Changing the Face of Beauty: Why Sustainability, Diversity, and Authenticity Aren’t Just Trends

Changing the Face of Beauty: Why Sustainability, Diversity, and Authenticity Aren’t Just Trends

It wasn’t too long ago when ‘perfection’ was the gold standard in the beauty world. On shelves and in magazines, all we saw were airbrushed models with zero pores, wasteful packaging that prioritized aesthetics, and unattainable standards that centered on one skin tone and body type. This wasn’t just harmful to millions of women around the world, but also to the environment. After all, when you’re on a constant quest for perfection, you always feel like you need the newest products to keep up. 

But in recent years, beauty has gone through a spectrum of change. For the first time in history, consumers are making their voices heard and demanding brands to clean up their act. That’s why buzzwords like “sustainable” and “ethical” now dominate the beauty lexicon, and why companies are clamoring to diversify their model roster. These aren’t trends that will come and go faster than glitter eyeshadow. It’s a beauty revolution that’s redefining how we approach skincare and makeup forever. 

So how exactly is beauty changing? Let’s take a look. 

The rise of conscious consumerism
The beauty industry is notorious for its impact on the environment. It’s said to be one of the top polluters of landfills and waters, which are now populated with disposable moisturizer jars and tubes that once housed $50 red lipstick. By the middle of the 21st century (that’s just 29 years away!), experts predict that the ocean could contain more plastic by weight than fish. Such has been the cost of our glass skin and bouncy locks. But with the undeniable threat of the climate crisis, consumers are no longer having it. 

Where was this product made? Is this bottle recyclable? How does this company treat their workers? These are all part of consumers’ laundry list of questions before clicking checkout. True enough, surveys reveal that more than half of consumers now consider sustainability a key factor when shopping for cosmetics. Flashy celebrity endorsements, fancy ingredients, and eye-catching aesthetics aren’t enough. With sustainable beauty, consumers get to look good and feel good, knowing they aren’t supporting something that is causing harm. Using their wallets, they vote for the kind of future they want to live in — a future that puts people and planet over profit and products. 

A radical return to nature
In line with the mindful consumerism wave, people are also more aware of what goes into their bodies — even if it means rigorously researching ingredients and carefully vetting skincare labels. This fear isn’t without basis, as there have been several documented cases of cosmetics containing chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, and other health conditions. Because of this, clean beauty has entered the mainstream, encouraging many consumers to turn away from synthetics and go back to nature. 

Interestingly, the concept of nature-derived beauty is far from new. Flip open a history book, and you can read about ancient Greeks using honey to heal wounds, 17th century Chinese women splashing rice water on their faces, and even Cleopatra mixing berries to treat her hair. Similarly, consumers are once again realizing that nature has everything we need and more, proving that organic and biome-conscious beauty is here to stay. 

Rituals, not routine
In the midst of an unpredictable pandemic, one thing that keeps many people grounded is a self-care ritual. But while we’re all questioning what is and isn’t “essential,” it’s easy to categorize your favorite vitamin C serum as an unnecessary luxury. However, the value of a regimen goes beyond that. According to research, such rituals can help lower anxiety levels and be a source of comfort when things get turbulent. Moreover, it can even be empowering and make you feel more in control. 

COVID or not, skincare will continue to be appreciated as a powerful self-love ritual instead of a mundane chore. Whether it’s a 30-second cleanse or a half-hour face mask, these pockets of time give people a chance to escape from the noise and be present. 

Sharing the shelf 
Once upon a time, it wasn’t unusual for women to enter beauty stores and walk out empty-handed because they couldn’t find a fit for local, artisanal and more socially conscious brands. Thanks to social media, the beauty world has started to embrace not only more shades, races, and even gender identities, but also more consciously made products from smaller, more independent brands. This diversity benefits the entire industry and communities, as it allows more creativity to flourish too — be it from minority-owned brands or talented models in far-flung continents. Indeed, consumers want to be represented by the brands they support. It’s up to companies to adapt until diversity isn’t just a novelty, but the norm. 

Celebrating authenticity
For too long, beauty brands have capitalized on people’s insecurities. Face wash commercials told teens that acne made them undesirable. Make-up ads promised girls that they’d be more attractive if they wore a certain lipstick shade. And magazines drove an entire generation of women to fear aging and wrinkles, as if they weren’t a natural part of life. But this just isn’t the case anymore. At the heart of this beauty revolution, consumers are celebrating their natural selves and seeing beauty products as a means to enhance what they already have — not conceal it. We’re not just talking about the ‘no-makeup’ makeup trend. Rather, it’s about looking at beauty through a more holistic lens — one that isn’t just focused on appearance, but how it makes you feel as part of a much larger

The beauty revolution has only just begun. At Pure Culture, we look forward to being at the forefront of change. With responsibly sourced materials, transparency across our supply chain, conscious formulation, and a firm commitment to giving more than we take, we want to redefine what it means to be a beauty brand in this day and age. We hope you’ll accompany us in pursuing this purpose-filled path.

Join us in our mindful beauty movement! 

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