Lush's New Mascara Launch Is A Step In The Right Direction Toward Curbing Unnecessary Beauty Packaging

Few feelings compare to the excitement we feel when testing out a new beauty project. But dealing with superfluous packaging for beauty products can all but ruin the experience, knowing how detrimental plastics can be for the environment. The industry's reliance on single-use plastics contributes to immense levels of waste. And despite calls for a change, beauty brands have been slow to implement more sustainable packaging for its products, including the use of biodegradable or paper packaging.

This is why the launch of Lush's new mascara, the Lush Naked Mascara, featuring wands made using renewable, non-toxic materials, as well as plastic-free packaging, is a step in the right direction. The mascara is an innovation, which means that it functions in a slightly different manner than the standard mascaras we are all used to. While first launched in 2022 in the United Kingdom, the mascara is now available on Lush USA, and will hit US shelves in June. Here is what we know. 

Innovations in sustainable packaging

Unlike the mascaras we might be most used to, the Lush Naked Mascara is a solid 'block' mascara, which were popular in decades past. To use it, one must first wet the brush — of which Lush offers three designs — and then swirl it in the product to pick up the mascara. Digital creator and designer Gina Knight (@ginaatinukeknight) demonstrates how to use the mascara in a TikTok video. As detailed within the Lush product press release, the mascara is made of a combination of waxes and butters, including candelilla wax, Japanese wax, cocoa butter, and cupuaçu butter, to give the product definition and nourishing qualities.

Once used, the product and wand should be dried separately. Lush offers a robust recycling program called the Green Hub, where you can return the mascara wands to be recycled when you're done using them. So far, the Green Hub has recycled close to 1,000 tons of manufacturing waste, which is roughly equal to more than 2.2 million pounds of what would have gone to  landfill. The Lush Naked Mascara is also following suit in another trend of waterless beauty, where cosmetics companies are reducing or eliminating the amount of water as filler used in their products, both to conserve the resource, and cut back on packaging. 

Striving for sustainability

Aside from innovations in product design, experimenting with waterless products, and testing out in-house recycling services, beauty brands are also taking other avenues to supporting sustainability in the industry. Everything from replacing plastics with biodegradable, paper, and glass packaging to facilitating subscription refill services are becoming more and more common. But such products and services often entail an increased price tag, making access a challenge for the average consumer.

With a retail price of $14 on Lush USA, the Lush Naked Mascara falls somewhere in between a high-end mascara, which could retail for up to $30, and an average drugstore mascara, which might retail for under $10. But of course, consumers receive much more than just a mascara, but the peace of mind that the product they're consuming will not contribute to long-term environmental damage. Where beauty consumers feel more and more inclined to participate in shopping habits and with brands that align with their environmental values, we hope the Lush Naked Mascara will inspire more brands to commit even further  to accessible, sustainable products. Now that we know it's possible, there is no excuse when it comes to curbing unnecessary beauty packaging.