Model using outdoor shower

What Does Sustainable Really Mean When It Comes To Beauty?

At Sol de Janeiro, sustainability is a journey (not a destination). Which is why, year over year, we continue to innovate our approaches—from the sourcing of our ingredients to making recyclable packaging. Below, we share a few ways that we are improving, and how you can too.

What Makes A Beauty Product Sustainable?

By definition, sustainability is “the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” The way that beauty companies can show-up requires a reassessment of end-to-end process—making necessary tweaks along the way. Asking questions like, “how/where do we source ingredients?”; “are we paying and treating our employees fairly?”; and “what is the entire lifecycle of a product?” are the start of a much larger conversation.

As a consumer, you can start by looking for products that are formulated with high-quality, developed with recyclable or reusable packaging; and offered as refillable. Ultimately, you want to support companies that consider their process from cart to concept, with less negative impact on the environment.

Smart Formulations, Ingredient & Testing Choices

What goes on your body, and back into the environment, matters. So, shopping products made with integrity is key. As a beauty company, we want to ensure that what we produce meets our highest standards, so you can buy with confidence. For instance, our entire collection is 100% PETA certified cruelty-freeform.

When it comes to natural versus synthetic ingredients, it’s a case-by-case scenario. For this reason, Sol de Janeiro uses a mix of both. Here’s why: sometimes a synthetic ingredient is the more sustainable option. This is often due to contamination risk from certain natural sources or the impact of sourcing and over-harvesting plants that could create endangered species—all of which we work to avoid.

Recyclable Packaging

Since single-use plastic is an imminent threat to the environment, it’s important to purchase products that are produced in packaging that is reusable, recyclable, recoverable and/or made with renewable materials.*

During the 2020 holiday season, Sol de Janeiro started using zero plastic thermoforms, making gift sets from commercially biodegradable pulp-based thermoforms. This switch saved 20,398,736 grams of plastic (or the equivalent of 2,217,254 Poland Spring water bottles).

As of today, we are proud to say that 80% of our paper-based packaging material is sourced from certified ethically sourced (FSC) virgin fiber or consists of at least 35% post-consumer recycled content. Additionally, we manufacture all cartons at wind facilities to maintain carbon neutrality.

Purchaser Responsibility

When it comes to sustainability, we all have a role to play. Because what we supply is what you buy. For example, our refills help reduce plastic use by up to 89% and are the perfect way to restock some of your Sol de Janiero faves like Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Gel-Cream, Rio Deo, Cheirosa 62 Perfume Mist, and Brazilian Bum Bum Cream.

It’s important to follow recycling instructions, like you’ll find on 99% of our packaging and product pages starting in April 2023. We also offer limited-edition, jumbo size products—Biggie Biggie Beija anyone?—so you can enjoy more product for longer while saving plastic. And small adjustments—like keeping the pump from your perfume mist and reusing it for your next bottle—are an easy way to reduce your plastic use.

* Contingent based on your region, municipality, and waste collection streams