Going Beyond BeautyLab: Can You Get Your Beauty Fix and Still Be Earth-Friendly?

The YS Beauty Lab

As of this writing, I have reviewed a total of 53 beauty products for the YesStyle BeautyLab over nearly five years! The very first product I tested was the Cure Natural Aqua Gel way back in February 2012.

More than just experiencing how the right kind of product (and a lot of patience) can transform skin for the better, I’ve also become more discerning not only about a product’s ingredients but also its packaging. Many skin care brands — both Asian and Western — are becoming more and more ecologically aware, and are stepping up their efforts to source and use organically grown, fair-trade ingredients, employ cruelty-free practices and have eco-friendly packaging.

I’m currently trying to solve the problem of finding sheet masks that are recyclable and have as little packaging as possible without sacrificing hygiene and sanitation standards. Apparently, I’m not alone because this sub-Reddit under Asian Beauty is a gold mine of helpful tips and opinions. I’ve also been trying to get more use out of my BeautyLab products long after the contents are gone to minimize my carbon footprint. While the products below don’t check all the boxes when it comes to being 100% earth-friendly, becoming a more discerning and conscious shopper certainly helps.

Tsubaki Damage Care Water Mist

I love the Tsubaki Water Mist. Having had dry, frizzy hair for most of my life, it is literally a relief to find a hair treatment that doesn’t involve long hours, high prices or numerous visits to the salon. Just spray and my hair is good to go! The hair mist bottle was the very first that I reused for my vinegar and water solution, which is an effective, yet non-toxic alternative to bleach-based surface cleaners. The small size makes it perfect because good things can come in small packages!

(Photo, left) My first Tsubaki bottle was repurposed for as a household cleaner spray bottle. My second Tsubaki bottle and the Kao Liese Airy Style bottle were used for my non-bleach surface cleaners.
Price: US$19.90

Kracie Hadabisei Eye Zone Masks

Oh man, I still remember last year’s winter when these eye masks were such lifesavers for my poor skin! Since then, I’ve made sure to buy a pack of these masks whenever I’m running short. I love that the packaging is so small and compact that I can just stick ’em in my jeans pocket and go. Plus, they come in 30 pairs and are made of 100% pure cotton which makes them biodegradable.

Price: US$13.21

Annie’s Way Q10 Anti-Aging Jelly Mask

The Annie’s Way Jelly Masks continue to be one of YesStyle’s best-selling beauty products — so much that we have even reviewed 2 variants for BeautyLab. There are arguments on both sides regarding certain skin care product types coming in jars. Personally, I have yet to read anything negative about the sizable packaging of the Jelly Mask line. They certainly don’t skimp on the amount of gooey jelly, and the wide opening of the jar makes it easy to scoop out the stuff, with or without the spatula. My Anti-Aging Jelly Mask is now all gone but the jar has proven useful as a small starter pot for my efforts to grow herbs. Wish me luck!

Price: US$19.71

Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner (10 in 1)

Using this toner convinced me that I no longer have to fear that toners can be painful and drying on my skin. This 500ml bottle last me nearly a year and really made a noticeable difference in my skin. The ingenious one-touch pump dispenser ensured I didn’t use up too much each time and it was this feature that I really loved about the bottle design. I reused my Wonder Pore Freshner bottle by transferring my makeup cleansing water into it. I only need two pumps to soak a cotton pad. Definitely one of the best products worth having in your regimen!

Price: US$28.71