Cosmetics and Water

Cosmetics and Water

Blog post by Asha Suppiah, Co-founder of Water Well-ness Project – Get free updates of new blog posts here.

Photo by Laszlo Gyarmati, Flickr CC

Many of us ladies love to wear our make-up and other beauty products. Americans spend just shy of $100 billion per year on skin care, makeup, hair and perfume products. But although these beauty products may be erasing all signs of aging, clean water is disappearing too. Did you know that an average tube of lipstick has a water footprint of 90,000 L? The water foot-print includes the water used to create the lipstick and the tubes they come in. And what happens once we come to the bottom of our lipstick? Discarded cosmetics are often burned, buried or flushed. This causes chemical to be released to the air, earth or groundwater depending on the incinerator, landfill or water-treatment facilities. Studies have found many chemicals from our cosmetics in our drinking water. Now, of course I am not saying to stop using cosmetics completely – I don’t think that is a solution that would be highly popular or realistic. We just need to be smarter about the products we buy and how we dispose of these products.

Many cosmetic products we use contain waxes and oils. Oil however has a very high water footprint. Look for mineral-based products and those that have minimal packaging. Many major cosmetic companies will recycle old containers such as MAC cosmetics. Also left over lipstick can be melted and remolded!

There are many responsible companies recycling packaging and making make-up products that are water and environmentally conscious! Remember if we all make small changes we can help preserve our water resources and save some money!

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