Why our beauty routines have an impact on precious animal habitats across the globe (even for polar bears).
Most of us know by now that using organic beauty products will help us in our quest for healthy, glowing skin. What we’re not so aware of is that those very same products can also help protect endangered animal habitats.
That’s because organic products are formulated free of:
- Harmful pesticides and herbicides that not only degrade the quality of our soil but also leach into waterways, where they do untold damage to vital ecosystems and habitats.
- Toxic synthetic chemicals. The average beauty lover puts 168 different chemicals on her skin every day – many of them synthetic toxics which not only get into her bloodstream, but also our environment.
As much as we might wish it otherwise, our beauty habits are not ours alone. Instead, we share them, whether we mean to or not, with the animals who also call Earth their home.
Here, the experience of polar bears serves as an illustrative – and slightly disturbing – example.
In 2017, a comprehensive study found that polar bears living in the Arctic (which – need we remind ourselves – is thousands of miles away from any large city or industrial complex) had toxic substances in their bodies at a level 100 times higher than the acceptable threshold of risk for humans.
This is not only a worrying finding for the long-term health prospects of polar bears – and especially their ability to reproduce – but also a clear indication of the kind of damage chemical pollutants are doing to our world and to animal habitats.
Sadly, the beauty industry has to shoulder some of the blame. In addition to the host of toxics still used in too many conventional formulations, the industry is also responsible for:
- producing in excess of 100 billion units of packaging year on year;
- cutting down millions of acres of forest annually; and - indirectly -
- for the millions of tons of plastic packaging that are dumped into oceans annually.
When it comes to damaging precious habitats, the beauty industry is a serial offender.
It needs to stop.
It can stop.
We have the power to stop it, each of us, simply by leading the way.
All that’s required is that we act consciously when it comes to our beauty routines, using natural products that are ethically made, with compostable, biodegradable or recyclable packaging, and – because they’re filled with ingredients that come from the earth (as opposed to those that are made in a laboratory) – that work in sympathy with our environment, rather than undermine it.