Innovations in Color Cosmetics: 2021 made makeup more sustainable

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Zelenenka)
© Getty Images \ (Zelenenka)

Related tags: Color cosmetics, Sustainable packaging, Plastic, Coty, Credo, Eastman

So far, the year has seen Sun Chemical acquire the Colors & Effects business from BASF, the launch of Be A 10 Cosmetics, biotech company Amyris buying and launching color brands, Coty taking Kyle Cosmetics vegan, and more. But recent headlines about makeup in 2021 highlight the category’s shift to sustainable packaging.

Sustainable beauty packaging is still something of a misnomer. But brands and suppliers and retailers are taking steps in the right direction and making progress toward circularity. Here are a few recent efforts to make color cosmetics packaging less harmful to the environment.  

Eastman introduces new sustainable packaging materials for color cosmetics

The chemical company has been in the news here on Cosmetics Design several times over the past year for its progress implementing molecularly recycled plastics into its portfolio of beauty packaging materials​. In March, this publication covered news of Estée Lauder’s use of the newly available material​. And just last month, LVMH launched the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer packaged in Eastman’s Cristal Renew material​.

Now, just weeks ago, Eastman has saw another material in its collection of recyclable resin packaging come to market. Cristal One is, according to last month’s press release, “the first RIC1 materials that enable production of transparent jars up to 12 mm in thickness.”

And thanks to Eastman’s partnership with Fusion Pkg (an Aptar Beauty + Home company) the resin is available as both stock and custom packaging solutions for luxury color cosmetics, skin care, and more.

“We are thrilled to be working with FusionPKG to introduce Cristal One and Cristal One Renew. FusionPKG's sleek, cutting-edge design sensibility was just what we were looking for to bring an entirely new product to market,”

said Tara Cary, market development manager for Eastman cosmetics and personal care.

“With the Cristal One portfolio, we are able to bring together the best of both worlds — recycled and recyclable — and still provide the superior performance that brands and innovative design houses like FusionPKG demand for their packaging today.”

Cover Girl opts for more sustainable pressed-powder packaging

In June, the Coty brand announced the redesign of its Clean Pressed Powder Collection, which uses 35% less plastic than the previous design.

In his remarks to the press, Stefano Curti, Chief Brands Officer of Coty, puts the redesign in context, saying, “Today, as the brand celebrates its 60th anniversary, we are…taking the next step in our journey towards more sustainable and clean beauty. I am delighted that this initiative means eliminating some plastic by ensuring our Clean Pressed Powders now have 35% less plastic per compact – a tangible example of Coty’s commitment to more sustainable packaging through our Beauty That Lasts initiative. As a brand, COVERGIRL continues to identify areas where we can reduce our environmental impact, continuing to lead the way as the original clean brand which our consumers are proud to stand behind.”

MOB Beauty introduces mail-back packaging as the latest Pact Collective program

In April MOB Beauty, a color cosmetics brand developed by Victor Casale and Frank Toskan, joined forces with Credo and Hudson's Bay Company to launch the Pact Collective, a nonprofit working to eliminate waste in the beauty industry.

“At MOB Beauty, we are committed to only launching products with sustainable packaging solutions and it was in our search for recycling options that we joined forces with Credo and Hudson's Bay Company to launch Pact, to address the massive environmental impact of cosmetics waste by educating and providing sustainable solutions for hard-to-recycle packaging,”​ explains Casale, who serves as the brand’s CEO.

This week the brand launched the Pack Mail Back Program to collect packaging from anywhere in the US via mail. “As small packaging and other hard-to-recycle components (such as pumps) are not recyclable in your curbside bin, clients now have both an in-store and mail back solution for recycling empties,” ​says Casale in the brand’s press release about the mail-in option.

Consumers need only save empty beauty packaging​ (from participating brands), print a label from the Pact Collective site, and send them in.

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