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7 Easy Sustainable Beauty Swaps to Help You Go Green

These easy sustainable beauty swaps will make your routine better for you and better for the environment.

Whether you have a 10-step beauty routine (we don’t judge) or simply stick to the basics when getting ready each morning, focusing on sustainable beauty is becoming increasingly popular as consumers become more conscious about the impact of their daily routine on the environment. Beauty products are notorious for their high use of plastic packaging and often contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact both personal health and the environment. It’s estimated that the global beauty industry produces more than 120 million units of packaging each year, and packaging accounts for 70% of the industry’s waste.

It’s not just the products making our beauty routines unsustainable, it’s also the waste we create by using non-reusable beauty tools like cotton pads and makeup wipes. With 20 million pounds of makeup wipes thrown away every day, this step in your beauty routine alone can dramatically impact the environment. Makeup wipes are often not recyclable or compostable. Additionally, many makeup remover wipes use plastic fibers, which means that when they are disposed they can release small microplastics into our waterways and oceans.

Easy Sustainable Beauty Swaps

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1. Switch to solid beauty products.

Solid products are a great sustainable alternative to traditional products like shampoo and conditioner that come in plastic packaging. Solid hair care and skin care products can be found in various forms such as shampoo bars, solid body wash bars, and solid face wash bars. They come in minimal packaging or no packaging at all, making them a great sustainable option. These bars are often made with natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin and do not contain harmful chemicals. They also tend to last longer than liquid products, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

2. Opt for reusable beauty tools.

Disposable beauty tools such as cotton pads, makeup wipes, and disposable razors create a lot of unnecessary waste. By switching to reusable beauty tools, not only can you significantly reduce your environmental impact, but it’s a great way to save money.

Switch to reusable cotton pads.

Reusable cotton pads are a great alternative to traditional cotton pads. They can be washed and reused multiple times, eliminating the need for single-use cotton pads. 

Use a face cloth instead of makeup wipes.

Makeup wipes are another disposable product that can be swapped for a reusable alternative such as a muslin cloth, microfiber cloth, or cotton terry cloth. These cloths can be washed and reused, making them a more sustainable option. You can pair these cloths with a hot cleanser to remove makeup and debris while gently exfoliating skin for a deep clean. 

Use a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush.

Ditching your non-biodegradable toothbrush and opting for a bamboo one instead is an easy way to reduce your plastic waste. Bamboo toothbrushes are made from sustainably grown bamboo that’s biodegradable and they have handles that are polished and mildew-proof processed, making them more resistant to mold.

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3. Choose beauty products from sustainable brands.

Many beauty brands are now prioritizing sustainability and offering eco-friendly products that are also plastic-free. By choosing products from sustainable brands, you are supporting companies that prioritize sustainability and are committed to reducing their environmental impact.

Sustainable brands often use natural and certified organic ingredients, offer products with sustainable packaging, and have a commitment to reducing waste. By choosing products from sustainable brands, you can feel confident that you are making a positive impact on the environment.

4. Choose beauty products with sustainable packaging.

In addition to shopping for sustainable beauty brands, it’s important to prioritize products from brands that have 100% recyclable packaging. With so many cosmetic and skincare products packaged in plastic bottles, choosing plastic-free products with sustainable packaging made of glass, aluminum, and paper that is recyclable and biodegradable is one of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact. To take your beauty routine to the next level, you can shop for zero-waste beauty brands that feature refillable beauty products and cosmetics to reduce waste even further. 

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5. Look for natural and organic ingredients.

Many products contain harmful chemicals that can harm both the user and the environment. By choosing products with natural and organic ingredients, you are not only reducing your environmental impact but also taking care of your skin.

Natural and organic ingredients are gentle on the skin and do not contain harmful chemicals. They are often sustainably sourced and produced, which often makes them a more environmentally friendly option.

6. Make your own skincare.

Making your own products is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. It allows you to control the ingredients used and reduce the waste generated by traditional products. There are many recipes available online for making your own beauty products such as face masks, facial scrubs, and lip balms. By using natural ingredients such as coconut oil, honey, and avocado, you can create effective skincare products that are better for your health without harming the environment.

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7. Reduce your water usage.

Water is a precious resource, and reducing water usage is an important step in sustainable beauty. By reducing water usage, you are not only conserving water but also reducing energy usage and the environmental impact of beauty products.

Take shorter showers.

There are several ways to reduce water usage in your routine. One of the most effective ways is to take shorter showers. The longer you stay in the shower, the more water you use. By reducing the time spent in the shower, you can significantly reduce your water usage.

Turn the water off when brushing your teeth.

Another way to reduce water usage is to turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face. This simple step can save gallons of water each day.

Use waterless beauty products.

In addition to reducing water usage during your routine, it is also important to consider the water usage associated with the manufacturing of beauty products. Many beauty products require a significant amount of water to be produced. By choosing products from sustainable brands that prioritize water conservation, you can make a positive impact on the environment.

Some sustainable beauty brands are now using waterless formulas, which not only reduce water usage but also reduce the need for preservatives and packaging. Waterless formulas also tend to be more concentrated, which means that a smaller amount of product is needed, reducing the overall environmental impact of the product.

Getting Started with Your Green Beauty Routine

Creating a sustainable beauty routine is achievable with a little effort and dedication. By making some simple swaps, such as switching to reusable tools, transitioning to natural and organic beauty products, and finding eco-friendly packaging options, you can make your daily routine more sustainable and reduce your impact on the environment. Every small step makes a difference when it comes to protecting our planet and creating a healthier beauty routine for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sustainable swap?

Sustainable swaps are items or practices that you can replace with more eco-friendly alternatives. Sustainable swaps are a great way to reduce your environmental impact and live a more sustainable lifestyle. By making simple changes in your daily life, you can make a big difference for the planet.

For example, instead of using paper towels or disposable napkins, you could switch to cloth napkins. You could also switch from plastic water bottles to reusable water bottles. There are many other sustainable swaps you can make, such as switching to natural beauty and makeup or investing in energy-efficient appliances.

What is the most sustainable beauty brand?

There are many zero-waste beauty brands that focus on sustainability such as The Earthling Co, Trestique, Flavedo & Albedo, Axiology Beauty, Viori, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics, Elate Beauty, Zerra & Co, and Zao Organic Makeup.

What is the most sustainable beauty packaging?

The most sustainable beauty packaging is one that has a lower environmental impact compared to conventional options. This could include post-consumer packaging, bamboo packaging, paper packaging, refillable containers, and plant-based jars. Additionally, brands should strive for carbon-neutral packaging and ensure that their products are 100% recyclable.