In Praise Of Sustainable Skincare

There is no Planet B. That’s why we prioritise sustainable beauty brands and products that (literally) don’t cost the earth.

Sustainable Beauty

Sustainable beauty means different things to different people. As with so many other cosmetics descriptors like cruelty-free, natural or green, there isn’t one legally binding definition – and there are many different elements to consider. Add the art of “greenwashing” into the mix (where certain companies deploy more time, effort and money on misleading marketing campaigns than they do on actually improving their eco credentials) and it’s easy to understand how consumers get confused.


Broadly speaking, sustainability is linked to responsibility. It’s about making choices (with regard to ingredients, processes and packaging) that avoid the depletion or degradation of our natural resources. The best sustainable beauty brands do their bit for the planet, while creating safe, effective cosmetics products for us to enjoy. At The Skin Experts, we’re proud to work with a wide range of brands who strive hard to put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

Medik8's Mission

Where sustainable beauty is concerned, Medik8’s ambitions are anything but modest. Its ultimate goal is to be the world’s most sustainable professional-led skincare brand. It has already implemented a wide variety of initiatives to help it achieve this objective. Crucially, Medik8 has pledged that all of its packaging will be 100% recyclable, refillable or reusable by 2023. All its glass bottles already contain 40% recycled glass, and since September 2019, every professional Medik8 product in a plastic bottle has been made from 100% Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) material. In 2018, the brand removed three tones of plastic from its packaging, replacing it with small FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) card inserts. And all of its product cartons and collateral materials, such as leaflets, bags, and posters, are printed on FSC-certified recycled and recyclable materials, using soya inks to preserve the environment.

Then there are the actual product ingredients. Since July 2019, every single product manufactured by Medik8 is 100% vegan-friendly. The brand is cruelty-free. It never tests on animals (or asks other companies to test on its behalf). Medik8 formulas are 100% free from pure palm oil – a crop associated with major deforestation and the habitat destruction of many endangered species. And instead of using plastic microbeads which are damaging to marine life, Medik8 uses only natural exfoliators in its products, such as jojoba in its popular Pore Refining Scrub and bamboo and pumice in its Smooth Body Exfoliating Kit.

Medik8’s sustainability programme encompasses all areas of its business. For example, its buildings are run from 100% renewable energy sources, and wherever possible, it uses cold processes during manufacturing, to save energy. The brand is reviewing its entire supply chain, in a bid to improve its carbon footprint. And it chooses all of its suppliers (for ingredients, equipment and packaging) very carefully. Ethical buying is paramount. Before purchasing, Medik8 assesses a supplier’s location, record and impact on biodiversity, human rights and animal welfare.

The Organic Pharmacy Philosophy

Founded by pharmacist and homeopath Margo Marrone in 2002, The Organic Pharmacy has always explored new ways of thinking about natural health and beauty. Sustainability – and giving back – are key pillars of its business philosophy.

As the name itself suggests, the brand uses organic ingredients whenever possible – and all of its ingredients are sustainably sourced. Many of its products are vegan-friendly. And none have ever been tested on animals. The Organic Phamacy’s commitment to sustainable beauty extends to its packaging and processes, as well as its products.

The brand is free from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and never uses petrochemical parabens, phenoxyethanol, artificial fragrances and synthetic colorants. It advocates the responsible use of natural resources, and respects biodiversity – an essential part of the solution to climate change. The Organic Pharmacy uses environmentally friendly production and processing procedures, and its packaging is recyclable. Furthermore, its products are Fair Trade and reef-safe.

There’s an important human element to the brand’s sustainability policy. Each year, The Organic Pharmacy supports charitable clauses close to its hearts. In 2021 it is backing Women Supporting Women – an initiative powered by The Prince’s Trust that’s dedicated to nurturing, empowering and inspiring young women to build their own futures through employment, self-employment, education or training.

We Recommend...

New to The Organic Pharmacy brand? We recommend the Carrot Butter Cleanser, the Antioxidant Face Serum and the Enzyme Peel Mask.

Emma Hardie's Holistic Approach

Founded in 2009 by renowned holistic facialist Emma Hardie, this award-winning British brand is all about natural, cruelty-free products with integrity. Emma Hardie’s formulations feature power-packed botanicals, and avoid skin-sensitising ingredients. In keeping with the brand’s holistic principles, it too has set out a number of pledges that highlight its commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices.

“We are fully committed to continually monitoring our impact on the environment, reducing waste and providing the best packaging possible,” the company explains. All of its packaging is FSC-approved and 100% recyclable, with the exception of one single item, which is currently being modified accordingly. Furthermore, Emma Hardie is researching options for a refillable service for certain key products.

The brand does not test on animals, and every product in its portfolio is vegan, with the exception of its signature, vegetarian Moringa Cleansing Balm, which contains small traces of beeswax. We’re huge fans of the Brilliance Facial Oil and the Midas Touch Revitalising Cream.

Shop Our Sustainable Skincare Collections

Keen to make the switch to sustainable skincare? Browse our full brand portfolio here – and look out for our special sustainability icons, highlighting products that are Cruelty-Free, Vegan-Friendly, Paraben & Sulfate-Free, and Palm Oil-Free.

Cruelty Free

Vegan Friendly

Paraben & Sulfate-Free

Palm Oil Free

Moringa Light Cleansing Gel (100ml)-Facial Cleanser-Emma Hardie-The Skin Experts
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Mineral Block Dispenser SPF30 (3.4g)-SPF-Brush On Block-The Skin Experts
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Mineral Block Dispenser SPF30 (3.4g)-SPF-Brush On Block-The Skin Experts
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Moringa Light Cleansing Gel (100ml)-Facial Cleanser-Emma Hardie-The Skin Experts
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