Sustainable beauty routines have become more and more popular lately. People are no longer only hunting for skincare and makeup products that satisfy their need; they now are also looking for ways to make their daily regime more eco-friendly. 

Today we are going to learn how to make your beauty routine a little more sustainable!

What’s the problem?

Like other industries, the cosmetic industry produces a lot of waste which is, of course, harmful to the environment. However, we might not be aware of how big this problem is. Every year, 120 billion units of packaging are produced by the cosmetics industry globally, and among the purchased cosmetic products, 80% of them aren’t actively used. This excess of production and purchases of cosmetic products generate an unnecessary amount of waste that harms the environment in a variety of ways. Examples of these are plastic pollution in the oceans, garbage in the land fields, carbon emissions from shipment and the production cycle.

What can be done?

The main issue is our tendency of overconsumption that is encouraged by the cosmetic industries. Many of us are involved in a vicious circle where we buy a product we like, find something better, throw the other product away and so on. In this way, individuals are left with products they don’t even use. Therefore, reducing the amount of product we buy will do significant good for the environment. 

We should also wait until we finish a product before we buy another. Additionally, suppose we have a cosmetic product that for whatever reason we aren’t going to keep it. In that case, it will be beneficial to share with others, so we don’t end up throwing them away or storing them forever in our homes. Doing this will not only be good for the environment but also our skin and wallet.  Cosmetic minimalism reduces the amount of waste we produce, and our skin is less likely to suffer sensitivity or irritation issues as we don’t overexpose it to different products. Also, we will be saving money! 

Here is a list of other things we can do to make our routine a little more sustainable and help the environment:

Shop with a brand that follows environmental friendly practices

It’s important to support brands that are going that extra step to help the environment and wildlife as this will show the cosmetic industries that consumers are interested in these which will make them adapt and also follow friendlier environmental practices. 

Although no brand is perfect, here is a list of questions to ask yourself and will help you pick the most sustainable products and brands:

  • The ingredients are cruelty-free, organic, vegan and palm oil-free?
  • The ingredients are sourced ethically?
  • What charitable practices does the brand follow?
  • Is the packaging thoughtful?
  • What is their waste and resource management?

Moreover, you can also evaluate the brands using the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, which rates products for safety and healthiness.

Reuse or recycle packaging 

Cosmetics that come in glass or plastic packaging can be recycled. It is crucial to make sure that the containers are empty and clean before disposing of them, as any remnants will contaminate other recyclables. Remove flip-top lids, trigger heads and pumps. 

Additionally, you can also transform a pretty packaging into something new and useful.  For instance, you can make a new makeup brush holder form a large face cream pot. 

Ditch the face wipes

Although the use of face wipes is usually the easiest and quickest way to remove makeup, you should consider using reusable wipes instead as disposable wipes can take up to 100 years to break down. Moreover, the constant use of face wipes is not suitable for your skin either.  Lots of makeup wipes strip the skin of its natural oils and affect the skins natural PH levels due to ingredients such as alcohol.

Say no to minis

Even though products in tiny packaging can be charming and perfect for travelling, they are the complete opposite of eco-friendly. It would be better and smarter to invest in a set of travel containers that can be used over and over again so that you could carry your favourite products everywhere. 

Finally, remember: 

It is easy to get discouraged by this large scale problem and also by recognising that you are not completely zero waste as you will keep purchasing products and thus producing waste. Nevertheless, you must not feel guilty or stress over these. The small steps are the most powerful. It is far more impactful to have a million people to buying one less skincare product than to have a thousand go zero waste. 

The more we can encourage ourselves and the other people around us to make those mindful steps, the more likely we are to make a massive difference in the world!

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