Influencers with 20-product makeup routines, YouTubers preaching double-cleansing, beauty editors hailing the 7-step skincare routine, A-Beauty, K-Beauty, and J-Beauty. With all that product, the only thing beauty hoarding enhances... is landfill.
Thankfully, with the rise of sustainable and inclusive brands (and a lot of downtime to rethink your life), no-makeup makeup is back in a big way. According to Pinterest’s 2021 Trends Predictions report, we’re forgoing product-heavy routines to embrace slow beauty. Marrying skincare and makeup is officially the new way to glow-up, and our planet (and your skin) can finally breathe easier. Hey there, freckles.
While you’re saying sayonara to concealer no.3, consider these five ways you can feel even better about reducing your beauty footprint.
1. Replace Disposables with Reusables
Here’s a scary fact: The Marine Conservation Society suggests that there are 35 wipes found for every kilometer of British beach – and that number isn’t slowing down. Meanwhile, billions of disposable plastic razors end up in landfill every year. Yikes.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your beauty waste is to simply opt for products that can be reused over and over again.
- Switch your face wipes for cleansing balms or oils - even better for your skin!
- Swapping disposable cotton pads with reusable pads, which can be used over 1000 times. That’s what we call a no-brainer.
- Swapping disposable razors for refillable razors. The razor itself will last forever and the replacement blades are inexpensive and recyclable.
- Tampons and pads can easily be replaced with reusable menstrual cups.
If you’re determined to use the rest of your makeup wipes, tampons or pads just make sure you throw them in the correct bins and don’t flush them down the toilet.
2. Make Your Disposables Biodegradable
Ok so, we know you can’t make some products reusable forever, like a toothbrush (gross), but you can find biodegradable alternatives. Opt for a bamboo toothbrush, since the handle is completely biodegradable and even better if you can find one with biodegradable bristles. This logic can also be applied to your toilet cleaning brushes, hairbrushes, and body brushes.
It’s incredibly easy to source eco-friendly toilet paper and look out for toothpaste tubes made from recyclable aluminum.
HOT COMPOST TIP: If your cotton buds are truly 100% cotton, if your loofahs and bath sponges are naturally made if that toothpick obsession is piercing holes in your garbage bag, there’s a place for that. And that place is your steaming pile of compost. Don’t have one? You gotta start somewhere, right?
3. Change, repurpose, or recycle packaging
Packaging is one of the biggest waste players in the game. Before your buy, consider whether you can refill it or recycle it. Bonus points if it has no packaging. For example, many shampoo bars and powders are sold with biodegradable packaging or just come unpackaged.
Alternatively, many brands aim to use zero-waste ingredients and offer refills of hand-wash, shampoo lipstick, foundation, blush - whatever you’re into. Additionally, look for brands that offer recyclable initiatives like MAC cosmetics.
Alternatively, you can repurpose packaging for continued usage in your household. For example, you can turn glass perfume bottles and jars into flower vases, water jugs, and holders. Consider empty lipstick tubes to hold your bobby pins, and save plastic containers for all your travel-sized beauty needs.
4. Look for the logos
Navigating the world of natural, organic, and sustainable beauty products can be confusing, which is why it helps to get to know your industry certification bodies. Choose brands that are committed to making a difference and reduce their carbon footprint. Consider their policies, their manufacturing procedures, and where they source ingredients from.
Products that are eco-friendly, plastic-free, or manufacture responsibly will carry the body’s logo on their packaging.
5. Water: save usage, save the reefs
Most beauty aficionados advocate water for overall glowy, firm complexions. And they’re right - however, while you’re downing bottle after bottle, make sure it’s a reusable one filled with tap or filtered water. Remember, it takes three times the amount of water to create a plastic bottle than it does to fill one.
Did you know an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in coral reefs globally each year? While you’re on the ban-single-use-plastic wagon, it also pays to remember that sunscreen contains certain chemical UV filters, particularly oxybenzone, which has been found to cause coral bleaching.
While there are some reef-friendly oxybenzone-free chemical options, in many cases your best bet is to reach for a mineral sunscreen that uses zinc or titanium dioxide to deflect damaging rays.
One last thing: just turn off the tap when you brush your teeth… mmk?
So now you’re an expert on sustainable beauty, let’s move on to your beauty sleep. Find out how choosing eco-friendly silk will help your complexion in more ways than one.