Are beauty samples sustainable?

Are beauty samples sustainable?

We all love to get something free from a beauty shop – a skin care or make up sample, this always makes us feel good. And how often you find in your bag a bunch of samples of products that have nothing to do with the product you just have bought. This is (or probably was) a marketing pitch that companies use to promote their products, so you can hook up easily. And here comes the big problem – every year the beauty industry produces 122bn sachet of samples, from which bigger part end up in the landfill, and do not ger recycled. Simply they are too tiny to be separated and then recycled. These items are popularly made using high-density polyethylene, a non-biodegradable but inexpensive and durable form of plastic. Plastic sachets are increasingly becoming common street litter. It doesn’t sound good at all right?

This figure looks and sounds monstrously big, and it is high time, we the consumers, took action to prevent this. How? Simply, by not using or asking for samples in the stores. I have been asked many times if I offer samples or travel size products – the answer is NO and this made unhappy many people. And let’s be honest: how much would you understand about a certain product from a 3gr of a sample? Almost nothing. The only result you may obtain is if you will have any allergic reaction on the skin, and even if this happens companies are ready to refund the customer. In most stores there is a full-size product, a tester where you can feel and smell the product before you purchase.

So do we really all this hustle, causing so much damage of the already damaged planet Earth?

Another thing is that there is no a certain research showing that sampling increases a beauty company’s sales, or showing a good return on this investment.

Beauty industry should adopt the same attitude as the rest of the industries. Every purchase is a risk – risk of not liking it, not meet our expectations, not fitting, not feeling right, etc. Skin, hair care and make up are not that different than a dress or pair of shoes. If you are so much unsatisfied of the product, you can be refunded, and of the company does not have the 30 or 60 days guarantee or money back, gift it to someone! Based on samples, a new business has emerged – the subscription boxes – 1.2 billion dollars industry!

What would be the solution for the beauty companies, to keep their customers and to satisfy their expectations? Some of the companies offer a low cost, $1 for samples provided in small jars that can be reused, recycled, and even refilled in store. Another way is creating IT solutions – apps and websites, where customers can colour match in real time using their camera. Or simply, be transparent and honest with your customers about what is in the product, by fully displaying the ingredients and their origin.

At Bonèsse we are for full transparency and honesty what we use in our products. I am also always available to answer questions and chat, if a customer is unsure or simply does not know any ingredient. I have always been honest about the % of natural ingredients inside, is it organic, is it allergenic, is it comedogenic, etc. All this is part of educating the customers about chemicals, botanicals and everything about skin and hair care. It is also up to the cosmetic companies to gain the customer’s trust – once people believe what you sell you will not need to sample your product.