If you’re looking to make your beauty routine more eco-friendly, it's important to consider using sustainable beauty brands and products.
Many of us know that pollution is destroying the environment. And even though there are changes being made, i.e. plastic stemmed cotton buds are in the process of being banned in the UK (great news!), we still have quite a way to go to get rid of single use plastic altogether.
In this article we’ll run you through 7 sustainable beauty swaps you can make today to help your routine become more environmentally friendly. From ditching the plastic packaging to using reusable products, we’ve got you covered.
What is sustainable beauty?
Sustainable beauty is a holistic approach to beauty that takes into account the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the products and services used.
It includes using products with natural and organic ingredients, reducing waste and limiting single use plastic packaging.
Sustainable beauty also places a spotlight on other important environmental factors, such as ethical sourcing of products, fair prices for workers, and using renewable energy.
1. Use a a hot cloth and cleansing balm
Our first beauty swap to incorporate more sustainable beauty into your life is to use a hot cloth and cleansing balm.
Cleansing balms are awesome because they nourish the skin and cleanse it at the same time. They’re packed with natural ingredients that feed the skin, and the idea is that ‘like attracts like’ so the oil in the balm draws away excess natural sebum from the skin and balances it rather than stripping it away.
Unlike foaming face washes, you’re not left with that tight face feeling. The balm effectively melts away makeup and mascara around the eye area, too.
Because balms are a waterless product, packed with plant oils and butters, there is no need for a preservative - which makes them a truly natural sustainable beauty product. This is better for the environment and even better for your skin.
The hot cloth not only breathes life into tired faces, but it’s a great sustainable beauty product as the cloth can be thrown in the washing machine and reused over and over. No more wasteful single use cotton wool pads!
Our favourite is Magic Organic Apothecary’s Daily Cleansing Ritual.
2. Use solid soap over liquid
For minimal, plastic free packaging a simple soap is the best. It usually comes in a cardboard box, which we all know is recyclable. Gone are the days of just Imperial Leather or Dove, artisanal soap is really very readily available. And these are usually made with lovely nourishing oils and natural fragrances.
We love Suma Soap as it’s packed with natural cruelty free ingredients and are palm free and completely plastic free too - the perfect example of a sustainable beauty brand.
Sustainable beauty has never smelt so good with the many eco-friendly soaps now available.
3. Turn off the tap
It’s simple, the water doesn’t need to be running the whole time you’re brushing your teeth or doing your cleansing ritual.
Something as simple as turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to three or four gallons of water per person per day. And saving water helps conserve energy and reduce carbon pollution.
4. Look for the Cruelty Free symbols
Look on the labels for products that are registered with the Vegan Society or have the Leaping Bunny symbol and say no to animal testing. Not only is it extremely barbaric to carry out these inhumane tests of beauty products on animals, it’s just not necessary.
Established ingredients that have already been proven to be safe don’t need these tests. And for new ingredients, there are now non-animal tests available that are faster, cheaper and more accurate.
New ingredients are usually synthetic, man made ingredients which produce harsh chemicals into the atmosphere during manufacturing.
Laboratories that test on animals create huge amounts of waste and carbon emissions, which contributes to global warming.
Besides, who really wants these ingredients on their skin when lovely healthy plant based ones can do such a great job. We should try and avoid products containing petroleum derivatives. Steer clear of anything with paraffin oil, propylene glycol and ethylene.
Instead, use sustainable beauty products with alternative vegan ingredients such as plant and vegetable oils, waxes and butters.
5. Use a plastic free razor
Two billion disposable razors end up in landfill every year. As we know, that plastic will not degrade in our lifetime.
Switching to a reusable plastic free razor will mean you won’t ever need to buy one again, only the blades will need replacing.
6. Buy multi purpose products
Obviously if you can have fewer products in your tool kit, there will be less waste. Some products naturally double up their usage.
Balms are usually suitable for use on any skin – hands, legs, face – and they can be used as both cleansers and moisturisers. A bottle of neat argan oil can be used as both a face oil and a hair oil. Instead of shaving foam, soap or even hair conditioner will work just as well!
7. Use recycling programmes for makeup packaging
Makeup is definitely one of the more challenging areas when it comes to looking for sustainable beauty products.
I know there are independent brands out there that are addressing the issue, but as I don’t wear makeup every day, I don’t buy it often enough to have bought anything recently. Basically I’m working my way through what I have already that I know works for me.
When the time does come to ditch the empty vessels though, I will be checking out our local Terracycle recycling program. While recycling is not the answer long term, as it takes a lot of energy and only yields weaker plastics, for now it’s better than just putting it in the bin.