Plastic waste is the biggest environmental issue we’re facing right now. And it’s choking our oceans and it’s wildlife. This has a huge impact on us, humans, too as it affects the food chain. The beauty industry is responsible for so much of that plastic waste. But thankfully there are some amazing brands who are now using eco-friendly packaging on their products.
Whilst it’s, unfortunately, very difficult to eliminate waste entirely from our lives. There are some really simple things you can do to have a positive impact on our environment and clean up your beauty routine at the same time.
Let’s take a look at how you can begin to have a zero waste beauty routine and make a really positive impact on our environment.
And it also has the added bonus of a clutter-free makeup bag and bathroom. Yayyyy to that! 😃🌍
1. Make sure to actually USE the products you buy
This may sound simple. But go have a look in your bathroom and makeup bag and you’ll most likely find so many products just sitting in there that you’ve only ever used a few times. Or never used at all!
If you’re not using your makeup or beauty products, this is such a waste on so many levels.
For one thing, it’s a waste of your hard-earned money.
And if you’re not using your products, you’ll most likely just end up throwing them out.
Which in itself is causing clutter in your bathroom. As well as contributing to even more waste into our environment.
What to do:
Stop buying things just for the sake of it!
Before you buy another product, ask yourself why you’re buying that product. And if you’re really going to use it.
Is it just going to be yet another product that you accumulate and it ends up just being used once or twice?
We generally buy products for 1 of 2 reasons.
Either to get enjoyment out of it, in which case, then actually use it. And get some enjoyment out of the products you buy.
Or because you need help with a problem (eg: dry skin, fine lines, to help with your oily skin).
And actually, you really only need a FEW basic makeup essentials to create a beautiful look.
There’s absolutely no need to have 50 different products that never get used and just gather dust in your makeup bag or bathroom.
2. Make sure to use the ENTIRE product
So now that you’re actually using your products, make sure you’re using up every last bit of them.
For one thing, you’ll be getting much more value for your money. After all, you paid a lot of money for those products.
So you might as well get as much use of them as possible.
What to do:
Lipsticks and body lotions are great examples of this.
For example, have you ever gotten to the end of the bullet of your favourite lipstick and then thrown it away as you didn’t think there was any more product left?
Or perhaps you’ve been using a body lotion that’s packaged in a tube.
Maybe you have to start squeezing the tube a bit harder to get some product out. Perhaps you throw it away then as you think the tube is empty.
But there’s actually sooo much more product left in those tubes.
If it’s a lipstick, scrape out the remaining lipstick and put it into a container of some sort.
Or you could even just use a lip brush each time you apply your lipstick until it’s completely empty.
If your body lotion is in a tube, cut the tube in half and scrape out the remainder of the body lotion.
You’ll be amazed at how much product is actually left when you do this.
3. Choose glass bottles where possible
For example, choose foundations that are packaged in glass bottles rather than in a plastic bottle.
Glass bottles are not only recyclable. They’re also great for reusing to store other things in once you’ve used all your foundation.
What to do:
Make sure to clean your bottles thoroughly first so that there are no more traces of makeup left in them. You can then use the bottles to put other makeup or lotions in them.
For example, like after you’ve cut your body lotion tube in half you can then scrape out the remaining lotion and put it into your foundation bottle.
4. Be mindful of tissues & cleansing tools
I’m referring here to items such as cleansing wipes, tissues, cotton pads and cotton buds (q-tips).
What to do:
Cotton buds are one of the worst causes of plastic waste.
So only buy cotton buds that are made with wooden or paper handles.
When buying cotton pads, tissues and cleansing wipes, only buy ones that are made from biodegradable materials.
Even doing just this alone is a great way to set yourself up for a zero waste beauty routine.
5. Reuse your packaging
I touched on this already. But there are sooo many ways you can reuse old packaging.
In fact, this is such a great thing to do not only for the environment but for yourself too.
It’ll free up space in your bathroom and makeup bag too and it’s another great step towards a zero waste beauty routine.
Plus reusing your packaging is really handy for travelling too.
What to do:
That are literally thousands of ways you can reuse packaging from beauty products.
For example, you can reuse bottles to store shampoo, conditioner or shower gels when travelling.
The droppers from foundations are always super handy to reuse.
And mascara wands can be used as spoolies for grooming eyebrows or getting rid of mascara clumps. Just make sure you clean the wands first.
I also constantly reuse little tubs or jars that I get samples in. These are super handy for storing the remains of products (eg: see point 2 above).
6. Choose a toothbrush with a wooden handle instead of a plastic one
They last just as long as plastic toothbrushes (approx 3 months). But they take hundreds of years less to breakdown than plastic toothbrushes.
If you want to go one step further, opt for biodegradable floss too.
7. Feminine hygiene products
These are another of the worst offenders when it comes to plastic waste!
For example, think about the plastic applicators on tampons. And the tampons themselves can take hundreds and even thousands of years to biodegrade.
It’s not only tampons that cause problems for the environment. Many sanitary pads are made of 90% plastic materials.
What do to:
Don’t buy feminine hygiene products that are made of plastic. And instead, opt for tampons or sanitary pads that are made with natural and organic materials.
These are not only better for the environment. They’re also better for YOU.
8. Choose refillable palettes
There’s just so much to love about refillable palettes.
They’re so much better for our planet as there’s less waste.
But it also means you get to fill the palettes with products and shades that you actually want and will use.
What to do:
The fabulous organic makeup brand Zao Organic Makeup is a perfect example of a brand doing things the right way.
Not only are their products just gorgeous and contain beautiful organic ingredients. But all of their packagings are made of bamboo which is a renewable resource. Plus they’re all refillable too.
Another amazing brand with eco-friendly and refillable packaging is the beautiful luxury organic makeup brand Kjaer Weis.
You just buy the casing for each product once and you can then purchase a refill to pop into the original packaging each time.
They’re packaging is not only eco-friendly but stunning too. As are the beautiful, eco-friendly ingredients in their amazing products.
9. Solid soap bars
Opting for solid bars of soap over liquid soap is another really great way to reducing your plastic waste. Why?
Because bars of soap are often packaged in recycled paper instead of plastic. Whereas liquid soaps can be contained in plastic packaging.
A great example of this is the amazing Dr Bronner Pure Castille Soap Bars.
They’re packaged in 100% recyclable wrapper. And the soaps themselves are 100% biodegradable as they only contain gentle, nourishing organic ingredients that don’t harm the environment.
Baby steps to a Zero Waste Beauty Routine
It can seem very overwhelming at the beginning to start eliminating plastic from your day to day life.
And whilst there are so many more ways we can do this, these 9 tips are a great way to start out with a zero waste beauty routine.
Remember, this is not about trying to do everything ‘perfectly’ (whatever that even is!). It’s about doing the best you can.
Even if you implement just 1 of them, you’ll be making a really positive impact on our beautiful environment.
So now I’d love to hear from you. Which one (or more) of these tips will you start with?
Or perhaps you’ve got some other suggestions on how to have a zero waste beauty routine?
If so, share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear your suggestions. xo
P.S: If you’d really like to take things even further, get there much faster and learn all you need to know about natural, organic, sustainable and cruelty-free beauty. As well as have plenty of resources, guides and green beauty product recommendations to help you all in one place that’s super quick and easy to access any time you need it. Make sure to come and join us over in Natural Beauty Society. Find out all the details about it and how you can join in all the fun here.