Earth Day is upon us – a celebration of the beautiful planet we call home but also an important opportunity to recognize where and raise awareness of ways we can treat our environment (and each other) better.

Beauty products are a daily staple for most of us – whether it’s skincare and makeup or our hair care regime. There are now millions of brands worldwide – many of them contributing to the plastic and single-use waste which threatens the delicate ecosystems of our planet.

Through choosing cleaner, greener beauty products we don’t just benefit the Earth – we can also improve our own health, avoiding toxic ingredients and the harmful impact of plastic packaging.

Here we’ve listed our favorite ways to protect the planet and our health when choosing beauty products.

Break up with plastic

Although many major brands are taking steps in the right direction, the beauty industry is dominated by plastic packaging and containers. Plastic is bad news for the environment on many levels – on average it takes 500 years to break down, and when it does it leaves microscopic deposits behind, leeching toxins into the earth and oceans. Even recycled plastic packaging poses problems to health, even if it can be recycled again. If you’re looking to reduce or cut out plastic-based beauty products, there are a few options to try:

*Solid soaps, shampoos and conditioners: These handy and eco-friendly products don’t rely on plastic packaging and are kinder to skin and to the planet. Read on to discover more about packaging-free beauty below.

*Refillable beauty: Lots of brands now offer the option to buy once, then refill either from their store or with a larger, lower-waste refill pack. You can visit a zero-waste shop or purchase large packs which can be decanted into your original container or container of your choice.

*Plant-based plastics: Where the benefits of a plastic container are unavoidable, many companies are opting to use plant-based ‘plastic’ made from ingredients like sugar cane.

Where plastic is unavoidable (it can take a while to find a product you truly love), look for brands using recyclable plastic which is made from recycled materials itself.

Watch out for toxic ingredients

Toxic ingredients damage delicate ecosystems and poison the oceans, but they also harm our health, causing a number of issues from hormone imbalance to chronic inflammation and allergies. These chemically-altered, artificial ingredients have also been linked to aesthetic concerns and conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and hair loss. Carefully read labels on products before purchasing, watching out for common culprits including phthalates, parabens, mineral oil and perfumes.

Packaging free

Some beauty products are now completely packaging free – ranging from soaps, shampoos and deodorants to make-up. These clever products are usually in solid format, meaning they can easily be disposed of or replaced without needless waste. As an added benefit most of these products don’t contain many of the toxic ingredients listed above – making them the perfect choice for the planet and your health.

Cruelty free

Most brands are now either fully cruelty-free or are working towards this goal, which is great news for the other sentient beings we share our planet with. Look out for the Leaping Bunny or Peta accreditation on products to determine which are truly cruelty-free – as many brands can be guilty of greenwashing or making false statements surrounding their animal testing policies. Cruelty-free products aren’t always environmentally friendly or toxin free by default – so be sure to check the packaging carefully before you purchase.

Bottom line

Clean green products are best for our planet and our health – and switching to them can be simple and easy when you know what to look out for (and avoid).

Our Lush Locks formula is kind to your hair and scalp and kinder to the planet – featuring our gentle, soothing and highly-effective formula in fully recyclable packaging. Featuring a host of botanical actives including Licorice Root, Argan Oil and Angelica, our shampoo and conditioner duo cleanse, moisturize and protect the hair and scalp to encourage healthy growth.

Discover more here: