They may seem tiny and insignificant, but beauty products actually generate a lot of waste! Not just the outer packaging, which is bad enough, but the tubes, compacts and even the products themselves can make a devastating impact.
Luckily, there are some quick and easy changes we can make to ensure we’re using a plastic free beauty routine. Why not get started today with our top tips for going plastic free with your beauty regime?
1. Buy more bars
Lush Cosmetics’ video of their incredible shampoo soap bars went viral once people understood what an incredible product that is; not just because it’s zero-waste, but because they last forever, and you can actually pack these bars into your suitcase without customs officers plucking them out and throwing them into the bin because you’ve exceeded your liquids allowance. Bar shampoos DO work, and NO, they are not the same as soap! They’re incredibly cleansing and hydrating, but you won’t know until you try, right?
2. Buy in bulk
You do it for food, so why not do it for beauty products, too? Buying in bulk is simple, and will not only save you money but also reduce your packaging waste. Personally, I buy the hugest possible sizes of Dr Bronner’s liquid Castille soaps. They work not only on the face, hair and body, but can even be used to wash laundry and dishes! The biggest size available is 5 litres, which comes in large, recycled plastic bottles, which you can then re-distribute into smaller glass bottles at home.
3. Use reusable cotton pads
Standard face wipes and cotton pads are absolutely not biodegradable or eco-friendly. They’re often made from GMO cotton, which wreaks havoc on the planet, and cause huge problems in landfill and our oceans. Make an easy switch to plastic free beauty by using a small terry cloth, Conjac sponge or bamboo towel, like this one, which you can easily wash and reuse.
4. Ditch disposable razors
Give a girl a plastic razor and she’s smooth for a month. Give a girl a stainless-steel safety razor and she’s smooth for life! Safety razors are having a renaissance and they are no longer the domain of men. More and more women are ditching their pink, plastic, single use razors for the high quality, close shave and environmental benefits. Not to mention the pink tax; the notion that products that are branded towards women are more expensive than their male counterparts. The cost of the Muhle safety razor, although that initially more expensive investment than a disposable razor, within a year you will have made back your investment. After that, you’re actually saving money – and the planet.
5. Swap plastic for bamboo
Look on any big beach, and you’re likely to find an item that shouldn’t be there: namely, a toothbrush! It sounds weird, but you’d be surprised at the numbers of plastic toothbrushes that pollute our oceans – and I should add, toothpaste tubes, too! Instead of sticking plastic in your mouth, choose a bamboo brush. Bamboo is a super sustainable crop that grows fast, requires no fertiliser, needs very little water and self-regenerates from its own roots, so it doesn’t need to be replanted. As for the toothpaste, we’re kind of in love with Uncle Harry’s, a non-toxic brand that’s housed in recyclable glass jars.
6. Buy plastic free, refillable cosmetics
Loads of beauty brands are making gorgeous, recyclable or refillable cosmetics cases – check out Zao Cosmetics or Habit Cosmetics, for example. Our favourite? Probably Kjaer Weiss. Their non-toxic makeup packaging is gorgeous and is meant to last forever: once you buy a compact, you just need to replace the product with a filler. But don’t forget that what’s also important is buying cosmetics that are non-toxic in the first place. After all, you know the damage plastic microbead scrubs, toxic SPFs and glitter does to our oceans, right?
7. Know where to shop
There are increasing numbers of designated shops saying NO to carrying products housed in plastic. And the best part? Most of them are online! Check these out if you’re not sure where to start greenifying your beauty routine:
8. DIY whenever possible
Who needs to buy a mask, scrub or even body oil when making your own is so simple? Basic almond oil makes a great conditioner for lashes (and a yummy salad dressing!) whilst mashed up papaya, avocado or whipped egg whites are great facial masks. And if you have some sugar and olive oil on hand, mix it up in equal parts to create a wonderful body or face scrub! Hey, if it worked for your granny…!
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