I love using lip products especially lip tints and lipsticks. When I was wondering about the kinds of products that I want to review, I knew I had to evaluate a lip product. Aether Beauty is a company that I stumbled upon while researching sustainable makeup products and I instantly fell in love with their design. Just look at the packaging and the lip colors that they have! I want to use this review to dive deeper into the sustainability of the products that Aether Beauty offers and if I will use this company as an alternative to other makeup companies.
On Aether Beauty’s website, they claim that their products made of all-natural ingredients and use “organic, fair-trade, and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible” (https://athrbeauty.com/products/radiant-ruby-lip-creme). This illustrates that even down to the ingredients, Aether Beauty tries to source its ingredients using the cleanest and safest methods. Additionally, each of the ingredients listed on Aether Beauty’s website is all rated with an EWG rating. Most of the ingredients have an EWG rating of 1 and I was wondering about the significance of that number and what EWG stands for. EWG stands for Environmental Working Group and it is a company that provides certifications for companies that use “safe and healthy” ingredients. EWG rates the chemicals used in cosmetics and other products and evaluates their hazards. When companies receive a rating of 1 or lower, it is considered safe to use (https://www.ewg.org/ewgverified/why-the-mark-matters.php). However, I researched more about the EWG ratings and found out that the EWG company received a lot of backlash for their rating of chemicals and other products because their evaluations were inaccurate. The EWG overstated the danger of a lot of chemicals and they had never refined any of their evaluations, which means that they are not checking their ratings. Not only that but also, according to Influence Watch, the EWG is also the group that promoted the idea that vaccines lead to autism, which tells me that the EWG is not a trustworthy company. I suggest Aether Beauty research other more reliable and accurate rating companies to fully market their products as having “safe” ingredients.
In terms of packaging, Sephora’s page shows that the Radiant Lip Crème is made with “100% recycled plastic, the first fully recycled lip component in the prestige beauty industry. Sustainably packaged using FSC paper and soy inks”. There is a lot of information in one sentence here, so I am going to break it down. First, the Radiant Lip Crème is made with 100% recycled plastic including the lip component and it is FSC certified. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and it is a company that provides certification for companies that use paper from sustainably managed trees. It is also supported by various environmental groups such as Natural Resources Defense Council and National Wildlife Federation. These two groups are credible groups and FSC seems to be a trustworthy source for sustainable and environmentally friendly paper. However, the FSC is a voluntary program which means its mission and goals could easily be blurred by other incentives, such as money. The FSC was caught for providing certification for companies using illegal timber (https://newint.org/features/2016/04/01/sustainable-forestry). It shows that having FSC certification does not validate the product’s sustainability because any company could get FSC certification if they paid a bit of money.
Everything else considered I appreciate Aether Beauty’s attempt to using 100% recycled plastic and using packaging from sustainable paper certified by the FSC. If Aether Beauty could use other more effective and trustworthy certification companies, then it will bolster their sustainability and environmental mission.
There is no direct information on how the Radiant Ruby Lip Crème is made but I would assume it is made the same as other lip products. The only difference is that Aether Beauty tries to use more organic and safe ingredients in their formula than the ones written above. All of their ingredients are sourced naturally, and when there are no natural options, they try to use alternative safe synthetic options. I know that all of their lip products are recyclable and the only part that is not recyclable is the applicator at the end of the lipstick. But I understand it is difficult to make the applicator tip out of 100% recycled material so it is already amazing that everything else is recyclable.
Similar to other beauty brands, Aether Beauty also claims that they are “100% cruelty-free and vegan”. This brings up the questions regarding actual certification and evidence that prove that the lip products are actually vegan and cruelty-free because the FDA (The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) does not require cosmetic companies to prove that they did not test their products on animals. As a result, it would be better if an actual certification is provided to prove that the product is actually cruelty-free and vegan. Overall, there is not much information on the production methods of the lip crème so I would like to see more information on that!
On Aether Beauty’s website, they said that they produce their products in facilities based in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In these countries, there are safer labor laws compared to other countries such as China. Additionally, Aether Beauty checks the labor practices of the factories and facilities that they are working with to ensure that there are no child labor and unfair labor laws. I think that this aspect of the production process really adds to the sustainability of Aether Beauty’s products because they are considerate towards the workers that are making their products. Furthermore, I tried finding more labor practices on Aether Beauty’s website but I only saw one paragraph dedicated to it. Although I appreciate the paragraph indicating safe labor practices, I would also like to see more evidence on the types of factories and labor laws that are implemented in Aether Beauty’s factories and facilities.