Blue Beauty Part 2

Blue Beauty Part 2

I wrote first part of this blog post a while back, please see here

"Blue Beauty" refers to a growing trend in the cosmetic industry of developing and promoting beauty products that are formulated to minimize their impact on marine life and the ocean environment. This often involves using sustainable, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free ingredients that don't harm aquatic animals and their habitats. The goal of "Blue Beauty" is to reduce the harm caused by traditional beauty products and help preserve the health of our oceans and their inhabitants.

Synthetic surfactants are a type of ingredient commonly used in personal care and cosmetic products, such as shampoos, body washes, and facial cleansers. They work by reducing the surface tension of water and allowing it to spread more easily over the skin or hair, helping to clean and moisturize.

However, when these products are washed down the drain and into the ocean, synthetic surfactants can have a negative impact on marine life and the environment. Some surfactants can be toxic to aquatic organisms, affecting their growth, reproduction, and overall health. In addition, surfactants can break down the protective slime layers on the skin of some aquatic animals, making them more susceptible to disease and predation.

Another concern is that synthetic surfactants can contribute to the formation of ocean "dead zones" by promoting the growth of harmful algal blooms. Algal blooms can deplete the oxygen in the water, killing fish and other marine life, and creating conditions that are unfavorable for the growth of other aquatic organisms.

To reduce the harm caused by synthetic surfactants, some companies are developing alternative, eco-friendly surfactants made from natural, biodegradable ingredients. These surfactants are formulated to be gentle on the skin and hair, while also being safe for the environment.

What other ingredients can harm marine lives?

There are several other ingredients commonly used in personal care and cosmetic products that can be harmful to the environment and marine life, and do not biodegrade in the ocean. Some examples include:

  1. Microbeads: Small plastic beads used in exfoliating products, such as face scrubs and toothpastes, that can enter the ocean and be ingested by marine life.

  2. Phthalates: A group of chemicals used in fragrances, lotions, and other personal care products to make scents last longer. Phthalates can harm marine life and disrupt their hormones, and are also known to be endocrine disruptors in humans.

  3. Parabens: A type of preservative commonly used in personal care products to extend their shelf life. Parabens can be toxic to marine life and can also disrupt hormones in humans.

  4. Triclosan: An antibacterial and antifungal agent used in many personal care products, such as hand sanitizers and toothpastes. Triclosan can be toxic to marine life and can also disrupt hormones in both humans and animals.

  5. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): Surfactants commonly used in personal care products, such as shampoos and body washes, that can be harmful to marine life and the environment.                    It's important to note that some of these ingredients have been banned or restricted in certain countries, but regulations vary from place to place. To reduce your impact on the environment, you can choose personal care and cosmetic products that are labeled "eco-friendly" or "biodegradable" and contain ingredients that are less harmful to marine life and the ocean

What products are harmful?

In the blue beauty movement, it is crucial to understand which beauty products end up in the ocean and are terrible for the planet, so we can make informed choices to protect our planet. In this blog post, we will discuss some specific beauty products that are harmful to our oceans.

  1. Sunscreen: Many sunscreens contain chemicals that can damage coral reefs, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. When these chemicals enter the ocean, they cause coral bleaching, which disrupts the delicate ecosystem.

  2. Hair Products: Hair products like hairspray and mousse contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to air pollution and harm marine life when washed down the drain.

  3. Nail Polish: Many nail polishes contain toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates, which are harmful to marine life when they enter the ocean.

  4. Wet Wipes: Wet wipes often contain plastic fibres and end up in the ocean when flushed down the toilet, causing harm to marine life. Make sure you buy biodegradable wipes. 

It is important to choose beauty products that are eco-friendly and safe for our oceans. Look for products that are free from harmful chemicals, made with sustainable ingredients, and packaged in recyclable or biodegradable materials. By making small changes in our beauty routine, we can contribute to protecting our planet and oceans for future generations.

 

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