While  picking up new lunch boxes for the kids return to school I noticed that “Nude” seems to be the new green. We will no longer be able to get a green star for just packing our organic veggies and home-baked buns for the school day. Now we must keep them naked! This means ending our reliance on excess packaging.

Basically we are being encouraged to buy or salvage containers that can be re-used rather than wrapping up our sandwiches and fruit in paper bags or (God forbid) cling wrap.  This all sounds rather nice as excess packaging is something that we can all do without but is Nude practical?  I thought I’d look at nudity in the cosmetics industry to see how much we dare to bare!

Naked is the New Green For Cosmetics

In the cosmetics world packaging is often more than just another sales/marketing tool, it can be the part that makes a product work – think foaming gels,  spray products and mousse.  Packaging can also play a major role in keeping the product safe:

  • Airless packaging helps to stop the product from bacterial attack therefore reducing the level of preservative required.
  • Airless packaging can also help to keep fragrances fresh (less head-space) and prevent oxidation (breakdown of the product due to air).
  • Dark coloured packaging can protect the product from UV light. UV can start off reactions in the product that lead to its demise.
  • Screw tops can help keep little people out! Not all cosmetic products are suitable as babies sucking toys – essential oils and some serum formulations  should be treated like medicines.
  • Plastic Bottles can be easier and safer to handle in wet and slippery conditions than glass bottles.
  • Boxes around squeezy tubes help to keep the product inside safe (think toothpaste).

That said,  there’s plenty of room for some ‘greening’ on the shelves. Here’s what’s been happening so far:

While these steps are all good, there’s often far too much packaging surrounding out favourite cosmetic products and it seems that the more you pay, the more packaging you get!   Things like “holiday size” packs are cute but do we really need them? What’s wrong with just decanting our own into re-usable containers?  Single use sachets are another good example of an ‘inconvenient truth’ as are ‘his’, ‘hers’ ‘mini-her’s’ and ‘mini-hi’s’ shampoos, conditioners and face washes. Often one product WILL fit all if you choose well.

But can we go Naked?  Well, it seems that LUSH  already has! They are offering a range of products in bulk demanding that you bring your own packaging!  This has been tried on-and-off many time’s but often gets pulled due to people bringing in ‘unclean’ containers or people being a bit unhygienic when they fill their containers. It can be done but it isn’t easy.

Anyway, a big hat’s off to Lush who are leading the way in nudeness.  Who knows, one day maybe all cosmetics will be bought naked!