Each year, we dump 8 million tons of plastic into our oceans. As a result, we now have human-made trash islands like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. One of the most significant environmental issues within the cosmetics industry is plastic waste.
This is how to be eco-friendly with makeup. Reduce the number of plastic disposables you buy, look for eco-packaging, buy from eco-friendly brands, reuse, refill, and recycle packaging, use multi-purpose products, avoid microplastics and petroleum derivatives, wear and use fewer beauty products, use less water, and have less hot showers.
Being beautiful doesn’t have to cost the earth. We hope this article serves as a useful guide to making your beauty routine more eco-friendly.
How To Be Eco-Friendly with Makeup
Making your beauty routine eco-friendly is much simpler than you may think. With the cosmetics industry leaning towards more eco-friendly standards anyway, it’s never been easier.
There are also some ways you can personally help with some small habit changes. So, let’s go eco!
Reduce the Number of Plastic Disposables
Reusable straws and shopping bags are now commonplace. Yet, our beauty cabinets have gone long unnoticed, and they need some work.
Start your new eco-friendly beauty routine by removing any plastic disposables. Single-use razors, eyeliner applicators, powder puffs, brushes, sponges, wands, and wipes all need to go.
Instead, opt for longlasting and reusable alternatives. For example, ditch the wipes for a cloth. Ditch the disposable brushes for those made with bamboo or wood. Ditch the plastic razors for a metal safety razor.
Simple changes like these go a long way in reducing the demand for single-use items. This means less trash going off to landfills or finding it’s way into our oceans.
Look for Eco-Packaging
Eco-packaging either uses recycled materials, is biodegradable, or is reusable. Many companies are moving over to eco-packaging in a bid to limit their impact on the planet.
Next time you go shopping for makeup, check the packaging for labels like “made from 100% recycled cardboard”, “100% biodegradable”, or “100% compostable.”
Brands such as Ethique (link to Amazon storefront), Seed Phytonutrients (link to Amazon storefront), and Plaine Products (link to Amazon storefront) all use eco-packaging or none at all. At the very least, you should aim to buy products that come in recyclable packaging.
Buy from Eco-Friendly Brands
We already mentioned a few brands above, but the ethical and eco-friendly beauty industry is flourishing right now.
There are hundreds of eco-friendly brands to choose from. It’s also a great way to support new and independent brands over large commercial brands. Many of which have been slow to adopt eco-friendly practices.
The top eco-friendly brands in the USA include Axiology Natural Organic Lipstick (link to Amazon storefront), Dab Herb (link to site), Fat and the Moon (link to Amazon storefront), Plant Makeup (link to site), Nudi Goods (link to site), Elate Beauty Clean Cosmetics (link to site), BareFaced Beauty (link to Amazon storefront), and Clean-Faced Cosmetics (link to Etsy storefront).
If you’re not based in the USA, one simple Google search like “eco-friendly beauty brands in [enter name of country]” will bring up the brands available to you.
Reuse, Refill, and Recycle Packaging
“Naked,” or zero-waste, beauty brands are a hot trend right now. These brands are deciding to sell their products without any packaging or refillable and reusable packaging.
“Naked” brands include Ethique (link to Amazon storefront), Lush Cosmetics (link to site), L’Occitane (link to Amazon storefront), Elate Cosmetics (link to site), and Olivia (link to Amazon storefront).
The idea is straightforward. You buy products like soaps, cleansing balms, cleansing wipes, body scrubs, and lipsticks completely packaging-free.
Alternatively, you can choose products that have refillable containers. When you run out, you simply return to the store and refill with your favorite products.
This typically includes shampoo, conditioners, shower gels, moisturizers, and lotions.
Use Multi-Purpose Products
Many of us tend to have makeup bags and beauty cabinets bursting with individual products. Instead, try buying products that are multi-purpose.
Fewer products mean less packaging. Some examples may include:
- Lip and cheek stain
- Foundation and powder
- Blush and highlighter stick
- Contour and highlight stick
- Foundation and concealer stick
You can also get creative with your existing makeup. For example, a soft lip balm can be used to moisturize cuticles.
Microplastics usually come in the form of microbeads. You will have probably seen these in your toothpaste and face scrubs. Those are actually small pieces of plastic that often end up in our oceans.
You can find a full list of products to avoid over at Beat the Micro Bead. Despite any positive effects of microbeads for your body, they’re simply not worth the enormous environmental cost.
Avoid Petroleum Derivatives
Petroleum is extremely resource-intensive to extract and produce. It has one of the highest carbon footprints of any material on the planet.
Unfortunately, there are still many everyday products that contain petroleum derivatives in their ingredients. The most popular products using petroleum derivatives include lotions and lip balms.
But how do you know if a product has a petroleum derivative? Simply avoid any product containing paraffin oil, propylene glycol, and ethylene.
Instead, look out for natural alternatives, including beeswax, vegetable oils, and cocoa butter.
Wear and Use Fewer Beauty Products
The simple and most effective way to make your beauty routine more eco-friendly is to use fewer beauty products. Many of us wear far too makeup much anyway!
The fewer beauty products you buy, the less packaging there is to throw out. But, wearing less makeup doesn’t just positively affect the environment. If benefits you too.
You will spend less money, you will support a natural body image, you’ll save tons of time, you’ll feel lighter, and it’s beneficial for your skin health.
You can check just how bad some products are for your skin using the website Skin Deep. Remember, just because it’s “organic” and “natural” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe.
Use Less Water
We waste incredible amounts of water when we leave the tap running. Whether you’re washing your face or brushing your teeth, switch that tap off when you don’t need it!
Instead, join the washcloth revolution. Soak your washcloth, turn off the tap, and then wash your makeup off. This way, you will save water and help exfoliate more dead skin cells from your face.
Remember this fact next time you wash your face, a running tap uses 6 liters of water per minute!
Take Fewer Hot Showers
Not only is hot water terrible for your skin health because it removes essential oils, but it’s also a colossal waste of energy.
We all love a hot shower, but we only need one a day. More than one hot shower a day significantly increases your carbon footprint and negative impact on the planet.
The best shower for your skin and the planet is 5 minutes long. That’s 3 minutes of hot water and 2 minutes of cold water. Why? The quick flip from hot water to cold water improves your circulation, bringing oxygen to your skin and muscles.
The warm water will also open your pores, which is your opportunity to use enriching products. Then the cold water will close those pores back up and stop you from getting pimples.
Being beautiful doesn’t have to negatively impact the planet. Use the advice above to help make your beauty routine more eco-friendly.
Not only will you reduce your impact on the planet. Your use of eco-friendly, organic, and natural beauty brands will improve the health of your skin and make you feel great!