Reading labels on the packaging of health, wellness, and beauty products helps you make informed decisions. That's because a label can tell you what ingredients are contained in the product, how to use it effectively, and how caring it is for the environment.
Many retailers are now more conscious of their roles as more than purveyors of products but also as stewards of making greener choices. All over the world, retailers like Watsons are making efforts to be more sustainable and engaging their customers to live more sustainably through the products they choose, through using reusable bags, or participating in recovery and recycling efforts by the retailer or the community.
So what should customers look for in the health, wellness, and beauty products that they purchase?
Palm oil, the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, is found in many of the products we use like soap, lipstick, and shampoo. Palm oil, which comes from oil palm trees, which grow in tropical rainforests, is mostly produced unsustainably these days and the uncontrolled clearing of these forests has led to the loss of these forests, pollution, and deaths of animals.
Consumers who want to make a difference on the planet should look for products that contain palm oil with RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification. The RSPO, a group brought together by the World Wildlife Fund in 2004, is responsible for the production of more than half of the palm oil in the world. The non-profit organization includes farmers and small growers, retailers, environmental groups, bankers and investors, traders, and manufacturers who have one goal—to make palm oil harvest and production more sustainable. An RSPO certification on a bar of soap or shampoo means you are getting a product with palm oil that was produced sustainably.
Paper products like tissue and diapers, which the world consumes a lot of, are made from trees. Every day, trees are chopped down to manufacture these paper products. Consumers should look for an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification on the packaging of their paper products. Forest Stewardship Council is an organization that makes sure harvesting trees for wood products is done responsibly and that all living things involved in the harvest—humans and animals—are not mistreated. The goal of the council is for the world’s forests not to be depleted of wood, which is used to manufacture the paper products we buy.
Other than RSPO and FSC-certified products, customers can also consider products that are more caring for the environment. As the world's largest international health and beauty retailer, A.S. Watson Group embraces sustainability by making available more sustainable product choices to its customers. In the Philippines, Watsons has over1,291 sustainable SKUs (as of June 2022) that consumers can choose from. These Sustainable Choices, which are displayed prominently in Watsons stores and featured on the website and app, are anchored on the pillars of Clean Beauty, Refills, Better Packaging, and Better Ingredients.
At Watsons, Clean Beauty is not just a buzzword. Customers are highly encouraged to read labels and avoid products with ingredients like hydroquinone, triclosan, quaternium-15, chloroacetamide, triclocarban, phthalates, o-phenylphenol, borates, methylene glycol, and microplastic beads. Potentially toxic chemicals can get absorbed into your body through the skin, which is the body’s biggest organ, and may lead to irritation, redness, sensitivity, or even health issues.
“Watsons not only motivates its customers to choose more sustainable products but through our information campaign, we have also shared with them how to live more sustainably by being aware of how our purchasing habits affect the world around us,” said Watsons Public Relations and Sustainability Director Viki Encarnacion.