Zero Waste oils
Zero Waste oils
When choosing cosmetic raw materials, not much attention is paid to the ethical side of the ingredients. It is true that the needs of your own skin are always a priority number one. It is not worth applying just anything on your skin, no matter how ethical it would be.
Many natural cosmetic certificates also pay attention to production methods and other ethical issues. This is a really great thing and a good reason to use natural cosmetics. The ethics of raw materials can also be viewed differently, ethics is not a very self-clear thing. An uncertified product can also be very ethical. In this story, I will tell you how to choose the most ethical oils. Let’s get acquainted with the world of zero waste oils.
The range of cosmetic oils is very wide
For me, the most beloved group of ingredients in cosmetics are oils and fats. I research and test new oils all the time. The wholesalers have a huge selection of oils available. You can easily find a selection of hundreds, even over a thousand oils. New oils are constantly entering the market.
The range of oils in cosmetics has grown not only due to demand but also due to the supply of raw materials.
The best cosmetic oils are made from waste from the food industry
Have you ever wondered the origin of strawberry seed oil, raspberry seed oil or blueberry seed oil? Why make oil from these tiny little seeds. The reason for this is the food industry. Because the raw material for the oil is inexpensive and so abundant, it is also economically profitable to press the oils.
The food industry produces a great deal of waste. As the industry revolves around money, everything is looked at to find utilization. Nothing is wasted. The pulp left over from the production of berry and fruit juices contains a lot of seeds, which contain valuable oils. This pulp is used to make cosmetic oils. The food industry and the cosmetics industry have found each other and we are enjoying a rich supply of oil.
Next, I will introduce you to a few oils made from waste materials from the food industry. It has not been necessary to plant any plants separately for the production of these cosmetic oils.
Grape seed oil
Grape seed oil is really an old base oil for cosmetics. It was used in skin care by the ancient Etruscans thousands of years ago. Apparently, they too made their oil from the grape seeds left over from winemaking.
The popularity of wine has grown exponentially around the world. That is why grape seed oil is also available everywhere.
Read more about grape seed oil: Grape seed oil
Rice bran oil
Base oil made from rice bran has been popular, especially among Japanese children. Rice is really abundant in the world. Therefore, rice bran is also available for oil production. Rice oil is found specifically in bran. Rice bran can also be used to make rice wax, which is popular in cosmetics.
Read more about rice bran oil: Rice Bran Oil is one of the Most Useful Skincare Oils
Raspberry seed oil
Raspberry seed oil is a special oil with a high antioxidant content. About 822 tons of raspberries are produced annually for the needs of the jam and juice industry. The largest producer countries are Russia, Mexico and Serbia. The food industry wants to utilize best possible way this precious berry. Therefore, the pulp left over from the production of raspberry juices is used to make oil.
Similar oils are made from blueberry, lingonberry, cranberry, cloudberry and strawberry.
Apricot kernel oil
Apricot is a very popular fruit in Central Europe. When we eat fresh strawberries, the French and Germans are enjoying the taste of apricots. Apricots are usually used to make jams and marmalades. They are also preserved by drying. In all these cases, the stone is removed from the fruit. Apricot stone is pressed into oil, which is very popular in cosmetics. Apricot kernel oil is used because of its high antioxidant content.
Not all oils are ethical
However, there are plenty of oils available which production consumes a huge amount of natural resources. If a plant is grown only for cosmetic purposes, it is not always sustainable. Growing plants for cosmetics alone occupies land area from food production.
It is also uncertain whether all the plants used in the production of oils can be fully utilized. Especially plants that are not suitable for food or fibre are a problem. Once the oil is pressed, the rest of the plant is thrown away. The use of toxic or otherwise inedible plants in oil production is questionable.
Many plants consume water excessively. If a water-intensive plant is grown in a dry area, there may be a water problem ahead.
Even if the plant used for oil production is unfit for human consumption, it can be beneficial to bees and other pollinators. An example of them is sunflowers. They bloom for a long time and provide food for insects.
Consideration of biodiversity is also important
It is not the same whether the plant is grown in monoculture or in a small family farm. Monoculture means that only one and the same plant can be found in thousands from an area of hectares. Monoculture reduces biodiversity and destroys pollinators.
There is also a socio-economic aspect of the production of cosmetic raw materials. Production is a vital condition for a particular group of people. Such an oil is, for example, argan oil. Nuts harvested from Brazil’s rainforests are also an important source of income for the indigenous people. The rainforest will be saved from logging if people learn to take advantage of the fruits/harvest of the trees.
The ethical side of raw materials is a very complex matter. It is impossible to draw a clear line between an ethical and an unethical product. I think I will come back to this topic again. It is impossible for the consumer to know the growing conditions of all the plants used for the production of oils. It would therefore be great if the cosmetics industry paid more attention to this important issue.
Are you interested in ethical cosmetics?