Water, our very source of life and often touted as the holy grail of hydration in skincare.
Yet, what is the impact that water-filled skincare products are having on the environment, and why going water-free is the sustainable solution we need to take?
The hard facts.
Freshwater, though it pours out of our taps with such ease here is actually incredibly rare and one of our most precious resources. Only around 2.5 - 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh. It’s estimated that some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a further 2.7 billion have periods of scarcity for at least one month of the year. These figures are only going to grow with the effects of climate change.
While agriculture is the main culprit for water usage, consuming around 70% (A large amount being used for animal agriculture). The booming personal care and cosmetics industry is a growing contributor and one that simply can not be sustained.
How is this affecting your skincare purchases?
Environmental impact aside you’re also just getting plain ripped off. Water makes up anywhere between 90-95% of your usual moistures and lotions, this leaves a small amount of room for the active ingredients that make the difference to your skin. If you turn over and read your moisturiser’s or cleanser's ingredients list, 'aqua' is generally the first ingredient. It might sound exotic and sexy when written in Latin but the truth of the matter is it’s the cheapest of all ingredients. Formulas can be made less expensive by increasing the water content.
All labels by law have to list their ingredients on the back from the highest amount in the product to the lowest except for an ingredient under 1% which can be listed in any order. We have previously written an article on this see here. So if you see ‘aqua’ and usually followed by ‘glycerine’ then that is what the majority of the formulation is comprised of. We've written before on this here.
Terra Tonics formulations are 98% to 100% active with no water, glycerine, or any other filler. That's why they work.
The effects on your skin.
While water has been added to products for years under the guise of helping to hydrate, the minerals and metals in water strip skin when used often. The water in moisturiser especially causes your skin to become even more dehydrated as it impairs your skin barrier function. We’ve written on this too, see here.
Another benefit of removing water is there is no longer a breeding ground for micro-organisms resulting in the longer shelf life of products and further removing the need to add harsh preservatives like parabens. It’s not just your skin that benefits from removing these chemicals but the planet.
How this is affecting our environment.
The other issue with such chemical components in traditional skincare is they don’t break down but instead accumulate in our ecosystems. Such cosmetics and toiletries do the most damage to the environment once they are washed down our sinks.
From there the chemicals are released into our lakes, streams, rivers, and public water systems, damaging wildlife and flora and fauna. It is not just aquatic life that is impacted. Water from our lakes and seas vaporises in our atmosphere and accumulates in clouds, returning to our soil as rain. Chemicals related to cosmetics have been found in agricultural soil and household dust particles. 🤦🏽♀️
A belief by many in and out of the industry is that water free skincare, or as we like to say 'undiluted skincare' is not a fad but the future of skincare and personal care and the only way forward to really make a change.
With Terra Tonics formulations you receive a far superior product with a greatly reduced environmental impact.
Undiluted skincare can come with a larger price tag this is because it's drastically more expensive to produce. Compare a product that is 90% water and only 10% actives to a product that is 98% actives and 0% water it's no surprise that the cost of production per unit is higher. Furthermore sourcing sustainable ingredients adds to the price but we see no other way if we want to have a planet that is here for generations to come.
When you cost in the benefits for your skin and the planet with undiluted skincare, the results are unparalleled.
With more effective skincare products that work, the fewer products you need, resulting in less overconsumption, less unnecessary packaging, and less landfill. It’s a win win.
Terra Tonics will always bring you undiluted skincare.