Updated: Feb 19, 2021
Beauty doesn’t have to cost the earth. This article will show you how to make your skincare and beauty routine more sustainable with cheap and easy tips and tricks.
It is hard to know which brands are sustainable and which ones are greenwashing their products to appeal to wider, more conscious consumers. This is why it is important to not only change the products in your bathroom cabinet but also the way you practice your routines and rituals.
What is the difference between sustainable, eco-friendly, and recyclable beauty products?
Sustainable products include the ethical source of raw materials, low energy production (energy and water consumption, and waste management), compostable, biodegradable, recyclable packaging, and biodegradability of the final product.
Recyclable products usually refer to product packaging. Recycling is the process of converting waste material into new, reusable, and recyclable objects.
Eco-friendly products that care for the skin are derived from natural ingredients created in a manufacturing process that keeps the utility and efficacy of the product. They don't harm the environment when they go down the drain.
But how can you incorporate these better alternatives to beauty products into your routine? Here are six ways of making your beauty routine more sustainable, recyclable and eco-friendly.
1. Ditch plastic bottles
According to research, 80 billion shampoo and conditioner bottles get thrown away globally every year. By switching to shampoo and conditioner bars, you are directly contributing to less plastic going to landfill. Ditching body gel and liquid hand soap for traditional bar soap also makes a big difference when it comes to waste plastic.
2. Use less water
This one's a no-brainer. It was hammered into all of us growing up that we should turn the taps off when brushing our teeth, but it important to remember to turn the taps off when washing your face and take showers instead of baths. Of course, baths provide us with peace and tranquillity by using luxurious bath bombs and bubble bath. However, since LUSH makes shower bombs, you can experience all the same things you would when bathing, but in the shower.
3. Use reusable face cloths
I think we are all guilty of hastily scrubbing makeup off with a makeup wipe at the end of the night when we’re too tired to go through a complex skincare routine full of lotions and potions, but it is killing the planet. In Britain, we use 11 billion face wipes every year alone and that is not including cotton pads, which is another big issue.
Instead, we need to rid our makeup bags of one-use wipes and bring back a hot face cloth. If this is too retro for you, there are clever things on the market such as Face Halos, which claim to replace up to 500 face wipes with a high-tech microfibre cloth, saving the planet and your bank balance.
4. Buy low-packaging or zero waste items
Okay, I understand that this one might be a bit difficult since we’re in a global pandemic and we want things to be as wrapped up and clean as possible. But when things do get back to normal, consider swapping items that are encased in plastic and unnecessary wrapping and opt for things that have no plastic and cardboard packaging that you can pop in the paper recycling bin.
5. Use items that are eco-friendly
Items that are eco-friendly consider the prepping of raw materials, the production, and the afterlife. The best way to ensure that your hair, skin, and makeup products are eco-friendly is by looking for Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance logos on the packaging.
6. Reuse, Recycle, Upcycle
If you can't find a no-plastic replacement for beauty products you love, then recycle them. Many types of plastic are recyclable, and it takes up to 500 years for plastic to decompose. In Britain, only 45% of plastic is recycled, with the remaining going to landfill. Just remember to take labels off, and remove lids and pumps.
Alternatively, fancy packaging can be reused or upcycled! You can turn used jars and bottles to hold stationery, hair grips, makeup brushes, you name it!