Biodegradable beauty: Why it’s important, what it’s about and how to get started


Read this quick Q&A to make your beauty regime friendlier for your skin and the environment. 

What is biodegradable beauty?

“Clean beauty”, “natural”, “organic” and “vegan” – we’ve all seen these words splashed around in the beauty industry, but what about “biodegradable” beauty?

  • Nature takes it back: The term “biodegradable” is used to describe any material or object that is capable of being decomposed, or can decay naturally without leaving waste behind. Think about natural items like bamboo or cork: When left to decompose, they are broken down by micro-organisms like bacteria or fungi, and disappear without contributing to pollution.
  • No harmful ingredients: Biodegradable beauty products such as soaps or shampoos have minimal to zero adverse environmental impacts. Most non-biodegradable beauty products contain antibacterial and preservative ingredients that help extend the product’s shelf life, but may cause harm to the environment once it is disposed of.


Why is biodegradable beauty important for the planet?

When you buy biodegradable beauty products, you don’t contribute to these two major problems:

  • Global pollution: The world is currently producing more than 380 million tonnes of plastic every year, according to Our World In Data. Best case scenario, this plastic goes to a landfill and takes 1000 years to decompose, the worst case – it ends up in the ocean. 
  • Environmental damage: Many of the chemicals used to formulate traditional cosmetics may be detrimental to our water quality. It was widely reported when the island of Hawaii banned sunscreen products containing oxybenzone and octinoxate (two very common sunscreen ingredients) in 2021. Their reason? Research has shown that these ingredients cause significant damage to coral reef ecosystems, including coral bleaching and even coral DNA damage.


What are the benefits of using biodegradable products on your body?

We know why biodegradable beauty is important for the planet, but did you know that it’s also beneficial for your skin? 

  • Skin-friendly ingredients: A lot of beauty products contain harsh ingredients that may cause your skin to react or become sensitised. We also don’t know all the long-term effects of these synthetic ingredients.
  • No nasties: Biodegradable beauty products are natural and free from toxic synthetic materials. They are gentler on the skin and less prone to cause irritation. They do not contain any harmful by-products or controversial cheap fillers, but instead, are filled with the very best of what Mother Nature has to offer.


Not sure which biodegradable products to try? One of our fave biodegradable brands is Earthsap…here are a few of their must-have beauty products that we love: 

Earthsap Orange & Mandarin Foam Bath (R94.95)

Soft bubbles and a fresh citrus fragrance are a match made in bath time heaven. Earthsap Foam Bath with Orange & Mandarin is an all-natural, SLS-Free bubble bath formula that will care for your skin as you soak. It’s also biodegradable, making it safe for the planet’s waterways. 


Earthsap Pomegranate & Cranberry Hand & Body Lotion (R84.99)

This natural combination of soothing pomegranate, cranberry and the moisturising and nourishing aloe and jojoba oils, makes a natural combination that leaves the skin soft, smooth and healthy.

Earthsap Garden Carrot Face Wash (R94.99)

Cleanse and care for your skin with this mild facial wash, made with a blend of real carrot oil and 100% natural, biodegradable ingredients. Earthsap’s Garden Carrot Face Wash is kind to your skin and packed with nutrients like vitamin A and antioxidants, to leave you with a fresh and healthy complexion. Free of harsh chemicals, this face wash gently cleans away grime and dirt without drying or damaging your skin.


Earthsap Pine Forest Shampoo (R99.99)

Cleanse and protect your hair with this 100% natural shampoo, and enjoy the crisp, refreshing scent of pine needles. Made with pure plant-based ingredients, including coconut extracts, olive oil, vegetable glycerine and real pine needle oil, Earthsap Pine Forest Shampoo will give you a naturally fresh start to the day. It’s biodegradable and chemical-free, which means its kind to the planet as well as your hair and scalp. Part of the Earthsap Pine Forest range; a great unisex scent for eco-conscious guys and girls. Suitable for all hair types.