How to make your beauty routine more sustainable
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE MORE SUSTAINABLE
So it turns out the beauty industry is actually incredibly unsustainably minded. I mean think about it, the purpose of the products is for you to use them up, get rid of the package, and buy a new one. And even if you don’t use it up you have to throw it out because beauty products have shelf lives. And then there’s the fact most beauty products come in plastic containers, a lot (read: A LOT) of which contains a mixture of several types of plastics and sometimes metals, rendering it unrecyclable. And in certain cases the contents of your products (like nail polish and nail polish remover) make the packaging unrecyclable, too. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
But don’t get too discouraged. Because there are a lot of things you can do to decrease the environmental impact of your beauty routine. Keep reading to find out just what those are.
SWITCH TO LOWER IMPACT BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Lower impact can mean a variety of things: beauty products that come in reusable or recycled packaging, cosmetics made with only natural pigments, skincare infused with organically and locally farmed ingredients, etc. What’s most important is to look at a brand’s ingredients and ethos and use those that are trying to lessen their impact on the planet and provide transparency in where their products come from. Not all clean/natural/organic products are better for your skin or the planet. That’s why it’s essential to do your research on what their ingredients are and what will work best for your skin type, and look at all areas of their production.
SWITCH COTTON PADS FOR REUSABLE COTTON PADS
They might be small, but they sure do add up. You throw them out right after you use them and most store-bought cotton balls were made with pesticides and herbicides(yup). Reusable facial pads are great because they will last you a long time and you can throw them into your washer to clean them (or hand wash), and they ultimately will save you money! They come in different materials like bamboo and sustainably sourced organic cotton, or you can make your own from an old t-shirt or flannel.
SWITCH LOOFAH FOR NATURAL LUFFA SPONGE
What even are loofahs anyway? Kidding. They’re plastic scrubbers, duh. But they have no reason to be in your bathroom. The best way to wash your body is just with your hands. But if you want some exfoliation and to get rid of some nasty dead skin cells, use a luffa sponge. Luffa sponges are the fibrous interiors of the fruits of the luffa sponge gourd plant, so they’re 100% natural and compostable once you’re done using them
SWITCH TO SHAMPOO & BODY BARS
Most skin and body products (including shampoo and body wash) contain around 80 to 95% water. By switching to a bar, you’re cutting down on the amount of water needed to even make the product. This also means that there’s a higher concentration of other ingredients in the bar, which means it will last you longer than your typical bottle. And let’s not forget that bars come basically package free. No more big bulky bottles. They typically come in small cardboard boxes, and in smaller stores you can grab them completely sans packaging. Extra bonus: they’re extremely travel friendly. Alternative: Switch to shampoo and body wash with refillable packaging (preferably aluminum). There are quite a few brands out that will provide you with refiller packs (which still have plastic waste but much less than buying a new bottle) or will let you bring in your empty packaging and have it refilled in store or trade it in for a new one while they clean and then reuse the bottle you brought in. If you can’t hop on the bar bandwagon this is the next best thing.