It is clear that Nars is not a brand that prioritizes sustainability. The only positive thing that stood out to me about this product’s sustainability was the fact that it does not contain parabens. Although Nars’ lack of sustainable initiatives was disappointing, I was reassured by the efforts of Nars’ parent company, Shiseido. Shiseido has outlined clear sustainability efforts on its website that it appears to be actively working towards, although it is not clear how this has affected Nars. While Shiseido is making valiant efforts towards sustainability, much more needs to be done by Nars.
This concealer touts the fact that it is paraben free, which was nice to see. Parabens are chemicals that can be linked to detrimental effects on the body and the environment. The first four ingredients of the concealer are water, dimethicone, hydrogenated polydecene, and propanediol. Dimethicone is a silicone that seals hydration in the skin and improves the texture of the product. There is quite a bit of discourse in the sustainability community about silicones and whether or not they are environmentally friendly, and it is unclear what the real truth is. Hydrogenated polydecene is a synthetic material used to thicken products. The level of its sustainability is unclear. Propanediol is a natural solvent and emollient that can be produced sustainably out of corn. Although this product is not outright harmful to the earth, it does not seem like it was made with sustainability in mind.
There is not much information about Nars’ manufacturing practices available online. Shiseido, however, has quite a bit of information about sustainability initiatives surrounding their manufacturing. They seek to reduce plastic packaging, waste creation, and water usage. They are also taking steps to increase ethical practices within their manufacturing. This includes yearly training, providing safe places for employees to voice concerns, and creating corporate ethics leader positions. Although it seems like Shiseido is attempting to make their manufacturing more sustainable, there is still not that much information about how they make their products.
Nars has no mention of sustainability on their website, which makes it clear that sustainability is not a priority for them. Their parent company Shiseido however, has several sustainability efforts outlined on their website, with some indications of progress. This includes the goal of 100% sustainable packaging by 2025, with 57% of their packaging in Japan in 2020 already being sustainable. They also seek to be carbon neutral by 2026. Shiseido also claims that it seeks to have 100% sustainable palm oil usage by 2026. However, palm oil is inherently such an unsustainable ingredient, that it is doubtful that any use of it can be considered truly sustainable. Shiseido and Nars are not vegan or cruelty free brands, which is upsetting. Overall, I was happy to see the sustainability initiatives that Shiseido is taking on, but I am not satisfied with their overall environmentalism.