainably sourced moisturizer. Then maybe a bottle of locally sourced perfume. Who knows? You may just end up saving those polar bears after all.

Give yourself permission to begin (and enjoy!) that journey today, without pressure, judgment, or overwhelm.

Start small. Start today.

About the author

Anna Kay

Artist and designer Anna Kay provides written and visual commissions that consciously promote organic, ethical, sustainable, green, natural, and eco-friendly companies and collaborators. Connect with her work and get in on custom design that truly makes a difference @responsiblerebel.

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