04 Feb Ocean Friendly Beauty
Vegan, cruelty-free beauty products are amazing, but opting for formulas that are kind to our waterways is equally important. Ocean friendly is vital for the health of our planet.
What’s Rinsed Away Matters. Whether shampoo and conditioner, facial cleanser or scrubs, body wash or soap or bath salts and bubbles, all these formulas eventually end up in our waterways and oceans, as we rinse them away in the bath or shower.
This is why at Gently Vegan, we believe in making the best and most ethical choices in formulas that when rinsed off, will do little or no harm to our oceans, waterways and the lives that inhabit them. Here, our beauty director, Shonagh Walker, profiles a few of our favourites.
Retreatment Botanics by Olivia Newton John and Gaia Retreat & Spa Radiance Cream Cleanser, $44.
With its unique aroma that is as uplifting as it is relaxing, this cleanser is the perfect way to bookend your day. In the morning, inhale deeply as you massage over your skin. It’s the perfect way to wake up. At night, applying it feels as comforting as slipping into a freshly made bed. You will literally feel stress melt away along with your make-up. Made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients, it is also free from microbeads and plastics and is Certified Vegan and Cruelty Free and Certified Palm Oil Free!
Trudi Jaye, General Manager of the brand says, “At Retreatment Botanics, we pride ourselves on using all-natural ingredients and formulating them to be as close to their natural form as is possible. This means that when the formulas are rinsed off, as when removing cleanser, a scrub or masque, we are giving the natural ingredients we have borrowed from Mother Earth back to our planet, without harm to our waterways or its inhabitants.” Gently Vegan’s other favourites in this range include Refining Face Polish, $55, Instant Glow Face Masque, $65, which again are ocean and earth-friendly!
Noughty To the Rescue Moisture Boost Shampoo and Conditioner, $24.95 each.
This Scandinavian brand is housed in recyclable plastic tubes, however it is currently transitioning to sustainable sugarcane with the aim to be fully transitioned by 2021. As for the formulas themselves, the Shampoo is 97 percent natural and sulphate and silicone free, so it cleanses without stripping your hair or harming the oceans. It lathers beautifully, too, which isn’t always the case with natural shampoo formulas. The conditioner is also silicone free, with a 97 percent natural formula, and it relies on sweet almond extract and shea butter to replenish and seal moisture in the hair. It leaves your hair tangle-free, shiny and soft.
Ocean Australia Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+, $24.95
This new player on the Aussie sunscreen scene is both ethical and chemical filter-free. Its key ingredient is natural zinc oxide, which shields the sun without being absorbed into the bloodstream. What’s more, while traditional chemical-based sunscreens have proven to be harsh on the environment, zinc oxide has not been shown to damage ocean life and threaten coral reefs in the way that many chemical filter sunscreens do.
Lush Bath Products
Where to start with Lush? The vegan line-up first of all is so abundant it’s hard to pick a favourite, but furthermore, each hand-made offering is kind to our oceans and waterways. Says Elisia Gray, buyer for Lush Cosmetics Australia and New Zealand: “Many of our products are fantastical in nature, with colourful glitter trails decorating the bathtub and popping vegan candy crackling away. With such theatre in the bathtub it’s important that we don’t lose our sparkle when it comes to the values entrenched in these products too”
“Unfortunately, most glitter products are made from plastic, which is a huge problem for marine life. Many people think of micro-plastics being attributed to the small microbeads floating in face scrubs or toothpastes, however one of the main culprits in the cosmetic world is glitter. When glitter is washed down the drain, it becomes part of the growing problem of microplastics in the ocean and waterways. Unfortunately, it is too small for waste treatment facilities to capture and inevitably ends up consumed by fish and other marine life”
“At Lush, globally all of our markets use a synthetic mica, or more formally known as synthetic fluorophlogopite, instead of glitter, which gives a shimmering effect, but is more similar to sand in nature. Despite being a man-made substance, synthetic mica is an environmentally friendly alternative to commonly used plastic glitters. “While I remain committed to tracking down the most environmentally friendly materials for our products that wash down the drain, I tend to navigate towards products that require minimal to no water use both in manufacturing and personal use, especially in light of recent water restrictions in NSW. I adore our solid face serums, which I always pack with me on my buying trip travels”
Elisia’s top tip? “when I do treat myself to a bath, I make sure I reuse the water, sometimes in my toilet and other times in the garden. We love that!
We also love the following Lush vegan offerings: – Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser, $17.95 – Lucky Cat Bath Bomb, $7.95 – Big Blue Bath Bomb, $7.50 – Rose Jam Shower Gel, $10.95 – Black Pearl Shower Gel, $24 – Ginger Bath Oil, $5.95
NueBar Shampoo and conditioner $22.00.
Solid Hair and Body Products Formulated by naturopath Katie Hennah, NueBar is a range of hair and skin cleansers that are highly effective yet mild to the skin and gentle on the planet. Each product combines the best of modern “green” chemistry with natural organic oils and botanicals to deliver performance and mildness. While the formulas still use foaming agents, they are of gentlest class available and are free from harsh irritants like sulfates. The products also come with minimal to no packaging.
