1. Jacqueline Wong, founder of The Clean Attempt
“My eco journey began when I saw an advertisement that said every plastic toothbrush ever created is still around today. After endless research, it became my personal quest to lead a zero-waste lifestyle.
I started an Instagram account to document my zero-waste journey. Friends started asking me to make products for them (like biodegradable toothbrushes) and it became clear that there were many people trying to go green – they just didn’t know where to find the right products. That was how I started The Clean Attempt.
Because going zero waste often overlaps with green beauty, it wasn’t long before I started using natural, toxin-free products. My skin is quite problem-free, but the fact that it stayed that way after the switch gave me confidence that the chemicals in commercial products are unnecessary. I can’t count the number of times people have told me they ‘need’ those chemicals or else ‘it doesn’t work’.
Now, my beauty routine is as simple as I can make it. It lessens waste and is a lighter lifestyle. I remove my makeup with just water and The Clean Attempt’s Make-Up Removal Towel, then I wash my face with one of the brand’s facial bars. Occasionally, I use apple cider vinegar as a toner. I hand-make my brand’s Facial Mask & Scrub using natural essential oils and butters. And once or twice a week, I use my homemade coffee scrub on my body and face.
I try to make my own products wherever possible so I know exactly what goes on my skin. If I have to buy, I make sure to go through the ingredient list and steer clear of the Dirty Dozen (such as tar and petroleum-based ingredients).”
2. Yumika Hoskin, TV host & entrepreneur
“I’m a big advocate of environmental protection and run my own sustainable business, Peco Bag – shopping carriers made from recycled plastic bottles. So sustainability is interwoven through many facets of my life, including beauty, although I’m not 100 per cent green yet.
I love smaller eco-friendly brands, such as local company Love From Yours, or those making the shift towards making sustainable vegan products.
I stick to skincare with natural ingredients: my Drunk Elephant cleanser and a plant-based serum from vegan brand Kumuya. After trying a few all-natural deodorants, I finally found one called Thai Crystal Deodorant made only of mineral salts.
Recycling is another thing I look out for. In the UK, Bybi gives its customers there return labels to mail their empty containers back for sterilisation and reuse. I also refill my shampoos and conditioners at package-free stores like The Social Space and Scoop Wholefoods.
When brands approach me for product placement on my Instagram, it’s a battle between embracing my green principles and losing income. I want to promote products I truly believe in and who display environmental responsibility, such as La Mer, with its Blue Heart Ocean Conservation initiative.
Sticking to a green routine involves time, product and ingredient research, and planning. But I believe it is more satisfying and uplifting for your conscience as you are doing your part for the planet.”
3. Joanna Lai, founder of The Very Green Company
“In 2018, after seeing the famous video of a turtle with a plastic straw up its nose, I started a website, thegreenspot.org, to raise awareness about zero-waste practices and climate change. The site is a reminder of my role as a consumer, and a journal of lifestyle changes I adopt to reduce over-consumption and waste.
When choosing beauty products, I consider whether the ingredients are natural and ethically sourced. Minimal packaging, like soap and shampoo bars, is best. Next, would be non-plastic, recyclable or eco-friendly packaging.
I use Dermalogica’s face wash as it comes in a huge 500ml bottle so I don’t have to use more plastic bottles by replenishing it so often. I also reuse or recycle the bottle after. I haven’t used a store-bought makeup remover since 2018; I make my own using olive, coconut and essential oils. I’ve been using locally made body soaps from Rough Beauty for a while now.
Recently, I found an organic brand called True Botanicals and now use its moisturiser, mask, shampoo and conditioner. I’ve stopped buying sheet masks because of excessive packaging. For sunscreen, I use a reef-safe one from US brand Raw Elements.
There is no lack of options as many brands now are committed to sustainability. You just need to spend a little time to research which ones truly believe in the cause and weed out those that use eco-friendliness as a marketing message, though that’s probably the hardest bit.
Ultimately, I hope there will be more brands that manufacture closer to home. This would drastically reduce the carbon footprint from shipping.”
This article was first published in Her World’s June 2020 issue.