Sustainability is a hot topic across industries. Conscious consumers are demanding more from the brands they support. In response, businesses are modifying their supply chain and operations to be more mindful of planetary health. Thankfully, as a result, it is now possible to have an effective, luxurious skincare routine using only sustainable products.
To better understand this trend we will examine what makes a skincare brand sustainable, and how companies can achieve sustainability through manufacturing, ingredients, and packaging.
While far from perfect, at LINNÉ Botanicals we are constantly evolving and are pleased to share our sustainability efforts and a mindful skincare routine that will leave your skin healthy and happy.
What Is Sustainability?
Although it hasn’t been a popular buzzword until recently, the word sustainability was initially defined by the United Nations in 1987. It is defined as: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Simply put, sustainability is achieved when a goal is met without negatively impacting humans, wildlife or the environment.
What Is Sustainable Skincare?
While production of any type will have some impact on the environment, the goal is to make it as minimal as possible. From the production of the packaging to the sourcing of the ingredients, the aim is to create the smallest environmental footprint. As with any trendy topic, inaccurate and misleading information can be plentiful, so it is helpful to know what to look for when shopping for sustainable products.
Here are some important factors to consider when on the hunt for sustainable skincare.
Sustainable skincare brands have a manufacturing commitment to make sure the production of their products do not harm natural resources or the environment. This includes improving operational efficiency, conserving resources and reducing waste.
Ingredient sustainability relies on thorough and responsible sourcing. You may be surprised to learn that the FDA doesn’t really regulate ingredients in skincare or cosmetics. It is thus the responsibility of brands to consider the full life cycle of each ingredient from production through use. Furthermore, any potential bi-products must safely biodegrade.
One of the least sustainable ingredients in skincare is microplastics. These tiny plastic particles are often used in skincare as exfoliating agents to help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. While exfoliation is an important step in your skincare routine, microplastics are water-insoluble and pass through water treatment plants. When these particles end up in the sea, they cause harm to ecosystems and pollute our oceans.
Sustainable skincare brands offer natural alternatives such as salts, fruit seeds and in the case of our SCRUB exfoliating mask, finely milled bamboo. Easily biodegradable, these replacements perform a similar function as microplastics, and often have added skincare benefits.
One of the greatest challenges is creating sustainable packaging. Brands seeking alternatives to single-use and fossil-fuel based virgin plastics can use post-consumer recycled plastic and bio-based plastic. Glass and aluminum are also highly sought after alternatives, though they too are imperfect. Glass can be heavy which adds to the shipping carbon footprint and not everything recyclable is actually recycled. Clear glass and plastic are widely accepted, but colored glass and plastic are less desired and are less likely to be recycled.
Locally refilled bottles and backyard compostable materials are the most future forward option, but such solutions are not yet widely available and custom solutions can be cost prohibitive to smaller brands.
What Makes a Skincare Brand Sustainable?
There are accreditations from various organizations that help determine if a skincare brand meets its sustainability criteria.
A few of the most recognized accreditations are shown below with a brief description.
- Certified organic means the company’s ingredients are free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and are not genetically modified.
- A B Corporation meets standards on how the company creates value for its employees, local community, and environment.
- 1% For The Planet members contribute at least one percent of their annual sales to environmental causes.
- A Carbon Neutral certification means that a company has balanced out its carbon emissions by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere.
- A Plastic Neutral or Negative certification means that a brand offsets their plastic use by funding the removal of waste.
Unfortunately there is a lack of transparency in the market and many brands make unsubstantiated claims to deceive consumers into believing that their company's products are more environmentally friendly than they actually are. While certifications are not the only way to demonstrate commitment, they can help verify such claims.
LINNÉ Sustainability Efforts
We believe that it is the responsibility of all modern brands to think expansively about their brand mission. Ours certainly extends well beyond providing products for healthy glowing skin.
At LINNE Botanicals we are honest about both our achievements and our shortcomings. Here are the ways we are advancing our sustainability mission:
To operate with a reduced carbon footprint, our office, lab, and logistics facilities all run on renewable energy. We also emphasize a healthy workplace, pay ethical wages and promote a safe, healthy environment.
LINNÉ is committed to using only non-toxic ingredients in all of our skincare products. All formulas are free from artificial fragrances, silicones, parabens, and other harmful substances. Our ingredients are cruelty-free, GMO-free and made exclusively from responsibly harvested plants and minerals.
We buy from reputable sources that champion environmental health and worker welfare and we evaluate each ingredient to ensure that they are free from environmental and biological contaminants. Furthermore at LINNÉ we promote species diversity and environmental preservation.
Our strict standards yield superior ingredient quality, and increased skincare performance.
Packaging is our greatest challenge and we are committed to the constant improvement of these materials and their sourcing.
- Packaging and shipping boxes are made from recycled paper and can easily be recycled or composted.
- Only two products use plastic bottles, which are made of BPA-free PET, the most widely accepted plastic by worldwide recycling facilities.
- All other products come in clear glass, making them more easily recyclable.
LINNÉ is also in the process of transitioning these remaining PET bottles into squeeze tubes made of sugarcane. These bottles will be recyclable, and their production will yield a negative carbon result. We hope to one day offer more compostable solutions as well as local LINNÉ refill stations.
Additionally as a certified Plastic Negative brand we fund the removal and recycling of twice as much plastic waste from the waste-stream as is used in our products. We also use certified organic and ecocert ingredients, we are Leaping Bunny verified, Carbon Neutral and are proud members of 1% For the Planet.
A Skincare Routine Featuring Sustainable Products
The same level of careful consideration that goes into operating a sustainable brand is also applied to our formulation process.Together this effort yields clean, effective, user-friendly products that boost confidence and comfort. Furthermore we believe that when it comes to sustainability of routine, less is more. Here is our recommended effective and efficient, sustainable skincare routine:
I. ACTIVATE & PURIFY
The first step in any skincare routine is to cleanse the skin of any dirt or impurities that can clog pores and cause blemishes. We recommend LINNÉ’s PURIFY face wash and ACTIVATE body wash to gently cleanse your skin.
Overwashing your skin or choosing a harsh cleanser can strip away moisture and disrupt pH balance, resulting in dry, damaged skin. LINNÉ cleansers are pH balanced, microbiome friendly and include nourishing ingredients to maintain a healthy moisture balance.
Ingredients found in these products include jojoba oil to help remove makeup and support the skin’s barrier, fine clays to unclog pores and neutralize free radicals, and dead sea salt to soothe multiple skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, hives and rashes.
Once or twice a week, we recommend adding our exfoliating mask to your routine. Our SCRUB face mask is formulated to shed dead skin, promote healthy cellular turnover, unclog pores, stimulate collagen production and increase penetrability of other products.
A truly sustainable skincare routine also respects the body and when it comes to exfoliation, less is more. Keep in mind, while a luminous complexion is desirable, the “glass skin” craze is potentially harmful. Hyper smooth, shiny skin that feels like plastic is a sign that you may have gone overboard with exfoliation.
Also, one should not confuse plump, hydrated skin with swollen skin that is inflamed due to a disruption in the lipid barrier. Truly toned skin maintains a healthy content of elastin and collagen, but over exfoliation too can degrade elastin and collagen, which will make the face feel tight. Used just twice weekly, the gentle yet effective ingredients in SCRUB will produce a luminous, healthy complexion without causing undue harm.
The next step is to apply a hydrating essence to replenish and prime your skin. Our mist is a daily multi-vitamin for the skin and unlike toners which can be astringent and drying, LINNÉ’s REFRESH mineral mist is more akin to a serum or essence. Not only will it help calm inflammation, promote elasticity, minimize pores, suppress bacterial infections, REFRESH will also help subsequent products penetrate and perform more effectively. To promote healthy cellular functioning, REFRESH is infused with responsibly harvested minerals including zinc, magnesium, and copper.
Apply it morning and night, throughout the day to hydrate and invigorate the skin, on air travel, after a workout or anywhere you’d like a refreshing spritz - such as at the beach or by the pool. REFRESH can be used from head to toe.
No matter your skin type, we recommend applying LINNÉ’s RENEW face serum next. It is an antioxidant powerhouse formulated to counteract skin damage caused by UV exposure, air pollutants, bacteria, other environmental stress and age.
This serum is gentle enough to be applied both morning and night, and can help maintain elasticity while supporting a more even skin tone. We include a dynamic collection of wild-harvested and organic plant ingredients along with hyaluronic acid derived sustainably from fermentation.
V. REPAIR & BALANCE
To lock in moisture and provide essential nutrients we suggest pairing the RENEW serum with one of our face oils.
While it may sound counterintuitive, using a facial oil can actually help oily and blemish prone skin. LINNÉ’s BALANCE face oil brings the skin back into harmony by establishing a healthy balance of sebum, while clearing pores, calming irritation and encouraging cellular regeneration.
If conversely, you identify as having dry skin, we recommend LINNÉ REPAIR face oil. This face oil is made with deeply nourishing seed and nut oils, such as rosehip, argan, and camellia. These oils have been selected for their ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines, encourage cellular regeneration, support collagen production, and soothe dry and cracked skin.
Both oils are rich in fresh, minimally-processed, organic and responsibly wild-harvested ingredients that have been cultivated with care.
The final step in your skincare routine is to ensure your body receives the attention given to your face.
LINNÉ’s SMOOTH body balm is a luxurious healing balm, formulated to ameliorate dry and irritated skin, This body balm is made of beeswax, avocado and other natural oils that are readily absorbed into the skin. This product can be used daily to maintain healthy skin pH, supply antioxidants, promote natural collagen production and improve the skin’s texture. We recommend applying it fresh out of the shower on slightly damp skin, or over a fresh mist of REFRESH.
While called a body balm, SMOOTH can be used head to toe. Try it on your lips, as a pre-cleanse make-up remover or as a hairstyling aid.
Sustainability Is the Way of the Future
For the health of our planet, it is imperative that more businesses adopt sustainable practices. In due time, it simply won’t be feasible to conduct business any other way.
Manufacturing, supply chain, shipping, ingredients, and packaging choices all affect a brand’s environmental footprint. As we grow and evolve as a brand, LINNÉ Botanicals is dedicated to improving all aspects of our business so that generations to come may enjoy the abundance we celebrate today.
If you are ready to switch to a sustainable skincare routine by using only responsibly crafted products, check out the full product line by LINNÉ here.