Katie says, “plastic use is out of control and recycling is only a small part of the solution – every piece of plastic made is still in existence somewhere on the planet, either in a useful form or as litter or broken down into tiny microplastics which end up in our dust, water and even air! Our solid hair and body products aim to help us break away from the plastic cycle.”
Another plus is that NueBar is pH balanced to match the skin (around 5.6), so it is also less likely to disturb the skin microbiome. This mildly acidic, low in salt ratio makes it suitable for use in grey water. The worst thing for grey water is high alkalinity as healthy soil is mildly acidic (just like healthy skin). What’s more, the conditioning agent in NueBar has been proven to have significantly lower aquatic toxicity and improved biodegradability when compared to other commonly used conditioning agents. “Modern water treatment plants are more than capable of dealing with all of the agents found in NueBar,” says Kate.
“No nasty residues will remain after this process. We stay well away from any hormone disrupting chemicals or microbeads which can remain even after thorough water treatment.”
Davroe Repair Senses Shampoo and Conditioner, $27.95 each.
As Australia’s first sulfate and paraben free professional haircare range, Davroe is a 100 percent Vegan and Cruelty Free Salon Professional Hair Care range. All products are made from botanical ingredients which protect and nourish the hair and that are both gentle on the skin and environment. Aside from the protein and moisture rich repair senses pairing, there are also four other options, to cover all hair care concerns – Blonde Senses, Volume Senses, Smooth Senses and Moisture Senses.
Oil Garden Focus and Clarity Body Wash, $12.99
This new Australian shower range is made with 97 percent natural ingredients, powered by pure essential oils and vegan-friendly. Its green bottles are made from 100 percent consumer recycled plastic and are recyclable. Importantly, the formulas are ocean and water-friendly when rinsed away. We particularly love this scent, which refreshes with lemon, juniper berry and sweet fennel pure essential oils.
Bar None Hair Care $20.00.
From formulation to final drop, this range aims to be as kind to you, your skin and body, and our planet, as is possible. Vegan, cruelty-free and zero-waste are just a few brand pillars. Others include PETA certification (massive tick from us) and 100 percent recyclable cardboard packaging. Plus, they’re a breeze to use, and leave your hair feeling and looking amazing! Bar None is also available in larger sized, liquid formulas, packaged in fully recyclable metal containers.
Bangn Body Smooth Skin Scrub, $44.00.
In early 2019, Bangn Bod release its body lotion, and we were instantly hooked. With its latest offering of Smooth Skin Scrub Face and Body Exfoliator, a delightful all-natural combination of Australian plant botanicals, which are skin, earth and ocean friendly, it’s set the bar higher. Soft coffee granules and bamboo slough away dead skin cells while kaolin clay helps draw impurities from the skin. Add to that, hydration from jojoba seed oil and coconut oil and it’s like a holiday in a tube!
Yet another favourite of ours at Gently Vegan, this budget body and hair care brand spares nothing when it comes to sustainability and kindness. It is 100 per cent vegan, sustainable and environmentally conscious, completely chemical- and cruelty-free and features fast-rinse formulas to help conserve water use in the shower. The collection boasts blends of nourishing shampoo and conditioner, four fragrant body washes and three indulgent body lotions, all made with responsibly sourced ingredients and ethically sourced essential oils. All bottles are made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic and are also completely recyclable. Our top choice is Murmuru Butter and Rose Oil Aroma Body Wash.
Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Bath Soak, $53.00.
This incredible bath soak will soothe stress as it cleanses and softens your skin. It features quick-dissolving sea salt crystals that help remove surface impurities and cleanse the skin, while turmeric root extract calms inflammation and improves skin’s luminosity. It is gluten-free and vegan and contains no nasties that will harm the ocean when you let the bath drain of water.
Aveda Nutriplenish Haircare $15.00 – $160.00
This vegan haircare range is designed for thirsty hair, delivering intense moisture fast, so you spend less time in the shower. It is silicone free and like all Aveda products, is cruelty-free and sustainable, with no plastics or microbeads or nano-particles that can be washed into our waterways. Aveda products are also made from PET bottles and jars containing 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials.
There are six products in the range – a Light Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner duo, Deep Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner Duo, a Leave-in Conditioner and a Multi-Use Hair Oil.
Summer Stories Shampoo and Conditioner $33.00.
Beautiful Australian botanicals, no palm oil, free of sulphates and artificial dyes, these attributes alone make for a beautiful Summer Story. Celebrating the feeling and freedom of Queensland beach holidays in your daily shower. A perfect start to even a busy work day. These these vegan-friendly shampoos and conditioners are grey water safe and come in two varieties. Firstly, there’s Coolum – a zesty blend of native Aussie lemon Myrtle and Cypress, which is great for thick hair that’s prone to frizz. And for fine hair, there’s Tallebudgera – a blend of orange, cypress, native Australian Quandong and olive leaf extract, to help with fullness and shine.
The Vegan Beauty Editor Shonagh Walker